Hardwicke Stakes (Group 2)
1 Bronze Cannon 8/1
Bronze Cannon Fires in Hardwicke
Bronze Cannon defied a 3lb penalty and the concession of weight to eight rivals to win the Hardwicke Stakes over one mile and four furlongs.
Carrying the colours of Anthony Oppenheimer, member of the well-known diamond-mining family and head of Newmarket’s Hascombe & Valiant Studs, Bronze Cannon reeled in Campanologist in the final furlong to score by half a length.
Trainer John Gosden said: “He won the Jockey Club Stakes, a Group Two race at Newmarket, and picked up the penalty. At that point I thought ‘Oh, oh, we are always going for the Hardwicke, but it’s going to be difficult now’.
“Frankie had been telling me Campanologist was his best chance of the week and he expected to win, but our horse has shown tremendous courage and beaten the lot of them.
“He missed the Derby last year due to a little hiccup, then came here to Royal Ascot, ran in the King Edward VII Stakes and hurt himself. These things happen, but we put him away and then brought him back.
“This season we started him off in two all-weather races and he ran well in those and has since won two Group Two races. We’re heading towards a Group One with him now, but we’re happy where we are at the moment.”
Jimmy Fortune said: “They went very quick early, but I was happy to sit out the back. He’s only small, but he’s got a heart that’s twice the size he is.
“Frankie [Dettori, on Campanologist] wasn’t stopping, but my lad was just pulling a bit more out. It was a good effort to win with a penalty, he’s beaten good horses and he gets a mile and a half well, but I wouldn’t like to say where he should run next.”
CAMPANOLOGIST CAN’T QUITE HOLD ON
Trainer Saeed Bin Suroor admitted that he thought that Campanologist had come to win his race when he flew into the lead one and a half furlongs out in the Hardwicke Stakes. “I thought for a second that he was going to win,” said Bin Suroor.
But Campanologist, who started 2/1 favourite, was gradually worn down by the John Gosden-trained Bronze Cannon, and was beaten half a length.
“I had been confident coming into the race. He was working really well and was sound and healthy. I think they went too fast early and that didn’t suit him, but he [Bronze Cannon] is a very good horse,” said the trainer.
Dansant ran perhaps his best race on turf to finish in third place, three and a half lengths behind the winner, and connections are now aiming high with the five-year-old.
“I hope this will be his FA Cup year,” said the trainer Gerard Butler.
“We’re in a few tasty spots including the King George [VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes] and I wouldn’t mind coming back here for that - with the Breeders’ Cup Marathon as his long-term prospect,” added Gerard
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