Queen Elizabeth II Stakes
|Group 1, Ascot 15:30
1m, Class 1
|Saturday 18th October 2014|
1 Charm Spirit 5/1
2 Night Of Thunder 2/1F
3 Toormore 25/1
11 ran Distances: ½l, ½l, ½l
TIME 1m 46.28s (slow by 7.48s)
Charm Spirit holds on to win the QEII! The French challenger repels the late challenge of Night Of Thunder for victory
Charm Spirit was given a peach of a ride from jockey Olivier Peslier this afternoon, galloping on strongly to land the Group One contest by half a length.
The 5/1 shot was always travelling sweetly under Peslier and hit the front a furlong from home alongside Tullius as the long time leaders began to fade.
Night Of Thunder rallied late but had a lot of ground to make up having been last as the race unfolded but Charm Spirit ran on strongly to land his third Group One in a row.
Trainer Freddy Head was full of praise for the three-year-old and pointed out that his colt has courage as well as class.
"It's magnificent - three Group Ones in a row!" enthused Head.
"He's not a horse who will win by five lengths but he is very difficult to pass him - he is very tough.
"I am delighted. What more can you ask for? A great race, a great horse and very good owners - all is well. He was fifth in the Guineas which wasn't bad as it was a vintage Guineas and I knew that he was a much better horse today.
"It's always difficult to come here and win, especially on that straight. I was a bit scared of the distance and the ground but he showed that he could stay and he is a real fighter and warrior. He was finishing and running on and I am so happy with him.
"The ground doesn't matter to him. He has shown he can handle soft ground today and he got the mile well. He's a champion. He could go to stud now but we'll see. Can you do better than that now? I'm not so sure."
Queen Elizabeth II Stakes
Sponsored By Qipco (British Champions Mile) (Group 1) (Str)
£1,115,050 added, 3yo plus, 1m, Class 1
Going: Heavy, Soft in places
|Pos||Dr||Dist||Horse SP Jockey||Age||Wgt||Trainer|
|1st||(7)||Charm Spirit (IRE) 5/1
|2nd||(10)||½||Night Of Thunder (IRE) 2/1F
|3rd||(11)||½||Toormore (IRE) 25/1
|4th||(2)||½||Tullius (IRE) 9/1
|6||9-4||A M Balding|
|5th||(6)||2½||Captain Cat (IRE) 14/1
|6th||(5)||6||Kingsbarns (IRE) 14/1
J P O'Brien
|4||9-4||A P O'Brien|
R L Moore
|4||9-1||Sir Michael Stoute|
|8th||(1)||nk||Custom Cut (IRE) 8/1
|9th||(4)||7||Brendan Brackan (IRE) 66/1
|5||9-4||G M Lyons|
|10th||(3)||s.h||Top Notch Tonto (IRE) 12/1
|11th||(8)||2||Graphic (IRE) 33/1
|5||9-4||W J Haggas|
QIPCO 2000 Guineas winner Night Of Thunder put up a gallant effort when second, although champion jockey Richard Hughes had sensed a win with a furlong to run.
Hughes said: "He's run a blinder in what proved a very messy race. They were all in a heap. I managed to get onto [Olivier] Peslier's backside at the two-furlong pole and I wanted to go to the right of him, but when I kicked I didn't have the horse to get in there quick, so I couldn't take my chance and was forced to switch him left [of the eventual winner] in order to get a clear run.
"At the furlong pole I thought I would beat him, but the winner was very brave and kept pulling out more. You have to be quick to get the gaps in races like this and I wasn't quick enough today. The winner held me all the way to the line and once we had passed the line, I didn't go flying past him."