QIPCO British Champions
|Group 2, Ascot 13:25
2m, Class 1
|Saturday 15th October 2016|
1 Sheikhzayedroad 11/1
2 Quest For More 9/1
3 Simple Verse 6/1
10 ran Distances: ½l, ½l, ½l
TIME 3m 31.52s (slow by 8.52s)
Trainer David Simcock was delighted with the performance of Sheikhzayedroad, who ran out the half-length winner of the Group Two QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup at Ascot.
Simcock was quick to praise his staff at home following his third victory on QIPCO British Champions Day.
"It's fantastic - it was great to watch," said the trainer.
"I'm very proud of the horse. He's been with us a long time - he's seven years old now - and he's a pleasure to train as he trains himself. It's as simple as that. My head man rides him every day, Gary Smith, and he told me he was very well and I trust him so it's just very exciting.
"It was a perfect scenario today. We thought if we could just park him behind the leaders it would work and he had a lovely tow into the race. He's better going the other way though and we were just worried about him hanging across the course. He sticks his neck out - though he has his quirks, we all know that.
"He's genuine and he enjoys racing. This is the first year we've gone staying with him. He was a very good mile and a half horse - he was a Grade One winner over that trip - and he won a Grade Two over a mile and a quarter. As he's got a little bit older, he's got a little bit slower but he's got a massive appetite and that little bit of speed he's got over this trip helps.
"I've said before that my season has been patchy but that is all put right with winners like this. It couldn't be done though without all the help we get at home - it's a victory for all those who help muck out, lead up and all the jobs that get done behind the scenes. I don't normally get excited but I did today. It's an important day, a wonderful day's racing and, with old pros like this - he really is a diamond - it really makes it worthwhile."
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Quest For More finished half a length behind the winner - who had beaten him a nose in the Doncaster Cup - and the same distance ahead of the third. Two weeks ago, Quest For More won the G1 Prix du Cadran at Chantilly.
Trainer Roger Charlton said of the runner-up: "I'm really, really proud of him because he's so consistent. To think these two horses were separated by inches at Doncaster, and a few feet today - it's consistent. He's had lots of hard races and it's quite tough to bring them back after a fortnight. You can only be pleased and arguably this was his best run ever - the horses behind him were better than in the previous races.
"When you think he started life on a handicap mark of 68, there's been a little bit of improvement. I hope he'll go to the Dubai World Cup meeting in March."
A steady gallop did not appear to suit third-placed Simple Verse or the favourite, Order Of St George, who finished fourth. They were staying on steadily and closing on the winner, but without showing a meaningful turn of foot that would have carried them to the lead.
Ralph Beckett, the trainer of third-placed Simple Verse, said: "She certainly stayed the trip and she ran a good race so I'm pleased with her effort. [In the home straight] I felt she was going to run out of racecourse, and so it proved - the winner was given a very good ride [by Martin Harley].
"The steady pace would not have helped her - that's it for this year."
Beckett said the filly's future had not been discussed, but David Redvers, racing manager to Qatar Racing, said Simple Verse would stay in training, and be targeted at long-distance races.
Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup (Group 2)
£350,000 added, 3yo plus, 2m, Class 1
|Pos||Dr||D||Horse SP||Jockey Weight||Trainer||Age|
|1st||(3)||Sheikhzayedroad 11/1||M Harley
|D M Simcock||7|
|2nd||(6)||½||Quest For More (IRE) 9/1||G Baker
|3rd||(4)||½||Simple Verse (IRE) 6/1||Oisin Murphy
|R M Beckett||4|
|4th||(9)||½||Order Of St George (IRE) 4/6f||R L Moore
|A P O'Brien||4|
|5th||(1)||¾||Nearly Caught (IRE) 25/1||U Rispoli
|6th||(5)||3½||Litigant 20/1||James Doyle
|7th||(8)||hd||Forgotten Rules (IRE) 8/1||P J Smullen
|D K Weld||6|
|8th||(2)||¾||Suegioo (FR) 66/1||P Hanagan
|R A Fahey||7|
|9th||(7)||nk||Sandro Botticelli (IRE) 50/1||L Dettori
|10th||(10)||1¼||Gold Prince (IRE) 100/1||A Kirby