QIPCO British Champions
Long Distance Cup
Group 2, Ascot 14:10
£500,000 added,
3yo plus, 1m 7f 209y,
Class 1   
Saturday 19th October 2019

1 Kew Gardens 7/2
2 Stradivarius 8/13F
3 Royal Line 12/1
9 ran NR: South Pacific Distances: nse, 5l, 1¼l
Time: 3m 29.49s (slow by 10.99s)

Kew Gardens produced a tremendous performance to dethrone racing's superstar stayer Stradivarius, the 8/13 favourite, in a thrilling renewal of the £450,000 G2 QIPCO Long Distance Cup over two miles.

Trained by Aidan O'Brien and ridden by his son Donnacha, Kew Gardens rallied gamely in the closing stages to deny Stradivarius and Frankie Dettori an 11th victory in succession.

The pair were separated by just a nose at the line and the winner, a son of Galileo, could take on Stradivarius once again in next year's Gold Cup at Royal Ascot.

The master of Ballydoyle said: "We were training Kew Gardens for the G1 Gold Cup, but he got an injury and it all went pear-shaped.

"We are just delighted to get him back really. He barely made it back in time to run in the Irish Leger where he finished and second and it just didn't go right for him on the day.

"Kew Gardens is an incredible horse and it was a great performance. The lads will decide if he stays in training, but I think there is a strong chance that he will.

"He is a very brave horse and we're delighted for everybody.

"We were thinking about the Gold Cup this year and if the lads decide to keep him in training, he could go there.

"He pulled some muscles in his back which kept him off the track, but we're delighted to have him back running. I would imagine that would be it for the season."

Donnacha O'Brien said: " Kew Gardens is so genuine - these Galileos just don't know when to lie down. I thought when Frankie came to me [on Stradivarius] that he was going to go past me, but this fella found another gear and battled real hard.
 
"Seamie [Heffernan] rides him work at home, and both him and Dad were very happy with him. I felt he was the one horse in the race where you could not have been sure that Stradivarius is better than him. 
 
"Kew Gardens showed today that he is a top-class stayer."
 
Kew Gardens is owned by Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith and Sue Magnier.

"It was an epic duel and just one of those things - on the line our horse's head was in the right place," said Michael Tabor.

Frankie Dettori, who rode the favourite, said: "It was much too soft for him, he couldn't use his turn of foot and the other horse outstayed him on the ground.
 
"He tried, he always tried. He's like a lion."

Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup (Group 2)
£500,000 added, 3yo plus, 1m 7f 209y, Class 1
9 ran
Going: Good to Soft, Soft in places

NO. (DRAW) DIST HORSE AGE WGT TRAINER JOCKEY SP
1 (3)    Kew Gardens 4 9-7 A P O'Brien Donnacha O'Brien 7/2
2 (6) nse Stradivarius 5 9-7 John Gosden Frankie Dettori 8/13F
3 (5) 5 Royal Line 5 9-7 John Gosden Robert Havlin 12/1
4 (10) 1¼ Mekong 4 9-7 Sir Michael Stoute Jim Crowley 20/1
5 (4) 3½ Withhold 6 9-7 Roger Charlton Jason Watson 15/2
6 (7) ½ Capri 5 9-7 A P O'Brien Seamie Heffernan 25/1
7 (2) 6 Cleonte 6 9-7 Andrew Balding Silvestre De Sousa 40/1
8 (8) nk Max Dynamite 9 9-7 W P Mullins Oisin Murphy 33/1
9 (9) 1¾ Bin Battuta 5 9-7 Saeed bin Suroor Hector Crouch 25/1
NR 10 (1) -B1216 South Pacific 3 8-13 A P O'Brien NON RUNNER