Ascot Gold Cup 2012 

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Frankie Wins Gold Cup on Colour Vision

1 Colour Vision 6/1
2 Opinion Poll 5/1
3 Saddler's Rock 9/2
9 ran Distances: ½l, nk, 1l
TIME 4m 42.05s (slow by 21.05s)

The trademark flying dismount from Colour Vision after winning the Gold Cup was Frankie Dettori’s crowd-pleaser. His next action, a heartfelt embrace for Saeed Bin Suroor, was for himself and his good friend.

Colour Vision and Frankie Dettori
© Caroline Norris

Colour Vision and Frankie Dettori

The jockey and the trainer are seen as the old guard among the Godolphin ranks and the fact that they joined forces to put in their place the outfit’s young thrusters - Mickael Barzalona and Mahmood Al Zarooni, rider and trainer of runner-up Opinion Poll - must have been a matter of some considerable satisfaction.

Dettori had the choice of the two horses, and opted for the four-year-old grey gelding, the less exposed of the pair. “Frankie rode Colour Vision in work 10 days ago,” said Bin Suroor, “and the horse went very well for him. I thought he would choose him, and I was happy that he did and that he’d made the right choice.

“Colour Vision had improved a lot since he won last time [at Kempton in May]. We’d looked after him well and this was going to be his day, we thought that two and a half miles would be ideal for him.

“He’s a very straightforward individual, never fusses or sweats or pulls, so however the race was run he would be fine. As it turned out it was slow to start with, but for a stayer he has a bit of a turn of foot and he was able to deal with the challengers, and as well as that he is a good fighter.”

Colour Vision wins from Opinion Poll
© Caroline Norris

Colour Vision wins from Opinion Poll

Like horse, like trainer. Colour Vision was Bin Suroor’s first British Group One winner since Poet’s Voice took the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot in September, 2010. “You have to be patient,” he smiled, “this is a very tough game.”

Colour Vision was the fourth top-level success of the year for the Godolphin operation, after Monterosso’s Dubai World Cup and Capponi’s Al Maktoum Challenge at Meydan and It’s Tricky in the Ogden Phipps Handicap at Belmont Park.

“These banner races round the world are what we want to win,” said Godolphin racing manager Simon Crisford, “and the Gold Cup is the cream of the cream.

“It’s one of the highlights of the year and we’re all thrilled to have the one-two. I don’t think at any time Frankie was going to get beaten, especially when he saw Barzalona coming upsides him. Whether it gave him extra strength I don’t know but it was a tremendous finish.

“And I take my hat off to the British Horseracing Authority handicappers. They had Colour Vision 1lb higher than Opinion Poll, and after two and a half miles that was spot on.

“Sheikh Mohammed gave Frankie the choice two days ago and went for the Rainbow Quest horse because he thought he’d stay better. He’s better on faster ground and when it rained that could have negated his chances a bit but he handled it well. Frankie phoned the clerk of the course to check on the ground this morning but there was never a chance he could switch. He was given the choice, he made his judgement call and that was it. Whichever horse won it was great for Godolphin and with Frankie choosing the winner it was extra special for him.”


Gold Cup (British Champions Series) (Group 1)
£350,000 added, 4yo plus, 2m 4f, Class 1
9 runners

Going: Good to Soft

Starting Price
Beaten Distance
Colour Vision
S bin Suroor
L Dettori
9st 0lbs
6 - 1
Opinion Poll
M Al Zarooni
M Barzalona
9st 2lbs
5 - 1
1/2 length
Saddler's Rock
J M Oxx
J P Murtagh
9st 0lbs
9 - 2
Gulf of Naples
M Johnston
S De Sousa
9st 0lbs
25 - 1
1 length
Askar Tau
M P Tregoning
G Baker
9st 2lbs
40 - 1
3 lengths
J H M Gosden
P Hanagan
9st 2lbs
33 - 1
1 length
Fame And Glory
A P O'Brien
J P Spencer
9st 2lbs
4 - 5
2 1/2 lengths
J H M Gosden
William Buick
9st 2lbs
66 - 1
3 lengths
Bridge Of Gold
M A Magnusson
R L Moore
9st 2lbs
66 - 1
48 lengths



Trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni had to endure defeat for his Opinion Poll in today’s Gold Cup, but he still felt like a winner.

Opinion Poll finished just half a length behind winner Colour Vision - his second runner-up spot in the famous race - but since both horses are owned by Godolphin they were competing for the same team. A stewards’ enquiry was held to consider possible interference between the pair, but the result was unaltered.

Al Zarooni said: “He ran very well and we have no excuse. Everything went well and they are both nice horses. For me to be beaten by Colour Vision does not matter because we are all one team.

“Simon Crisford will decide on the next plan, but the Cup races and Irish St Leger are all possible targets.”

John Oxx, who trained third-placed Saddler’s Rock, could not hide his frustration after his horse finished just a neck behind the runner-up. He said: “It was a bit of a farce of a race from his point of view. Obviously if you win it’s not a problem, but he’s normally so relaxed and yet they went so slow he was just tugging the whole way and would not drop the bit.

“I don’t have a pacemaker to run for him - or should I say the owner [Michael O’Flynn] doesn’t have one, unless he chooses to run China Rock [his three-mile chaser], and I think Mouse Morris might have something to say about that! We tried to set the pace with this horse [Saddler’s Rock] last year at the Curragh and he didn’t do a great job, but maybe with a bit more experience he would be better so we might try that again.

“He pulled for a mile and then it was a sprint, and since he prefers good to firm ground, not good to soft, he could do no more than stay on and finish very well. He’s very genuine, but it’s a pity that everything that could go against him today did so.

“He’s brave and tough. He’ll run in all the Cup races, starting with the Goodwood Cup, and we’ll take it from there. The Prix du Cadran and the stayers’ race back here in October are also possible.



Fame and Glory, who was sent of as 4/5 favourite to repeat last year’s success in the Gold Cup, could only manage seventh.

Trainer Aidan O’Brien said afterwards: “He has come back fine and seems to be fine after the race. It was an interesting race.”

Jamie Spencer, who partnered Fame And Glory, added: “It just wasn’t to be.”

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