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Tuesday, June 19, 2001


The elevation of the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes to Group One status 12 months ago saw a worthy winner to mark this change in Dubai Millennium, who annihilated his opposition by an incredible eight lengths.

The Godolphin team, also successful in 1998 with Faithful Son, will bid for a third success in an outstanding renewal of the ten-furlong contest at 3.45pm tomorrow afternoon with Fantastic Light, the Emirates World Racing Series Champion of 2000.

The five-year-old finished second in the Group Two Dubai Sheema Classic at Nad Al Sheba in March before coming through to beat Golden Snake in the Group One Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh on May 27. Fantastic Light’s stablemate Give The Slip made the running that day and is expected to do so again.

The Aga Khan’s Kalanisi, trained by Sir Michael Stoute to win last season’s Breeders’ Cup Turf at Churchill Downs, finished third at the Curragh on his seasonal bow and is expected to be fully tuned up after that effort.

The stiff opposition includes the Luca Cumani-trained Endless Hall, winner of the valuable Singapore Airlines International Cup at Kranji on May 12. The Saddlers’ Hall colt also won the Group One Gran Premio di Milano at San Siro last June.

Observatory may have caused an upset when ending Giant’s Causeway’s attempt at a sixth successive Group One success last year in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot, but he proved that was no fluke when taking the Group One Prix d’Ispahan at Longchamp on May 20. The Philippe Demercastel-trained Hightori, who was beaten a short-head that day, re-opposes.

Border Arrow, who finished third in the 1998 Derby, showed his wellbeing last time out when winning the Group Three Brigadier Gerard Stakes at Sandown by two lengths from Compton Bolter.

The nine-runner field is completed by the Aidan O’Brien-trained Bach, who won the Listed Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot as a two-year-old, and most recently finished second in a Leopardstown Listed contest on June 6.

William Hill Betting at 1pm: 7/4 Kalanisi, 5/2 Fantastic Light, 7/2 Observatory, 6/1 Endless Hall, 7/1 Hightori, 20/1 Border Arrow, 33/1 Bach, 33/1 Compton Bolter, 50/1 Give The Slip


Godolphin, successful in the Gold Cup three times in the last five years (Classic Cliche (1996) and Kayf Tara twice (2000 & 1998)), will be trying to make it four out of six with Marienbard on Thursday.

The four-year-old Caerleon colt, who joined them this season after winning three times for Michael Jarvis’ stable last year, made a winning reappearance when getting the better of Samsaam in the Group Two Merewood Homes Yorkshire Cup last month.

Though he has never raced beyond that distance of a mile and three-quarters, connections think that the two and a half miles of Thursday’s feature event will be well within his capacity.

When he won at York, Marienbard was some way ahead of Jardines Lookout and Royal Rebel, both of whom take him on again this time. Royal Rebel will be 3lb better off with the Godolphin colt this time, and as that was also his first run of the season he is entitled to be the sharper for it.

He won three times last season, including the Goodwood Cup and the Lonsdale Stakes at York, when he just got the better of a titanic struggle with Rainbow High, and it is interesting that he is to wear neither a visor nor blinkers for the first time since his first appearance last year as he has been working well without such aids.

Jardines Lookout improved all through last season, during which he was controversially disqualified after finishing first at the Ebor meeting at York and was first home on three other occasions.

Rainbow High, who will be 2lb worse off with Royal Rebel from York, will need to do a great deal better than last time, when he was beaten a very long way behind Solo Mio in the Group Three Bonusprint Henry II Stakes at Sandown. Previously he had done much better when defying 9st 13lb in the Chester Cup, giving 31lb to the runner-up.

Romantic Affair and Persian Punch filled the places behind Solo Mio at Sandown and Persian Punch will be 7lb better off tomorrow for the head which split them. This gives him every chance of turning the tables, though it may be significant that he has had four previous attempts at the Gold Cup and often disappointed.

Back in fifth place that day was Mbele, who was showing the best form of his life and whose trainer William Muir was talking last autumn about him being a Cup horse this year. Mbele has to improve but he is on the upgrade.

San Sebastian won the marathon Queen Alexandra (two furlongs further than the Gold Cup) at Ascot in 1999 and the Ascot Stakes the previous season before finishing fourth to Kayf Tara in the Gold Cup last year. He was ahead of Romantic Affair and Persian Punch when runner-up to Solo Mio at the Guineas meeting at Newmarket on his only appearance this term.

Vicious Circle has some smart staying form to his name, including success in the 1999 Ebor, but he was restricted to just two runs last term and has not run this time, when his stable is going through a quiet spell.

Yavana’s Pace has shown good form over the years but his two efforts this term have rather lacked spark, and Kuwait Trooper seems to have more to do than when a well beaten third behind Water Jump at Windsor earlier this month.


Medicean defied his Group 1 penalty to win the meeting’s first race in style, getting an ideal split near the stands rails to take command with more than a furlong to go and go on to beat Swallow Flight by a length.

“He is a very relaxed horse, watching him go down to the start he looked as if he was half asleep,” said his trainer Sir Michael Stoute. “He was quite lazy early in the race, but that did not worry me, and when the gap came for him he went through it really well.

“I don’t know what we shall do with him now, but the Sussex Stakes is very much a possibility and I have not ruled out trying him again over a mile and a quarter. The one time he tried that trip last year was in the Magnet Cup, but he was drawn 21 of 22 and Pat (Eddery) could never get him in, so that was really very inconclusive.

“He did not race as a two-year-old because he had a bad attack of colic. He had been in pretty hard training at that stage, and though he did not need any surgery on his intestines it obviously set him back.”

Chris Richardson, stud manager for the Thompson family for whose Cheveley Park Stud operation Medicean races, supported the trainer’s comments about the colt’s easy nature. “He is just so relaxed, watching him go round the paddock he was just sauntering round there as if nothing was going on,” he said.

It is a thought that 12 months ago, after Medicean had been third to Giant’s Causeway in the St James’s Palace Stakes, that people knew so little about him that his name was invariably called wrongly. Patricia Thompson had to make the point that the name is pronounced Medeecian, as the colt is by Machiavellian, secretary to the Medici family in Italy in the Middle Ages. There is nothing about medicine in the name.


Trainer Luca Cumani felt that Arkadian Hero, who finished third to Medicean in the opening Queen Anne Stakes, might have finished closer with a clearer passage.

“He had to change lanes a lot and didn’t get much of a run,” said Cumani. “But he wouldn’t have beaten the winner and he’s run very well - I’m delighted with him.

“He no longer has problems at the start - we have sorted that out now - and I think he belongs in this class and will keep to it.

“It’s possible he will go to Goodwood (for the Champagne Lanson Sussex Stakes), we’ll see how he comes out of this, but the medium-term aim would be the Group 1 Atto Mile at Woodbine in Canada, in which he finished second last year.”

Geoff Wragg, trainer of runner-up Swallow Flight, said: “The winner just got first run on us.”


Cassandra Go, who is in foal to Green Desert, landed the King’s Stand Stakes by a length and a quarter on her penultimate racecourse start before being retired to the paddocks.

Owner Trevor Stewart originally bought the mare as foal at Tattersalls for 82,000gns hoping to re-consign her for profit as a yearling. But he could not part with her and bought her in for 200,000gns at the 1997 Houghton Yearling Sales.

“This is an incredible moment and she has changed my racing life. I bought her as a foal to re-sell and a lot of good judges were showing an interest in buying her so changed my mind at the last minute and kept her,” said Stewart.

“She seems to have strengthened this year and has been improved by the most incredible trainer, Geoff Wragg. She is in foal to Green Desert and has another month to race. She will go for the July Cup and then retire. I look forward to racing her foals.”

Wragg added: “She’s always been a good filly but I think it’s all just come together with her getting in foal and another year on her back. Pregnancy sometimes helps and it sometimes doesn’t.

“I’d worry a bit about six furlongs (in the July Cup) because she shows tremendous speed but I just hope she gets a good lead.”

Winning jockey Michael Roberts said: “We’ve always had high hopes for her, she even ran in the Irish 1,000 Guineas. I couldn’t believe how strong she has got and she is improving mentally.

“At Newmarket (in the Palace House Stakes) she ran much too free and was a bit above herself but she was a different filly when winning the Temple Stakes last time even though her saddle slipped. I couldn’t see how the French horse (Nuclear Debate) was going to beat us today.

“The way she is racing, I can’t see why she won’t get six furlongs.”


“I really do not think that we could be happier if she had won,” said Nerys Dutfield after Misty Eyed had finished runner-up to Cassandra Go. When did two grey fillies last finish first and second in the King’s Stand?

“We were very disappointed after she had run at Sandown, but it turned out that she had an infection on her which we did not find out about until after the race,” said Dutfield.

“She only cost us Ir3,500gns and she has really done us proud. Just look at her, she is walking round there totally relaxed after running against all these big colts and older horses - it is such a shame that there are no Group sprints for three-year-olds only at this stage of the season,” Mrs Dutfield went on.

“And Kevin (Darley) is not champion jockey for nothing. It can be a worry coming to somewhere like this and riding for a small stable like ours, but he gave her a lovely ride.”

A point which was endorsed by the trainer’s husband Simon. “Kevin told me before the race that she would be outpaced by the older horses early on, but if he gave her a chance she would come through at the end. She had a good draw and got a lovely lead, which helped, and we are all so proud of her.”

Later on Misty Eyed will go to Goodwood for the King George Stakes. It was at that track last year that she gave her trainer her first Group winner when she won the Molecomb.

Terry Mills was equally delighted with the third place from his Funny Valentine. “I have always said he was a good horse and I am delighted with that. With a bit better draw he might have been closer but I am not making excuses,” he said. “We have entered him for the handicap sprint here on Saturday, and as he is bound to go up a lot for this effort we might run him there.”


Class A, Group One, £250,000 guaranteed, 1m, for three-year-old entire colts. Penalty values: 1st: £156,600; 2nd: £59,400; 3rd: £29,700; 4th: £13,500; 5th: £6,750; 6th: £4,050

1 BLACK MINNALOUSHE (USA) (Sue Magnier & Michael Tabor) Aidan O'Brien IRE 3-9-00 Johnny Murtagh [1] 8-1
2 NOVERRE (USA) (Godolphin) Saeed bin Suroor t3-9-00 Frankie Dettori [5] 9-2 fav
3 OLDEN TIMES (Prince A A Faisal) John Dunlop 3-9-00 Gerald Mosse [6] 16-1
4 VAHORIMIX (Jean-Luc Lagardere) Andre Fabre FR 3-9-00 Olivier Peslier [3]
5 NO EXCUSE NEEDED (Maktoum Al Maktoum) Sir Michael Stoute 3-9-00 Kieren Fallon [4]
6 KELTOS (FR) (L Marinopoulos) Carlos Laffon-Parias FR 3-9-00 Dominique Boeuf [8]
7 TAMBURLAINE (IRE) (Jeffen Racing) Richard Hannon 3-9-00 Jimmy Fortune [9]
8 MINARDI (USA) (Michael Tabor & Sue Magnier) Aidan O'Brien IRE 3-9-00 Michael Kinane [10]
9 MALHUB (USA) (Hamdan Al Maktoum) John Gosden t3-9-00 Richard Hills [2]
10 DANDOUN (Prince A A Faisal) John Dunlop 3-9-00 Pat Eddery [7]
11 DARWIN (IRE) (Michael Tabor & Sue Magnier) Aidan O'Brien IRE 3-9-00 Paul Scallan [11]

11 ran Tote: Win: £9.70; Places: £3.00; £1.80;£5.70; Exacta: £53.40

Time 1m 41.37s

Distances: Nk, Hd, ½, 1¼, Hd, 1, 1¼, 2, 3, 7

Breeder: John R. Gaines Thoroughbreds & William Condren

Breeding: Storm Cat - Coral Dance (Green Dancer)

Winning trainer:-Name: Aidan O’Brien Date of birth: 16/10/69 Previous occupation: Assistant trainer to Jim Bolger and Anne-Marie Crowley O’Brien Date of first licence: 1993 British Classic wins: (4) Sagitta 2,000 Guineas (1998 King Of Kings), Vodafone Oaks (1998 Shahtoush, 2001 Imagine), Vodafone Derby (2001 Galileo) Other major wins include: Irish 1,000 Guineas (1997 Classic Park, 2001 Imagine), Irish 2,000 Guineas (1997 Desert King, 1999 Saffron Walden, 2001 Black Minnaloushe), Irish Derby (1997 Desert King), French 1,000 Guineas (2001 Rose Gypsy), Coventry Stakes (1997 Harbour Master), Grand Criterium (1997 Second Empire), Racing Post Trophy (1997 Saratoga Springs, 1999 Aristotle), National Stakes (1996 Desert King; 1997 King Of Kings, 2000 Beckett), Dante Stakes (1998 Saratoga Springs), Prix Morny (1998 Orpen), Heinz 57 Phoenix Stakes (1998 Lavery, 2000 Minardi), July Cup (1999 Stravinsky), Nunthorpe Stakes (1999 Stravinsky), Phoenix Stakes (1999 Fasiliyev), St James Palace Stakes (2000 Giant’s Causeway, 2001 Black Minnaloushe), Coral Eclipse Stakes (2000 Giant’s Causeway), Sussex Stakes (2000 Giant’s Causeway), Irish Champion Stakes (2000 Giant’s Causeway), Acomb Stakes (2000 Hemingway), Juddmonte International Stakes (2000 Giant’s Causeway), Moyglare Stud Stakes (2000 Sequoyah), Middle Park Stakes (2000 Minardi) First Royal Ascot win: Harbour Master (June 17, 1997 - Coventry Stakes) Wins This Season: 3 (in UK) Royal Ascot wins: (5) Coventry Stakes (1997 Harbour Master, 1999 Fasliyev), Chesham Stakes (1999 Bach), St James’s Palace Stakes (2000 Giant’s Causeway, 2001 Black Minnaloushe)
Winning jockey:-Name: Murtagh, John Patrick Based: Moattown, Kildalkey, Co Meath

Born: May 14, 1970 Big Race Wins include: Breeders’ Cup Mile (1995 Ridgewood Pearl), Coronation Stakes (1995 Ridgewood Pearl), Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (2000 Sinndar), Prix du Moulin (1995 Ridgewood Pearl), Yorkshire Oaks (1996 Key Change, 2000 Petrushka), Beverley D Stakes (1996 Timarida), Irish Champion Stakes (1996 Timarida), Irish Oaks (1997 Ebadiyla, 1998 Winona, 2000 Petrushka), Ascot Gold Cup(1999 Enzeli); National Stakes (1993, Manntari, 1999 Sinndar), Moyglare Stud Stakes (1998 Edabiya), English Derby (2000 Sinndar), Irish Derby (2000 Sinndar), Grosser Dallmayr-Preis (2000 Greek Dance), Doncaster Cup (2000 Enzeli), Prix Niel (2000 Sinndar), Prix de l’Abbaye (2000 Namid), Prix de l’Opera (2000 Petrushka), Dubai Champion Stakes (2000 Kalanisi), Racing Post Trophy (2000 Dilshaan), Irish 2,000 Guineas (2001 Black Minnaloushe) Royal Ascot wins: (6) Coronation Stakes (1995 Ridgewood Pearl); Gold Cup (1999 Enzeli), Duke of Edinburgh Stakes (2000 Katiykha), Ascot Handicap Stakes (2000 Barba Papa), Cork & Orrery (2000 Superior Premium), St James’s Palace Stakes (2001 Black Minnaloushe) First Royal Ascot win: Coronation Stakes (June 21, 1995 Ridgewood Pearl)


It was not a question of Mick Kinane choosing the wrong horse when Johnny Murtagh followed up his Irish 2,000 Guineas successon Black Minnaloushe by taking the St James’s Palace. Kinane did not have the choice of riding him or Minardi, who finished eighth after appearing not to get the trip.

“After the Irish Guineas I thought the race was unfair to Minardi, who had had to take the field to catch Mozart (the front-runner for the stable), and that Minardi was still going on at the end,” said their trainer Aidan O’Brien.

“So I asked Mick to ride Minardi again here and he is a great team man. He always does what I ask him to do, but I have no doubt that if he had been given the choice he would have ridden Black Minnaloushe here.

“Minardi did not stay here and he has so much speed that I think there must be every chance that he will drop back to sprinting and next be seen in the July Cup.

“Black Minnaloushe is a very serious racehorse and I think he will now go up to a mile and a quarter for the Eclipse (July 7, Sandown Park which the trainer won with last year’s St James’s Palce scorer Giant’s Causeway), and maybe later in the year we will start talking about the Breeders’ Cup for him.”

That meeting is very much on the agenda for the Vodafone Derby winner Galileo, who took O’Brien’s breath away when he worked this morning for the first time since Epsom. He remains on course for the Irish Derby.

O’Brien added that everything had gone right for Black Minnaloushe as he and Murtagh had planned, until the closing stages. “It has all gone just as we had wanted and then when it all got a bit tight I said to myself ‘Johnny, where are you going to go?’ But then he got the split and won like a really good horse.”

Murtagh said that once he got the split between Olden Times and Noverre he knew he was going to get there, though he agreed that it was a very close call.


French 2,000 Guineas winner Noverre was touched off a neck by Black Minnaloushe, winner of the Irish equivalent, in a thrilling finish to the St James’s Palace Stakes.

Saeed bin Suroor, Noverre’s trainer, said: “There was a strong pace and he has run very well. It was similar sort of race to the one in France.

“There is no plan for him at the moment, we’ll see how he comes back from this and the Sussex Stakes would be one possibility.”

Bin Suroor is looking forward to running Fantastic Light in tomorrow’s Prince of Wales’s Stakes and said: “I think he has a much better chance and will love the fast ground.”

Olden Times, winner of the Group 1 Prix Jean Prat, was a further head back in third. Johnnie Lewis, racing manager to owner Prince Faisal, said: “He has run a marvellous race to be beaten a neck and a head by two classic winners.

“He has a Group 1 penalty and will stick to all-age races now. We will look at races like the Sussex Stakes, Prix Jacques Le Marois, Prix du Moulin and the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes.”

Olden Times will retire to Plantation Stud near Newmarket at the end of his racing days after the Howard de Walden family’s breeding operation recently purchased an interest in the colt.


Frankie Dettori was suspended for one day (June 28) after being found guilty of careless riding on Noverre, runner-up to Black Minnaloushe in the St. James’s Palace Stakes.

The stewards felt that Noverre had interfered with the unplaced Tamburlaine approaching the one-furlong marker and that Dettori was responsible.


“It’s not something I ever imagined would happen,” said trainer Mark Johnston after saddling Takamaka Bay and Akbar to finish first and second in a photo for the Duke Of Edinburgh Stakes.

“I knew all along that Takamaka Bay was improving but it was a question of whether he could cope with an 11lb rise. I was certain that he would get a mile and a half but didn’t know if he was experienced enough. I’ve always thought that he’s a class horse.”

The winner only got into the race after picking up a penalty for winning at Leicester on Sunday.

“I felt embarrassed pot-hunting for a classified stakes on Sunday but without a 4lb penalty he wouldn’t have got here. I genuinely don’t know where he will go now but the sky is the limit,” continued Johnston

“I thought it was a gamble coming up the inside but Darryll (Holland) is a master tactician. I told Darryll not to believe what he read in the papers about the horse being a front-runner and to let him find his feet.

“I feel sorry for Kevin (Darley), who chose Akbar, but that was the obvious one to pick. It’s always difficult for the owner who comes second, particularly as Akbar was the one we had aimed at this race all along. But I think Akbar has probably run the race of his life today.”

Geoff Wragg, trainer of third-placed Gallery God, said: “He’s run a very good race, he just tries and tries and tries.”


The going was changed to


after the fourth race. This is a result of the continuing good weather, but clerk of the course Nick Cheyne has decided against watering the course this evening. He will monitor the situation again tomorrow.


Mark Johnston landed his second double at the Royal meeting (131-1) when And Beyond followed up the success of Takamaka Bay in the previous race. This time Kevin Darley, just pipped on Akbar in that race, was in the right place as And Beyond got the better of When In Rome and Aquarius.

“The first time I had a double here was the same day that I had my first winner at the meeting, when Double Trigger won the Gold Cup and Diaghilev won the King George V in 1995,” Johnston recalled.

“This horse stays very well though the race was not run to suit him; it is not his style to be trapped there on the rails at a race run at a slow pace; Kevin did well to win from where he was,” said the trainer.

“I think he will be a Cup horse next year and the Gold Cup is the obvious dream for a horse who has just won the Queen’s Vase. We might look at the St Leger but I am sure he will have a fairly easy time now.”

Looking back to the start of the season Johnston related how And Beyond and Golden Wells went to Southwell one day to act as lead horses for Akbar, so that he could learn to handle the kickback before he went to race on the snow in Switzerland.

“I have to admit that neither he nor Golden Wells were at the top of my order at that stage of the season, but from the way they went then we realised that we had a couple of useful colts,” he said.


“He’s run blindingly well, but second is second,” said trainer Charles Cyzer after When In Rome, who he also bred, went down by a neck to And Beyond in the Queen’s Vase.

“It’s not entirely a surprise that he has run so well because even though he is a maiden I thought he was entitled to go well on his form. I think we should win a maiden with him now.”

Aquarius, who finished second to And Beyond at York last time out, filled third place this time round.

Johnnie Lewis, racing manager to owner Prince Faisal, said: “He was very unlucky because he kept getting stopped. But we were beaten by And Beyond again so maybe the form is spot on.”

Lewis added that the Prix Jacques Le Marois was the most-likely target for St James’s Palace Stakes third Olden Times.


Aidan O’Brien saddled his third winner of the Coventry Stakes when 20/1 shot Landseer, partnered by Jamie Spencer, held off Firebreak by a neck.

“He’s a lovely horse, who ran very green when just beaten first time out. He had to wait his turn before we could run him again, we had others to race, but he came through to win very easily (at Gowran Park on May 16).

“He’s a lovely galloping horse and it will be no problem to go up to seven furlongs this year.”

Rose Of Gibraltar, the mount of Mick Kinane, was seemingly the more fancied of O’Brien’s pair but the trainer said: “They are two very smart horses.”

The win landed a 188/1 double for O’Brien, following Black Minnaloushe’s St James’s Palace Stakes victory.


“I thought he had come to win the race but the other horse battled on just too well for him,” said Nick Robinson of Kennet Valley Thoroughbreds after their Firebreak had just been pipped by Landseer.

Then came news of the stewards’ inquiry into possible interference caused by the winner to two other horses (not Firebreak), which caused the Kennet Valley team to prick up their ears, but after a lengthy investigation they learned that the stewards were not going to change things.

David Loder made it abundantly clear that he felt third placed Meshaheer was unlucky.

“He should have won, there is no doubt about it, but that’s the way it goes sometimes. I just hope it doesn’t go like that too often,” said the trainer.


Jamie Spencer was suspended for a total of six days (June 28 through July 3) for three separate incidents before he won the closing Coventry Stakes on Landseer.

He was found guilty of two incidents of careless riding, once causing interference to fourth placed Redback and once to the unplaced Twilight Blues.

One offence, that involving Twilight Blues, qualified for a one-day ban and the other for two, making a total of three.

The stewards then looked at the jockey’s use of the whip on the winner and concluded that he had used excessive force on a two-year-old.
They imposed a further three-day ban, to run consecutively. Spencer will miss the weekend of the Irish Derby.


TOTAL ATTENDANCE 1999-45,977, 2000-50,609, 2001-46,924 (-7.3%)


Today’s on-course cash Tote turnover was £1,568,075, up 4% on last year’s figure of £1,513,165.

Tote spokesman Jeremy Scott said: “We are delighted with this tremendous figure and look forward to the rest of the week.”

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