Saturday, July 29, 2000
"UNDOUBTEDLY THE BEST HORSE I HAVE RIDDEN"
Michael Kinane is in no doubt that Montjeu is the best horse he has ridden.
MONTJEU (IRE) FACTFILE
4 ch c Sadler's Wells (USA) - Floripedes (FR) (Top Ville)
Form: 11/1211114-111 Owner: Michael Tabor and Tsega Ltd
Trainer: John Hammond FR Breeder: Sir James Goldsmith
Jockey: Michael Kinane
After some sensational performances, Montjeu was officially the star three-year-old of 1999 with a rating of 135 in the end-of-season International Classifications, 8lb clear of the rest of his generation. Bred by the late Sir James Goldsmith, the tycoon who led the Referendum Party in the 1997 General Election, and named after his chateau in Burgundy, Montjeu was unbeaten at two, winning a mile maiden at Chantilly on his debut on September 18, 1998, and exactly a month later taking a Listed event over nine furlongs at Longchamp. On the advice of bloodstock agent Demi O'Byrne, Michael Tabor bought a major share in Montjeu before his three-year-old campaign and it has proved a great investment. On the first start of his classic campaign, he beat the subsequent multiple Group 1 winner Sendawar by a length in the Group 2 Prix Greffulhe at Longchamp in April, he tasted defeat for the first time at the same course a month later when going down by a length to Gracioso in the Group 1 Prix Lupin, but made amends in some style when taking the Prix du Jockey-Club (French Derby) by four lengths from Nowhere To Exit. He was sent to the Curragh on June 27 to take the Irish Derby by five lengths from Daliapour, who had also been runner-up in the English Derby, and was then given a break. He returned in the Group 2 Prix Niel at Longchamp on September 12, scoring by a head from Bienamado, and then put up an outstanding performance to take the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe by half a length from Japanese raider El Condor Pasa, the pair six lengths clear of the field. His final start of 1999 came in the Japan Cup on November 28, where he could finish only fourth - albeit beaten just over two lengths. He returned this season in the Group 1 Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh on May 28 and, having been blocked in for most of the race, jockey Mick Kinane poked Montjeu's head through at the right moment for a cheeky win, and he had little trouble seeing off a sub-standard field for the Group 1 Prix de Saint-Cloud on July 2. His victory today was just as effortless.
Race Record: Starts: 12; 1st: 10; 2nd: 1; 3rd: 0; Win & Place Prize Money: £2,139,572
Michael Tabor and Tsega Ltd
Born in the East End of London on October 28, 1941, but now a resident of Monte Carlo with a reputed £20-million house in Barbados, and a $27-million yacht, Michael Tabor has enjoyed enormous success on the racecourse in recent years in both Europe and North America, and has invested millions at the major bloodstock sales. The financial foundation for this came from the sale of his Arthur Prince betting shop chain and an on-course bookmaking division for a reputed £28 million to Coral in September, 1995. Tabor now speculates in the currency markets and owns a major stake in the Victor Chandler bookmaking firm. His wealth was recently estimated at £400 million by the Sunday Times. The 1997 2,000 Guineas provided Tabor with his first British classic success when Entrepreneur held on from a fast-finishing Revoque and the remainder of a highly-successful season also saw him take the Irish equivalent and the Irish Derby with the Aidan O'Brien-trained Desert King. He first tasted classic success with Thunder Gulch in the 1995 Kentucky Derby and had further victories in 1998 with King Of Kings in the Sagitta 2,000 Guineas while Saffron Walden landed the Irish equivalent in 1999 but Montjeu is his best horse to date. Tabor was once again a significant force at all of the major sales last year. The majority of his horses are raced in partnership with Coolmore Stud principal John Magnier and his wife Sue. After Sir James Goldsmith's death in July 1997, Montjeu transferred into the ownership of Tsega Ltd. The company is owned by Goldsmith's friend Laure Boulay de la Meurthe, proprietor of French society magazine Point de Vue. Tsega retained a share in the colt after Tabor bought into Montjeu at the end of his juvenile days.
1st King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes winner
John Hammond FR
Born at Bromley in Kent on June 27, 1960, Hammond attended Rugby School then went to university at Trinity College in Dublin, but dropped out after completing half of his four-year economics course due to the lure of the turf. The trainer was eight when his father moved to Ireland, which enabled him to spend his school holidays riding out for Jim Dreaper from a young age. He gained further experience by working for seven months at Susan Piggott's bloodstock agency, spending three years as assistant to the then Newmarket-based trainer Patrick Haslam, seven months as a vet's assistant in California, and finally spent a year and a half assisting Andre Fabre in Chantilly. In 1987 he took out a licence himself in Chantilly and made an instant impact with two fillies, Bonshamile and Swept Away, each winning Group races. Partly on the advice of Fabre, Daniel Wildenstein sent him 50 horses the following year but the notoriously fickle owner removed the lot 12 months later. But Hammond bounced back and won the French Derby, Irish Champion Stakes and Arc with Suave Dancer in 1991, the same year that he had a first British Group 1 win with Polar Falcon in the Haydock Sprint Cup. He has had international successes with Dear Doctor in the 1992 Arlington Million and Red Bishop in the 1994 Hong Kong International Vase, but all of these must play second fiddle to the performances of Montjeu. 1st King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes winner
Born in Co Tipperary on June 22, 1959, Michael Kinane rode his first winner on March 19, 1975 at Leopardstown on Muscari and served his apprenticeship with Liam Browne. He was champion Irish apprentice in 1978 and has been Irish champion jockey 11 times, most recently last season with 92 successes. He was first jockey to Dermot Weld until the 1999 season and is now retained by Aidan O'Brien. Kinane partnered the O'Brien-trained King Of Kings to win the 1998 Sagitta 2,000 Guineas, his second consecutive win in the race, following Entrepreneur in 1997. Kinane won the Vodafone Derby in 1993 on Commander In Chief and also won the 1989 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe on Carroll House and the 1993 Melbourne Cup on Vintage Crop.He has a tremendous record in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes as well as having had 25 Royal Ascot successes.
King George Record (since 1980): 1990 BELMEZ (WON), 1994 KING'S THEATRE (WON), 1996 Classic Cliche (2nd), 1997 Pilsudski (2nd), 1998 Daylami (4th), 2000 MONTJEU (WON)
WINNING QUOTES RACE FOUR
KING GEORGE V1 AND QUEEN ELIZABETH DIAMOND STAKES
"That was great. This horse is every trainer's dream; he is very straightforward to train and and it is almost just a question of not making mistakes and trusting that nothing goes wrong.
MORE WINNING QUOTES RACE FOUR
KING GEORGE V1 AND QUEEN ELIZABETH DIAMOND STAKES
"For the first time in my life I don't feel cool," said owner Michael Tabor after Montjeu's devastating display. "I have just spoken to Mick (Kinane) and he said that I could have won on the horse, but I'm not too sure about that.
FOURTH RACE PLACED QUOTES
THE KING GEORGE VI AND QUEEN ELIZABETH DIAMOND STAKES
SHEIKH MOHAMMED HOPES FOR MONTJEU/DUBAI MILLENNIUM CLASH
After Fantastic Light carried the Godolphin colours into second place behind the outstanding Montjeu in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes, Sheikh Mohammed said that he hoped the winner would meet Dubai Millennium in the Breeders' Cup Classic in the autumn.
KING GEORGE VI AND QUEEN ELIZABETH DIAMOND STAKES
Montjeu's jockey Mick Kinane said: "I can't recall having seen a Group One winner win as easily as that; certainly I have not ridden one, though he did win very easily in Ireland first time out, although I had to wait a bit longer then than I did now.
FOURTH RACE RESULT
3.50pm THE KING GEORGE VI AND QUEEN ELIZABETH DIAMOND STAKES
Group One, Class A, 3.50pm, Total Prize Fund £750,000, one mile about four furlongs, three year olds and upwards. Weights: 3-y-o colts and geldings: 8st 9lb; fillies: 8st 6lb; 4-y-o and up colts and geldings: 9st 7lb; fillies: 9st 4lb. Penalty value: 1st: £435,000; 2nd: £165,000; 3rd: £82,500; 4th: £37,500; 5th: £18,750; 6th: £11,250
1 MONTJEU (IRE) (Michael Tabor) John Hammond FR 4-9-07 Michael Kinane (5) 1-3 F
2 FANTASTIC LIGHT (USA) (Godolphin) Saeed bin Suroor 4-9-07 John Reid (7) 12-1
3 DALIAPOUR (IRE) (H H Aga Khan) Sir Michael Stoute 4-9-07 Johnny Murtagh (3)
4 BEAT ALL (USA) (Saeed Suhail) Sir Michael Stoute 4-9-07 Kevin Darley (4)
5 AIR SHAKUR (JPN) (Lucky Field Co Ltd) Hideyuki Mori JPN 3-8-09 Yutaka Take (8)
6 RAYPOUR (IRE) (H H Aga Khan) John Oxx IRE 3-8-09 Jimmy Fortune (6)
7 SHIVA (JPN) (Niarchos Family) Henry Cecil 5-9-04 Richard Quinn (1)
7 ran Non-runner: No. 4 Fruits Of Love
Distances: 1.75, 3.5, 1, 2, 8, 14
Time: 2 minutes 29.98 seconds
Breeder: Sir James Goldsmith
Breeding: Sadler's Wells - Floripedes (Top Ville)
Totes: Win: £1.40 Places: £1.20; £3.10 Exacta: £7.50
Winning trainer:-Name: Hammond, John Based: Chantilly, France Number of Royal Ascot Wins: (1) King's Stand Stakes (2000 Nuclear Debate) Big Race Wins: King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes (2000 Montjeu); French Derby (1999 Montjeu); Irish Derby (1999 Montjeu); Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (1999 Montjeu); Tattersalls Gold Cup (2000 Montjeu); Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud (2000 Montjeu) Best Horse Trained: Montjeu
Winning jockey:-Name: Kinane, Michael Joseph.Born: County Tipperary, Ireland, 22/6/59.
Apprenticeship: With Liam Browne. First winner: Muscari (Leopardstown 19/3/75) Classic wins: (4) Vodafone Derby (1993 Commander In Chief); Sagitta 2000 Guineas (1990 Tirol, 1997 Entrepreneur, 1998 King Of Kings) Other major wins include: Melbourne Cup (1993 Vintage Crop), Irish Oaks (1989 Alydaress, 1996 Dance Design), Prix de l'Abbaye (1985 Committed), St James's Palace (1992 Brief Truce, 1994 Grand Lodge), Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (1989 Carroll House, 1999 Montjeu), Eclipse (1993 Opera House, 1997 Pilsudski), Irish St Leger (1993, 1994 Vintage Crop), King George VI and the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes (1990 Belmez, 1994 King's Theatre, 2000 Montjeu), Ascot Gold Cup (1996 Classic Cliche, 2000 Kayf Tara), Fillies' Mile (1996 Reams Of Verse); Cheveley Park Stakes (1995 Blue Duster); Dewhurst Stakes (1994 Grand Lodge); Coronation Stakes (1994 Kissing Cousin); July Cup (1999 Stravinsky); Nunthorpe (1999 Stravinsky); Derby Italiano (1992 In A Tiff, 1995 Luso); Hong Kong Invitational Bowl (1991 Additional Risk), Irish Champion Stakes (1997 Pilsudski), Dubai Champion Stakes (1997 Pilsudski), Racing Post Trophy (1997 Saratoga Springs), Japan Cup (1997 Pilsudski), Prix Morny (1998 Orpen, 1999 Fasliyev); Phoenix Stakes (1999 Fasliyev), Prix de la Salamandre (1999 Giant's Causeway), Grand Criterium (1997 Second Empire, 1999 Ciro), St James's Palace Stakes (2000 Giant's Causeway), Other details: Champion Irish apprentice 1978. Irish champion jockey ten times. Rode primarily for Dermot Weld until 1998, now stable jockey for Aidan O'Brien. Royal Ascot wins: (25) Major Royal Ascot wins: St James's Palace Stakes (1982 Dara Monarch, 1992 Brief Truce, 1994 Grand Lodge, 2000 Giant's Causeway), Gold Cup (1996 Classic Cliche, 2000 Kayf Tara)
MONTJEU SHORTEST-PRICED WINNER SINCE 1989
When Montjeu won this afternoon's King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes at 1-3 favourite, he became the shortest-priced winner since Nashwan won in 1989 at odds of 2-9
EMIRATES WORLD SERIES RACING CHAMPIONSHIP AFTER ROUND 2
Montjeu has drawn level with the Godolphin-owned Dubai Millennium leading on 12 points after two rounds.
RECORD DIAMOND DAY CROWD
1998- 32,611 1999- 33,489 2000 - 36,604 (+9.3%)
Douglas Erskine-Crum, Chief Executive of Ascot Racecourse, said: "The 50th running of the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes has proved truly memorable, with an awesome performance from Montjeu.
THE QUEEN MOTHER'S PROCESSION
Today's special Royal Procession at Ascot honoured the Queen Mother who celebrates her 100th birthday on Friday, August 4.
Kieren Fallon, the injured champion jockey who sustained serious nerve damage in his left shoulder in a Royal Ascot fall and had an operation, was interviewed by Clare Balding on BBC TV.
The going description was changed after the second race by Nick Cheyne, the Clerk of the Course, to GOOD TO FIRM.
DETTORI TO MAKE RETURN NEXT WEEK
Frankie Dettori said today that he will return to race riding on Thursday, Friday or Saturday next week.
PREVIEW OF TOMORROW'S HONG KONG JOCKEY CLUB SPRINT HANDICAP AT ASCOT
The Hong Kong Jockey Club Sprint Handicap, with £80,000 added, is the feature event of Sunday's card on the first Hong Kong Day at Ascot and trainer David ("Dandy") Nicholls, who is always to be feared in races like this and sent out Rudi's Pet to win the corresponding race last season, when it was run on the Friday and with a different sponsor, has three challengers this time.
The Tote Scoop6 was won today - there were two winners of the win pool, collecting £301,183.20 each.
For old articles (from 1st March 2000) go to the Newslink Archive