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Saturday, July 29, 2000


Michael Kinane is in no doubt that Montjeu is the best horse he has ridden.

He said: "He is the best I have ever ridden - by a long shot. It was an awesome performance - he is just so special.

"Everything is in slow motion with him - he just does everything so effortlessly - he went even sooner than I wanted but he just wanted to point his toe and I said go on and enjoy yourself.

"There was loads of pace and he loved it. Any trip - a mile and a quarter and a mile and a half - he'll be equally effective.

"I didn't want to leave it all behind today - he just enjoyed himself. I didn't want to get trapped in on the rail because around here it can be tricky. The plan was always to be one off to give myself the option.

"I would have to thank Sir Alex (Ferguson) because he rang me up when I was a bit in the doldrums to say come on over here ( to Manchester United) and we will get you right. His physio team and the whole staff were fantastic. I hope they all piled on.

"Montjeu is undoubtedly the best horse I have ridden."


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

Michael Kinane
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)



"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.

"I am sure that he has improved from three to four. The family have all done so and although Suave Dancer (with whom Hammond won the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe) was a very good horse, the test of a really good horse is to keep on doing it in the way this horse has done.

"These big races are a big strain on the horses, but I agree with Mick (Kinane) that he has got faster as he has got older and he can quicken better than he did last year.

"All being well the plan is to run in the Irish Champion Stakes and then the Arc; as far as taking on Dubai Millennium is concerned if he is there he is, and if he isn't he isn't. Other horses have their running plans and we shall just see what happens.

"I would not be against running him in the Japan Cup even though he was beaten in it last year. As it was my idea to run there then I have to say that I would be in favour of going again, though it is a tricky journey, but I certainly would not be against it.

"I think the idea of the Emirates series is working out very well. Anything which gets people interested in racing, maybe they see these good horses on the television and then start to get more interested than they were, has to be encouraging. The series is still very young, but hopefully in a year or two's time, when maybe the Arc might be in it, we may plan things to run horses in it for its sake.

"At the moment I would not run a horse in one of the races just because it is in the series, but maybe if I had a horse that had won this race and the Arc, if that was in it, and then we looked as if we might have a chance of winning the series, then that might influence plans. I think that the whole series is an excellent idea.

"This horse has such a lot of speed that I have entered him for the Jacques le Marois. He won't run in it, but that shows the way in which we have been thinking about the horse."



"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.

"He has always been an exceptional horse and he is really special. I know the public would love to see a clash between him and Dubai Millennium though I don't know if that will happen and if it does, whether it will be over a mile and a quarter or a mile and a half.

"We shall just have to see if he runs against us in the Irish Champion or the Arc, which will be Montjeu's next two races.

"After that he might go for the Breeders' Cup or the Japan Cup - everything is possible and we shall just have to see, though there is no question that he will retire at tne end of the season. These things have to happen.

"I don't know where he will stand, but it might well be at Coolmore. I would certainly like to think so.

"I was delighted that he was able to run here so that the British racing public could see him; I had not realised until I read it that this was his first appearance in this country.

"There was never any question of him not running. The ground was never going to be a problem and this race has always been his target. I stepped in and backed him today."

Montjeu opened at 1-2 and was returned at 1-3 after some very heavy professional money.

"There was never any real question of him not staying in training for this season; all his family have got better with age and he is just fabulous."



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.

"I think the target with Dubai Millennium is the Breeders' Cup and we have to space his races before then. This gives me more confidence today as Beat All was only beaten (just over) six lengths and we beat him further (8 lengths in the Prince Of Wales's Stakes)," said Sheikh Mohammed.

"Dubai Millennium is likely to go to Deauville for the Prix Jacques le Marois and then come here for the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes. I'm spacing it out, because that gives him five weeks between races."

Asked if the clash between Dubai Millennium and Montjeu would take place, the Sheikh joked: "Why didn't he come to Ascot last month? Montjeu is most welcome to take us on in the Breeders' Cup and I will even pay his entry fee!"

Simon Crisford, Godolphin's racing manager, was delighted with Fantastic Light's run. "It was a really top effort from him, but the winner was mighty impressive," said Crisford.

Sir Michael Stoute saddled both the third and fourth - Daliapour and Beat All - and said: "Both ran gallant races and I couldn't be happier."



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.

"I saw Shergar win his Derby by ten lengths but then he was pushed out to do that and I think that this must have been as easy a Group 1 win as there has been in my time.

"He is very special and what is remarkable for him is that for a staying horse like he is he has a very impressive change of gear.

"I was just able to start sliding closer coming up the hill. I went past the Japanese horse, who was not going too well and really it was all so very easy.

"I am sure that he has improved a lot from three to four. As a three-year-old he was very tall and there was always the chance that when he grew to fill his frame and got stronger he would be better as a four-year-old.

"He did not always travel as well last year as he has done this season for that reason. This year he has got better and better and he really enjoyed himself today.

"I am sure that a mile and a quarter is not a problem, and if he did run in a race like the Sussex Stakes (over a mile) he would still be very hard to beat. He is an exceptional horse."


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)


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


Montjeu has drawn level with the Godolphin-owned Dubai Millennium leading on 12 points after two rounds.

Horse Points
Dubai Millennium 12
Montjeu 12
Behrens 6
Fantastic Light 6

Michael Kinane's win on Montjeu this afternoon at Ascot in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes helped him join Frankie Dettori at the head of the Jockeys' Championship after two rounds.

Jockey Points
Frankie Dettori 12
Michael Kinane 12
Jorge Chavez 6
John Reid 6



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.

"We are delighted to welcome a record Diamond Day crowd to Ascot of 36,604, up nearly 10% on last year's figure.

"Not only have our racegoers seen fantastic racing, but they have also given Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother a very warm welcome in her birthday week."


Today's special Royal Procession at Ascot honoured the Queen Mother who celebrates her 100th birthday on Friday, August 4.

It will took place after the first race and two horse-drawn carriages came up the course. They stopped in front of the stands and Lord Hartington, Her Majesty's Representative at Ascot, wished the Queen Mother a happy birthday and led a rousing hip-hip-hooray.

Both the National Anthem and Happy Birthday were played. The carriages then continued up the course and went around to the back of the stands

The Queen Mother and Queen was in the first carriage. General and Mrs Jeremy Phipps, Lady Angela Oswald and the Hon. Charles Morrison were in the second carriage.


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.

Fallon said: "It is all knitted together now nicely and I am going on Monday for rehabilitation - I don't know how long that will take - they will loosen up the muscle. The shoulder has been strapped up for a couple of weeks and feels fine.

"We'll be back in a month or two. I have got full movement in my hand. It is just that the muscle has tightened up because I haven't been moving it. When that loosens up, I don't think it will take long.

"The nerve ends were severed and they would have died without the operation. They would not have been able to be repaired then so I was lucky.

"I am pleased now that the pain has gone. The pain has been so bad - especially at night - you couldn't sleep. I want to be 100% before I ride."


The going description was changed after the second race by Nick Cheyne, the Clerk of the Course, to GOOD TO FIRM.

It was previously Good, Good to Firm in places on the round course and Good to Firm, Good in places on the straight course.


Frankie Dettori said today that he will return to race riding on Thursday, Friday or Saturday next week.

The jockey, injured in the plane crash in which pilot Patrick Mackey died at Newmarket on June 1, rode work earlier this week for the first time since the accident.

Speaking to Channel 4's Morning Line, Dettori said: "I've been riding out all week. I rode two bits of work this morning, one puller and one lazy horse, so I had the best of both worlds!
"I am hoping to start riding again towards the end of next week, Thursday, Friday or Saturday. Where or what I don't know."

Dettori came to Ascot today to witness a historic King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes, as well as co-presenting the international television coverage, alongside Chris Lincoln, of the Group One event which is the second leg of the Emirates World Series Racing Championship.

He reckoned that there could only be one winner. He said in the morning: "I think Montjeu cannot be beaten." and he was right.


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.

To judge by the riding arrangements the stable's pick of the trio appears to be Cryhavoc, who will be ridden by his trainer's son Adrian. The six-year-old, who will carry a 5lb penalty for his success at Epsom earlier in the month, will be running for the second time in three days as he was runner-up to the well-handicapped and gambled on Royal Artist on Friday.

Nicholls' two other contenders are Further Outlook, who will be ridden by Dane O'Neill, and Atlantic Viking, the mount of Matthew Henry. Further Outlook last ran at York in June when he was fifth to Henry Hall from a poor draw at York, and Atlantic Viking has been running like a horse on his way back to form and was a creditable fourth under a big weight to Sharp Hat at Ayr last time.

Northern stables are well represented in this race and none has travelled further than Shatin Venture, who has come down from Linda Perratt's stables in Ayr. The colt, who belongs to a partnership of Chinese restaurateurs from Glasgow, is dropping back to the minimum trip after perhaps finding seven furlongs too far when unplaced over that trip at Sandown last time.

Top weight Eastern Purple ran extremely well when fifth in the Group 2 King's Stand Stakes at the Royal meeting last month, when he started at 66/1.The merit of that race was boosted when runner-up Agnes World took the July Cup at Newmarket earlier in the month and, for all his weight, Eastern Purple could make a bold show, though maybe his draw of 15 is not ideal.

If a low draw is to prove an advantage, none has done better in that respect than Dorchester, who is in stall one. Though he has not shown much spark this season, his trainer Sir Mark Prescott should never be overlooked and he will be putting blinkers on the horse for the first time.

Henry Hall, whose trainer Nigel Tinkler runs Sugarfoot in the Tote International Handicap this afternoon, disappointed at Doncaster last time but before that had won at Newcastle and York. He has, though, gone up quite sharply in the weights since then.

Magic Rainbow and Central Coast were both behind Cryhavoc here yesterday, though Magic Rainbow ran respectably, as he had done from a bad draw at the last Ascot meeting.

Sunley Sense has been second in three of his last five starts, most recently against Ellen's Lad here earlier in the month when Magic Rainbow was behind him.

Kathology ran badly last time but though his trainer David Elsworth's horses have been under a bit of a cloud, he came back to form with winners last night, and Kathology showed good form earlier in the year when winning at Chester and Sandown.


The Tote Scoop6 was won today - there were two winners of the win pool, collecting £301,183.20 each.

They now are going for the bonus fund of £705,984.79 next Saturday.

The were 984 winners of the place fund, getting £257.90 each.

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