Sunday 18 February 2018

Joy for O'Brien as far-fetched plan Found to be worthwhile

Ryan Moore salutes the crowd on Found
Ryan Moore salutes the crowd on Found

Neil Morrice

Aidan O'Brien saddled Found to spoil Golden Horn's swansong when denying him victory in the Breeders' Cup Turf at Keeneland last night, but there was disappointment in the Classic when Gleneagles failed to land a blow behind a magnificent performance from American Pharoah.

Pacemaker Shining Copper blazed a trail in the Turf but his race was run with half a mile still to travel, when Frankie Dettori made his move on Derby and Arc hero Golden Horn.

However, Ryan Moore was sitting in his slipstream on Found and despite Golden Horn battling hard once headed by the filly, the winner stuck to her guns and flashed past the post with a slender advantage.

Found had endured a luckless run behind Golden Horn in the Arc, having been second to John Gosden's colt in the Irish Champion Stakes and occupying the same position at Ascot on Champions Day.

"She's a very special filly," said O'Brien, "when you think she has run in two Champion Stakes and an Arc, and now this. To do it all in a month is remarkable. She was drawn badly in the Champion Stakes (at Ascot) and although she came out of it well, I thought the lads' decision to come here was a little bit far-fetched to be honest, but she didn't have any luck in any of her races.

"I take my hat off to them for running her."

American Pharoah produced a dazzling performance to lead his rivals a merry dance in the Classic. The first horse to win the Triple Crown since Affirmed in 1978, the Bob Baffert-trained three-year-old bounced back from a shock defeat in the Travers Stakes to confirm beyond any doubt his superstar credentials.

There might have been a brief moment when his rivals had a flicker of hope as they closed down the back, but it was just a flicker as he strode away in magnificent fashion when Victor Espinoza got lower in the saddle.

Sunday Indo Sport

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