Friday 13 December 2019

Twice Over to take on World

Frankel, ridden by Tom Queally, eases clear to win the Dubai Dewhurst stakes in fine style at Newmarket yesterday.
Frankel, ridden by Tom Queally, eases clear to win the Dubai Dewhurst stakes in fine style at Newmarket yesterday.

Tom Peacock

Twice Over will again be aimed at the Dubai World Cup after completing back-to-back victories in the Emirates Airline Champion Stakes at Newmarket yesterday.

Trained by Henry Cecil and ridden by Tom Queally, Twice Over completed a memorable afternoon for the Warren Place team after their earlier victory with Frankel in the Dewhurst.

Twice Over was sent off the 7/2 second-favourite and the result barely looked in doubt after he kicked for home, with Vision D'Etat back in second and long-time leader Debussy third.

Debussy set the early pace but William Buick took the field along at a sedate rate, which did not help Godolphin's Poet's Voice which refused to settle at all in second.

There were plenty of others racing keenly in behind too but Twice Over was always swinging along nicely for Queally, who made his move over a furlong out. Debussy tried his best to hang on but Twice Over had far too much ammunition and it was left to 3/1 favourite Vision D'Etat to chase him down.

However, the French raider had no reply to Cecil's charge which came home a length and three-quarters clear with a further three-quarters of a length back to Debussy.

Queally said: "Henry gets them here 100 per cent right and my job is easy. It's worked out today, it's been amazing.

"This horse has had a lot of near-misses and it's great he's come up trumps today. It's great for the horse and great for Henry. It's a magnificent day. It's a privilege to ride horses like this."

Cecil added "I was very pleased with him going into it and it's lovely when things go right. He'll have a nice rest now and hopefully we'll have a go at the Dubai World Cup again. It's a race I'd like to win for the Prince (Khalid Abdullah, owner). It's a lovely feeling. A few years ago on this day I was at Catterick It's so lovely for the Prince -- if it wasn't for him I probably wouldn't be here now.

"He's my favourite horse and will stay in training next year. He's got a lovely head and beautiful long ears. I wish I had a few more like him as he is a lovely person."

Eric Libaud, trainer of Vision D'Etat, thought the ground had gone against his charge.

"He had a good run throughout the race. He was just behind the winner, but when he quickened, Vision D'Etat could not. He cannot act so well on sticky ground," he said.

Debussy could now be Breeders' Cup-bound according to John Gosden. "He ran a good race but was plainly beaten by two better horses on both ratings and performance," Gosden said.

"We said after his last race that we would freshen him up for this with a view to going next to Churchill Downs. That is still the plan -- just ask someone to make it rain out there!"

Elsewhere, Gordon Elliott and Paul Carberry teamed up for a 66/1 double at Cheltenham through Chicago Grey and Russian War.

Chicago Grey (13/2) led two out in the three mile novice chase to beat the staying on 6/5 favourite Picture This by six lengths, while in the following 2m5f handicap hurdle the pair were on target again with Russian War.

The 8/1 chance just came out best by a head from Is It Me to complete a 66/1 plus double for Elliott and Carberry.

The in-form pair were just denied a treble on the day as Supercede only gave best close home to Aiteen Thirtythree in the opening 3m1f novice hurdle.

A return visit to the Open meeting now awaits Chicago Grey after a profitable two days for Elliott, whose Final Day scored superbly in the opener on Friday.

Elliott enthused afterwards: "That's two winners, a second and a winner in Ireland and that can't be bad.

"Paul gave him a great ride considering the horse's jumping was so novicey. He will all being well be back for a race at the next meeting."

There could have been no more fitting climax to the Handicap Chase as Dominic Elsworth, sidelined for 14 frustrating months after sustaining a head injury, made a winning return on his first ride back as Edgbriar (14/1) stormed home to win from Chaninbar.

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