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Royal Ascot Day Three: All Yeats | Superfectablog v3.0

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June: Fairy Chant
b. 1937
Why: A champion at 3 and 4, Fairy Chant won the Beldame twice. She was in the money for 26 of her 42 races.

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Royal Ascot Day Three: All Yeats

Day three of Royal Ascot could only be about Yeats – but before we move on to his history-making fourth Gold Cup win, we’ll review some of the other races on the card.

There was no luck for Wesley Ward this time in the Norfolk StakesYogaroo slammed into the favorite Monsieur Chevalier (who was going for his fifth win in a row), basically taking him out of the race; music fans will be excited to see that Radiohead came home first (although he got caught up in the traffic trouble as well and really had to be taken up before shooting to the lead) and clearly wanted to go on even further. It was a thoroughly professional performance from the winner (especially for a 2-year-old), if not the rest of the field. Weirdly, the horse does remind me of Thom Yorke from certain angles.

The fillies were in action in the Ribblesdale Stakes; Flying Cloud finally won one for Team Godolphin and Frankie Dettori. She seemed much the best, and the race was happily devoid of the sort of drama the juvenile boys experienced.

Then of course, came the 2 1/2 mile Gold Cup; Yeats looked bright, lively and intelligent while waiting to load – he’s obviously a horse with a ton of personality. Once he made his move to the front, he was not going to be passed as he headed home to make history. As they walked to the winner’s circle, Yeats and Johnny Murtagh were embraced by various members of the Ballydoyle team. Yeats clearly enjoyed a victory trot for the crowd – ears pricked, neck arched, just oozing triumph. The class with which he turned away Patkai at the end was the sort of thing one rarely sees in racing. Poor Geordieland, who played Alydar to Yeats’ Affirmed in their two previous Gold Cups, finished a good 15 lengths back in third.

Yeats made a second bit of history with his win today – he’s the oldest horse to win in the modern era. It’s rare enough to see a horse running at his level at 7 (when he equalled Drum Taps’ ‘old age’ record last year – prior to those two, a 7-year-old had not won since 1929) – but 8 is even more impressive. There is some suggestion that he could be back to try again for an unprecedented fifth win next year, although you may recall that last year when we profiled him that there was talk of Yeats heading off to stud after his record-equalling victory – I imagine we should consider ourselves fortunate enough see him back at eight.

After the race, owner John Magnier said:

‘We’re lucky, for once, we didn’t put him off to stud when he was three or four – it’s really great the way it’s all worked out.’

Indeed.

When asked if we’ll see Yeats later this season, he replied:

‘Why would you stop with a horse that’s enjoying himself like that?’ ‘People enjoying seeing him, and he enjoys racing, and we enjoy going racing with him, so what would the point be in not going to somewhere like Goodwood?’

Of course, the stud career cannot be too far off at this point – he continued:

‘The genes are there…not everybody wants to use a Gold Cup winner, but you need stamina in the stud as well.’

Quite so. Perhaps now, more than ever?

I’ll be on the go the next several days and not likely able to check in on the rest of Royal Ascot, although I will be catching up and am especially looking forward to the return of the sprinters in the Golden Jubilee on Saturday.

Have a great weekend!

4 comments to Royal Ascot Day Three: All Yeats

  • Anonymous

    How Foolish of me. I take in lots of the UK talk-My Mate from the UK & I have a bit of a compition–

    I figured I'd be the Contrarian & be the Damned Yankee–I swung hard against Yeats—Um-The horse looks like it could run in NASCAR–

    Now I'm not a Damned Yankee–After today I am a Dumb Yankee.

  • malcer

    Not like Radiohead (the band) to take a winners’ stance, but nice for the horse.

    I thought of Yeats as a great horse when he was four, now it’s hard to find a comparison. I’m especially grateful that he’ll likely run again later this year. An unexpected, but most welcome, change of tunes from John Magnier. As for Geordieland: he’s indeed the Alydar or Sham of our time: a great racehorse that just happened to be born in the wrong year.

    Thanks for your Ry Ascot recaps, and a great weekend to you, too!

  • Anonymous

    What a race, Yeats is the best of the best. I had to back it, and glad I did but it wasnt just about betting this year in the Gold Cup, it was about WANTING Yeats to win for the sport and for the history books.

    Also Paco Boy was a great race. Gladatorus.. shhhhhh Paco Boy is THE ONE !

  • Anonymous

    Its amazing to say – I was there. And yes, I shed a little tear, but then I had backed Yeats across the board – and I'm not joking when I say he is a BULL of a horse – he looked terrific – shame we never get to see all these 3/4 year olds develop like this. He is what a PROPER racehorse shud look like imo

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