Page 21

uk racing a disappointing fifth in the race 12 months before after his hard race at Epsom and once again his effort was below par, through no real fault of his. The Coronation Cup winner St Nicholas Abbey, entrusted to his trainer’s relatively inexperienced teenage son Joseph, came home straight and true in third place, but the first two had pinched first run on him off the slow pace. The race was supposed to establish some sort of definitive middle-distance hierarchy but it seems the Arc will, as usual, be the decider. It was a first King George victory for Gosden, 51 years after his father Towser won with Aggressor who, coincidentally, also beat a hotshot, Petite Etoile. The trainer’s playing of the long game with Nathaniel, a much later-maturing son of Galileo than Frankel, has been exemplary. He resisted the temptation to submit Lady Rothschild’s homebred, who did not break his maiden until April, to the switchback crucible of the Derby, despite the obvious promise of his second spot – to subsequent Derby runner-up and Irish Derby winner Treasure Beach – in a trial at Chester. Instead, Nathaniel continued his education at Royal Ascot, where he ran away with

packed grandstands, a grotesque parody of the splendid athlete he had been. Gosden’s balanced explanation, unmawkish yet compassionate, of the situation to the viewing and listening public did much to defuse what could have been a PR disaster on a showcase occasion. Nathaniel was the 23rd individual Group or Grade 1 winner worldwide for 2001 Derby, Irish Derby and King George winner Galileo, who now has had seven crops reach the track, and the eighth individual this year. Remarkably, six – Frankel, Roderic O’Connor, Misty For Me, Golden Lilac, Treasure Beach and Nathaniel – are contemporaries. Not even Galileo’s peerless sire Sadler’s Wells had six from the same crop win at the top level in the same season. Galileo is heading for his third sire’s title. But in Nathaniel’s case respect must also go to his dam Magnificient Style, whose nine runners (the first eight bred by the Sangster family) have each scored at least once and have won 30 races between them. The Silver Hawk mare’s now-celebrated son is the second of them to take a Group 1 contest, after Playful Act (by Sadler’s Wells), successful in the Fillies’ Mile at Ascot nine years ago (and later sold for $10.5 Above, Lady Rothschild enjoys the “Group 1 feeling” that her homebred colt has given her, and, below, jockey William Buick shares a moment with the horse, who now has the Arc firmly on the autumn agenda

Not even Galileo’s peerless sire Sadler’s Wells had six from the same crop win at the top level in the same season

the King Edward VII Stakes and he so blossomed physically and mentally after that experience that the decision to supplement the colt for the King George at a cost of £75,000 was made. The investment brought a dividend of more than £600,000, which should comfortably cover the cost of the Arc supplementary fee. Incidentally, Gosden’s conduct after Rewilding’s distressingly public demise, on a day sold to the non-racing public as one to represent all that is good about the sport, was exemplary, too. The stricken horse had crashed to the ground, but gallantly regained his feet and cantered on three legs past the

21

Profile for Thoroughbred Publishing

International Thoroughbred  

The horseracing and bloodstock magazine for the global audience

International Thoroughbred  

The horseracing and bloodstock magazine for the global audience