Excelebration lands odds with exceptional display
Queen Elizabeth II Stakes Sponsored by Qipco (Group 1) 1m 3yo+
A BLISTERING performance from Excelebration put this race to bed in a matter of strides as Aidan O'Brien's 10-11 favourite landed his third Group 1 with a dominant display which saw him trounce Cityscape and Elusive Kate with ease.
The first three home from August's Jacques Le Marois were the first three home here, and the winner made it four wins from four races for Ireland at British Champions Day, making it a clean sweep for them as they have no runners in the final two races on the card.
Excelebration has raced against the unbeaten Frankel five times, finishing second on four of those starts. His easy victory paid a massive compliment to Sir Henry Cecil's star on the cusp of the Qipco Champions Stakes.
The winning trainer said: "We're delighted. His work's been brilliant and he's getting heavier all the time. He's a lot of speed and class and Joseph was very confident. The lads have done a great job with him at home."
It was a thrid QEII for O'Brien and another Group 1 for his son Joseph, who has had a fantastic season in the saddle. And the result was never in doubt. Joseph O'Brien was a bit short of room on the rail as they quickened up, but when he moved his mount off it it was clear he was going much the best.
The turn of foot he showed to quicken clear of Cityscape was pretty impressive, confirmed by what his rider said afterwards.
"He's a great horse and is improving with racing and age. He's exceptional and the ground makes no difference to him," he said.
The winner is undoubtedly a top-class miler. He finished second twice to Frankel when trained by Marco Botti last season and twice this term for his new handler. If it wasn't for Frankel, the son of Exceed And Excel would now be celebrating his sixth Group 1, having also won the Moulin last term and the Marois this, both in France.
And there could be more to come with O'Brien confirming a trip to California now on the cards. "Talking to the boys they had the Breeders' Cup Mile in mind before this, so if he's all right that's where he'll go."
The bookmakers have taken note. VCbet cut Excelebration into 3-1 from 7-2 for next month's BC Mile, while Boylesports go 7-4 from 100-30. If in this sort of form, he will take some stopping at Santa Anita.