Breton Rock picks up the pieces in style to spring 50-1 shock
It was easy to understand why David Simcock had a few tears in his eyes following a Qatar Lennox Stakes in which his good friend Breton Rock came from the clouds to win. Everyone else was rubbing eyes in disbelief.
Breton Rock is a very good horse, and has been for what seems like an awfully long time, but he was a 50-1 shot and for much of the £300,000 contest had only daylight behind him.
As the winning post was passed he had not only daylight in his wake but also all 12 rivals, thanks to a stunning surge that carried him from last to first.
"We hoped they would get in a muddle and that it would be a typical Goodwood race," said Simcock, whose wish partly came true, for although there was not much of a muddle going on, the manner in which the contest's complexion changed so dramatically and so quickly very much had the Goodwood hallmark to it.
"It's never a shock with him as he's previously won two Group 2s," added Simcock. "Did we expect him to win? No. Did we expect him to pick up a few pieces? Yes.
"Last year he won a Criterion and a Park Stakes and we've looked after him by never running him on ground with 'firm' in the description. He's given us such fun. He's a pleasure and never lets us down. He’s a wonderful horse to have around.
"His lad, Erkin, absolutely worships him and it's brilliant for [owner] John Cook. He was my very first owner and buys a yearling every year."
The yearling he bought for £20,000 in 2011 has served him particularly well. On this occasion he powered home on the outside of Home Of The Brave, Suedois and Limato, who had looked set to score when leading over a furlong out.
"It's a dream," said Cook. "He's financed my other horses –everything he's won I've reinvested. I backed him today at 66-1 as well!"
At 3-1 market leader, Limato was considerably shorter in the betting, but his fourth-place finish continued what has so far been a frustrating campaign for one of Flat racing's star names.
Trainer Henry Candy said: "The ground was slightly against him but more important, I think, was that he needs a longer gap between his races. I thought as a year older horse he might be okay but he really needs at least four weeks. He'll go for the Foret again now."
A trip to France might seem an obvious option for Breton Rock, whose rider was enjoying the middle leg of a sparkling sweep of Goodwood's opening-day Group races.
"When I pulled him out I thought I was going to win as he picked up so well," reported Atzeni.
"David said to me, 'Take your time and try to pick up the pieces.' I came back and said to him, 'David, we picked them all up!'"
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