Drama as Queen's Fabricate awarded opener in stewards' room
There was no need for Adam Kirby to fabricate anything in the stewards' inquiry that followed Glorious Goodwood's opening race. The evidence was there for all to see.
Interference in the final furlong of the 1m2f handicap resulted in the Oisin Murphy-ridden Dark Red being disqualified in favour of the Queen's Fabricate, who passed the post a head behind in second but was promoted to first following an inquiry in which television viewers were able to enjoy a taste of Ryan Moore's wry humour.
At 20-1 Fabricate was hardly expected to score for Big Orange's trainer, Michael Bell, while he was matched at 100 on Betfair in the closing stages.
However, even though it is rare for winners to be thrown out on Britain's racecourses, Dark Red, on whom just over £35,000 had been matched at 1.01, always looked vulnerable once the 'bing-bong' rang out around the racecourse.
Asked by stipendiary steward Colin Vickers if he had suffered interference, Kirby said: "I did, sir. I was coming with a winning run and the big grey horse Oisin was on has hung and given me quite a big bump. Then it's continuous pressure all the way to the line. It's cost me the race."
Murphy argued it was he who had been on the best horse in the race, but the stewards disagreed, to the delight of Bell, who had spoken with the sport's most famous owner before the race.
"I'm delighted, especially for the Queen, as this horse has been a real trial for us," said Bell.
"In the Old Newton Cup he hit the front a furlong out but then didn't get home. I discussed it with Her Majesty and [racing adviser] John Warren and I felt we should experiment. It was a punt and it has paid off."
'He's just not strong enough'
Murphy's attempts to persuade the stewards did not pay off. Not only did he receive an eight-day careless riding suspension, the jockey's words even triggered a cutting put-down from Moore.
"I believe I did everything in my power to keep the horse straight," Murphy said in the inquiry broadcast by ITV and Racing UK.
"He's just not strong enough to keep him straight," said a chuckling Moore.
Once out of camera shot, Murphy's face then may or may not have turned dark red.