Ivory 'over the moon' as he finally gets big-race rub of the green
Sometimes nice guys do come first. Dean Ivory is a trainer who can ply his trade successfully at any level, but he has not always enjoyed the best of luck on the bigger stages.
In 2013, Tropics was favourite for the Stewards' Cup, but in a year where the first three home were drawn 26, 25 and 28, Tropics had to battle manfully on the wrong side in stall six, coming home in sixth.
He tried again in 2015 – a few weeks on from being beaten an agonising nose by Muhaarar in the July Cup – and once more performed creditably but could get only one place closer in fifth.
Even earlier this week it looked like being another galling Goodwood for Ivory when Librisa Breeze – himself a bad-luck story in a Group 1 earlier this summer when a hampered fourth in the Diamond Jubilee – became one of the course's countless hard-lines stories when left with nowhere to go in the Lennox.
"It's brilliant, I'm over the moon," Ivory said when asked what it was like to be on the right side of a big result.
Lancelot Du Lac, or Lance as he is affectionately known in the yard, has won decent prizes before, including the Listed Cleves Stakes at Lingfield, but the £155,625 he scooped for victory in the Stewards' Cup surpassed his win prize-money total for his previous ten successes.
"He's a really lovely horse," the trainer continued. "I'm not surprised he's won a big race, but must admit I didn't expect it today because of the ground.
"It really does mean a lot because I thought we were a bit unlucky two years ago. There was always a big race in this horse and it's nice to win this because of the prestige. It's not just a big handicap, at the end of the day it's the Stewards' Cup."
Not since August 2015 has anybody other than Robert Winston ridden the seven-year-old, the pair combining for 14 races in a row, but it was Frankie Dettori flying out of the saddle in the winner's enclosure, with Winston aboard stablemate Stake Acclaim, who finished down the field.
Yet there was no animosity from Winston, who said: "I was going to ride Tropics but we decided not to run him late on because of the ground. I had the choice to get on Lance but I spoke to Dean and decided not to switch Frankie off.
"Mr Yarrow [Michael, owner] is one of Dean's great supporters and I wanted him to have the chance to have Frankie on board."
As well as being magnanimous, Winston offered Dettori some prescient words of wisdom, and added: "I said to him he's very uncomplicated, and if the horse is on song he can win off his mark.
"There's no bitterness, I'm thrilled for them. It's all about the team and it's great for Dean to be able to pick up a nice prize."
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