'From three-mile stayers to five furlongs at Royal Ascot, Gavin can train them'
Gavin Cromwell added the Stayers' Hurdle and Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle to his Cheltenham Festival tally in March and once again proved his skill and versatility as a trainer with a Royal Ascot winner at the first attempt courtesy of the well-named Quick Suzy in the Queen Mary Stakes.
Cromwell has the Champion Hurdle, Prix de Royallieu on Arc weekend, Welsh National at Chepstow and the Leopardstown Christmas Hurdle on his CV but proved training a juvenile sprinter is no hardship either as the talented filly sealed a length-and-a-quarter success.
Quick Suzy, a Curragh maiden winner on her second of three previous starts, travelled smoothly and headed the Wesley Ward-trained favourite Twilight Gleaming inside the final half-furlong for a ready win, with outsider Cheerupsleepyjean finishing well for third and another US raider Artos back in fourth.
Cromwell, who has six two-year-olds among 15 Flat horses in training, said: "It's absolutely unbelievable – it's such an occasion here so to have a winner is just fantastic.
"I was very confident she would run a big race, but we didn't know how she would lay up with the US or British-trained horses. She showed blistering pace at Naas the last day but didn't quite see out six furlongs on soft ground, so we thought this might suit her if she handled the quicker ground.
"The plan was she was to remain with me for Royal Ascot then head to America, but you wouldn't know – we might get to twist the Americans' arms and hold on to her, maybe go to the Breeders' Cup."
It was similarly a first Royal Ascot victory for jockey Gary Carroll, who heaped praise on Cromwell and revelled in the adrenaline rush of a winner back in front of a sizeable crowd.
Carroll said: "Fair play to Gavin Cromwell – from three-mile staying hurdlers to five furlongs at Ascot, he can do it on both ends of the Richter scale. He's invested a lot of money into his set-up and it's great to see it paying dividends.
"This really means a lot, especially today back with the crowds and with the atmosphere. It's been a long time since we've felt something like that and if I could have extended the walkway in I would have. It's a magical feeling to ride a winner here and what jockeys dream of.
"She's well named, that's for sure, she's very quick. She was very good and travelled so sweetly. I knew she would get to the line and probably outstay the American horse. She was very genuine and is a very good filly."
The journey was worth it!— GBRI (@GBRI_UK) June 16, 2021
Mariam Zerehi, an @EclipseTBP owner who travelled all the way to @Ascot to see QUICK SUZY run in the Gr.2 Queen Mary Stakes, is rewarded with a victory!
Huge congratulations to all connections and thank you for racing with us at #RoyalAscot2021! pic.twitter.com/MtAMBZ5jyw
The majority of owners involved in Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners watched the race from the US but Mariam Zerehi made the trip over from Los Angeles, self-isolated in a five-star hotel and witnessed a five-star performance on the track.
Zerehi said: "I don't know how many days ago I came over here and I had to self-isolate, although it's not really a punishment when you do it at Claridge's!
"This is just surreal to see our wonderful two-year-old win so convincingly on the world stage against other great juveniles. It's a thrill. I'm sorry our partners at Eclipse are not here to experience it, but when I get back to California we'll all be celebrating."
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