Talismanic delivers first Breeders' Cup win for Barzalona
Mickael Barzalona, who famously stood up in the irons at Epsom to celebrate a Derby triumph in 2011, was doing it again at Del Mar after he landed the Turf on Talismanic.
On his first Breeders' Cup appearance the 26-year-old delivered Godolphin's second victory on the card when Talismanic got the better of Beach Patrol with Highland Reel back in third.
He secured a fifth Breeders' Cup win for Andre Fabre, the only European trainer to consistently observe a policy of never running his horses on lasix.
Talismanic's three wins at 1m4f had been at Listed level and he clinched a Group 2 victory over 1m6f in July over leading British Melbourne Cup challenger Marmelo.
At the highest level he had been found wanting but Fabre's record in a race he had won previously with the Sheikh Mohammed-owned In The Wings made the colt dangerous to overlook.
At a meeting that had already seen a succession of upsets all eyes were on whether Highland Reel, who made all the running to win a year ago, could match another Ballydoyle star High Chaparral in becoming a back-to-back winner of the 1m4f prize.
He could not lead this time as Oscar Performance got across from stall 14 to take the field along.
But settled on the rail just behind the pacesetter, Highland Reel was still a position from which he could mount a challenge once the race stepped up a gear from the turn.
Moore got a clear run on the five-year-old but Beach Patrol struck out first only for Barzalona on Talismanic to run down the Chad Brown challenger as Highland Reel flattened out to take third. Seventh Heaven was fifth, Cliffs Of Moher (eighth) and Decorated Knight (ninth).
Barzalona said: "I can’t believe it. I am thrilled to have
won my first Breeders’ Cup race. I expected the horse to run well, but I’m not sure I thought I would win.
"He's such an easy horse to ride. Andre is a master he gave me the chance to ride a good horse and I have to thank him."
Third place prize-money of £292,000 was enough to confirm Highland Reel Europe's biggest money-earner but it was not what connections had come to California for with their globe-trotter.
Ryan Moore said: "He seemed to be labouring today. He
didn’t have that usual oomph. They went quick and he rolled a bit down the straight."