'You could not write the script' - Marwan Koukash records 500th win in Britain
"You couldn't write the script" were the words of Marwan Koukash after his favourite horse Gabrial secured a 500th success in Britain for the owner at Epsom on Monday.
Richard Fahey's stable stalwart ended a 32-race losing run, stretching back more than two years, to bring up his owner's landmark winner in the £15,000 Walter Nightingall Conditions Stakes.
Koukash, who won the Group 2 King George Stakes at Goodwood with Masamah and has landed four Chester Cups – including this year's running with Melbourne Cup hope Magic Circle, has been counting down to 500 winners in recent weeks and described the achievement as huge.
The thrilled owner said: "I'm absolutely delighted as it's a huge achievement for me. To own 500 winners is quite unique – it's been done by the big owners such as Godolphin and Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum – but not many have done it.
"I've been keeping tabs on it and thought we'd timed it perfectly when we were last at my favourite course Chester. We were on 498 winners, thinking we would have two winners on the card, but it came down to the last race in which I had three fancied runners. With 100 yards to go they were first, second and third, but it wasn't to be.
"The 500th winner did not come at my favourite racecourse, but at least it was with my favourite horse!"
Gabrial has won more than £820,000 in prize-money, earned yard favourite status at Fahey's Musley Bank stables, and is priceless to Koukash.
He said: "You couldn't write the script! Gabrial is still very enthusiastic and a special horse to me. He always will be.
"He's an absolute legend to still be going strong at the age of nine."
A first Chester Cup success and a 1-2-3, also at Koukash's favourite course, are among his highlights from the 500 winners.
Koukash said: "Winning the Chester Cup for the first time with Bulwark in 2008 remains a special memory, as does when we enjoyed a 1-2-3 in a maiden at Chester with Gabrial's Kaka, Gabrial The Thug and Gabrial's Wawa.
"They were running against some fancied horses that day and were among the outsiders, but they did me proud."
In addition to his 500 winners in Britain as an individual owner, Koukash has one success in partnership with Peter Legros – Terminate at Wolverhampton in 2008 – three wins in Ireland, and one in France, Our Jonathan in the 2009 Group 2 Criterium de Maisons-Laffitte.
You might also enjoy reading . . .
Members can read the latest exclusive interviews, news analysis and comment available from 6pm daily on racingpost.com