Found downs Golden Horn to make Breeders' Cup Turf history
Found ranked as last year's French and Irish highweight juvenile filly deserved to get her head in front after a season characterized by near-misses, and a busy fall campaign. A slightly inconvenienced second to Pleascach in the Irish 1000 Guineas (G1), just mugged by Ervedya in the Coronation (G1) at Royal Ascot, a belated runner-up to Golden Horn in the Irish Champion (G1), a nightmare-trip ninth behind him in the Arc, and a gallant second in traffic in the October 17 Champion (G1) at Ascot, the daughter of Galileo seemed to have a big race with her name on it -- but when?
When the gate opened, Big Blue Kitten's rabbit Shining Copper did his job conscientiously and opened up a massive lead through splits of :24.56, :48.38, 1:12.64 and 1:39.07. The rail-drawn Golden Horn was scrubbed early by Frankie Dettori to secure a prominent position in the main body of the field. As Cage Fighter went forward into second, Dettori took care to angle Golden Horn around him and a couple of paths away from the fence. Meanwhile, Moore gradually improved his spot aboard Found and was tailing the heavy favorite down the backstretch.
Golden Horn, followed by the rest of the pack, engulfed Shining Copper entering the homestretch. But he wasn't moving with his usual aplomb, and his fans must have begun to worry that maybe the chewed-up ground was a problem. Although the champion took command and boxed on in good spirits, his tenuous margin kept his pursuers in with a chance.
Foremost among them was Found, who stayed on determinedly. Big Blue Kitten also arrived on the premises, and The Pizza Man and Slumber weren't far off, but none could quite kick on with the European stars. The three-year-olds slugged it out through the decisive final furlong, with Found getting up by a half-length. The 6-1 chance completed 1 1/2 miles in 2:32.06 and paid $14.80. Big Blue Kitten fared best of the Americans in third. Fellow Chad Brown trainee Slumber, who was just supplemented to the Breeders' Cup, checked in fourth. The Pizza Man wound up fifth.
Golden Horn will now begin his new stud career at Darley's Dalham Hall in Newmarket. The John Gosden trainee retires with just two narrow losses in his career, both to sophomore fillies on rain-affected courses. His first reverse came at the hands of 50-1 Arabian Queen in the Juddmonte International (G1) at York.
But if plans hold, we should be seeing more of Found. The Coolmore colorbearer is expected to remain in training, and should add more to her trophy haul in 2016.
Out of multiple Group 1 winner Red Evie, the Irish-bred bay has compiled a mark of 11-4-5-1, $2,867,418. The winner of the Prix Marcel Boussac (G1) and third in the Moyglare Stud (G1) at two, Found had tasted victory once this campaign in the Royal Whip (G3) at the Curragh. But her Group 1 form spoke for itself, and she now sports a more memorable laurel.
Photo courtesy of Wendy Wooley/EquiSport Photos.