Quiet Reflection makes some noise in Commonwealth Cup
Edited Press Release
Trainer Karl Burke was delighted with the performance of Quiet Refection, who was given a very confident ride by jockey Dougie Costello when running out a one-length winner of the Commonwealth Cup (Eng-G1) at Royal Ascot Friday afternoon.
The 7-4 favorite – who is owned by the 10-man Ontoawinner syndicate, along with Hubert Strecker and Burke himself – was always traveling powerfully for her jockey and used her turn of foot to hit the front a furlong from home. There was a nervous moment as runner-up Kachy drifted across the track but it didn't affect any of the other runners as Quiet Reflection skated clear to land the six-furlong contest.
Burke was wreathed in smiles following the race.
"I am absolutely delighted," he said. "It is a big relief as well because you see all your contemporaries and lads you grew up with – Richard Fahey and Kevin Ryan among others – all having winners at the big meetings. You are itching to have one and we have had a few near misses, so it is great to get there.
“Quiet Reflection is a very good filly. It was not the plan to be stuck in the middle like that and I was praying we didn't get a rough race. When she comes through she has a great turn of foot and it has got her out of trouble again today.
“She's run some amazing races in her time. She won a couple of Group races last year but to come here and win this race at Royal Ascot – it'll take some beating.”
Simon Bridge, who runs the Ontoawinner syndicate alongside his business partner Niall O'Brien, could hardly contain his excitement immediately after the race.
"Bloody hell!" Bridge exclaimed. "Incredible! What can you say? Group 1 winner! This filly has been pretty impressive from day one to be fair. You think you've got something that might be OK sometimes! Karl said after she'd done a piece of work that she might be above average – I think she's just proved that she is today! I'm delighted.”
"I haven't slept for a week thinking it could happen," O'Brien stated. "You don't allow yourself to think you can. For an operation like ours – we've only been going five years – it's amazing.”
Winning the Commonwealth Cup on Quiet Reflection gave former Jump jockey Dougie Costello his first Group 1 victory less than 18 months after he switched codes. He carried his two-year-old daughter Aoife on to the presentation podium to receive his prize from Barry Humphries.
Wiping away a tear, Costello said, "Emotion took over a little bit! Karl has put me in this position and given me this opportunity. It's been a long road. This feels like the icing on top of the cake.
"I was very confident but the more I looked at the paper, the more I was finding excuses for other horses beating us. The rain got in; there was a bit of spring in your step after walking the course this morning but after watching the first two races it was definitely deader and I thought that would blunt her speed, and I just wanted to make sure that it wasn't going to be a tactically run race.
"She probably didn't pick up as well on the ground today but courage and class has pulled her through. She probably hasn't picked up to her full potential today, so for from hereon in it is going to be exciting with her. There might be a few more tears somewhere along the line!"
Asked how difficult it was to adapt from Jump racing to the Flat, Costello replied, "I've been quite lucky; I've been involved with a few dual-purpose yards over the years and I owe Mr. (John) Quinn a lot as well. I wouldn't be here without him."
Costello won the JCB Triumph Hurdle at the 2012 Cheltenham Festival aboard Countrywide Flame for Quinn.
Quiet Reflection has won six of her seven starts thus far. Burke went on to talk about possible future engagements for the Showcasing filly.
“She's in the July Cup (Eng-G1) but whether that would be the right thing to do, I'm not so sure. The ground would be dependent there as I wouldn't want to see her running on those sort of undulations on firm ground.
“She's been on the go a long time. She started her prep before Christmas so maybe the right thing to do would be to give her a break, come back to Haydock for the Sprint Cup (Eng-G1) and then back for Champions Day here."
The Tom Dascombe-trained Kachy was an unlucky length second in the race. Having led on the far side for most of the race and traveling kindly in the hands of Richard Kingscote, the son of Kyllachy hung left across the track to the stands' side rail, costing the colt vital momentum in the six-furlong contest.
The three-year-old stayed on strongly but was unable to peg back the winner.
"I don't know why the horse has hung,” Dascombe said. “We wanted to get a lead and Richard (Kingscote) just said there was nothing fast enough in the race.
"When we ran him in behind horses, he just ran like a spoilt child so we wanted to lead but not take him out of his rhythm. I think Richard did the right thing in taking him away from the other horses early doors.
"I don't know what to say really we might have to go back to five furlongs and put a pair of blinkers on him.
"Second in a Group 1 is still a second in a Group 1,” Dascombe added. “I'm absolutely thrilled for Karl Burke, he is one of my best mates so if I'm going to lose to anybody I'd rather lose to him."
Aidan O'Brien, trainer of the third home Washington DC, remarked, "He ran very well and I am very happy. He would prefer the ground faster but he ran a great race."
Quiet Reflection photo courtesy Ascot Racecourse via Twitter