Excelebration, who is set to retire to Coolmore for 2013, enjoyed a third G1 success at Ascot on Saturday when spreadeagling his rivals in the QIPCO-sponsored G1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes.
The four-year-old won last season’s G1 Prix du Moulin and this year’s G1 Prix Jacques le Marois and trainer Aidan O’Brien said: “He’s been working brilliantly and has an awful lot of speed and class. Joseph was very confident about him today. His work has been so good and he’s been getting heavier and stronger. After Royal Ascot [when he was second to Frankel] the lads did a great job with him at home. We rode him for stamina not speed that day and Joseph came back in and said let’s ride him differently. He did that today and the horse was really professional with it. The G1 Breeders’ Cup Mile was in the owners’ minds before this run and I suppose that’s still likely if it all goes well.”
Jockey Joseph O’Brien said: “He’s improving with racing and age and is an exceptional horse. The ground makes no difference to him. He has a lot of pace – he’d be brilliant over six or seven furlongs, but he gets a mile so well, even on this ground. Our lad is an exceptional horse, but I probably sacrificed him a couple of times against Frankel trying to get up at Frankel from four [furlongs] out. We now know our lad is more speed and we’ve learned that through the year. I nearly got nabbed for second here [at Royal Ascot] from trying to beat Frankel – Frankel is an exceptional horse.”