The brilliant Fame And Glory (5h Montjeu-Gryada, by Shirley Heights) enjoyed his fifth G1 success at Royal Ascot on Thursday when winning the G1 Gold Cup in brilliant fashion.
The son of Montjeu, who was bred by Kirsten Rausing and Ptarmigan Bloodstock, has now won a G1 in each of the last four seasons after his three-length success in the historic race.
Trained by Aidan O’Brien and ridden by Jamie Spencer in the colours of Derrick Smith, Michael Tabor, Sue Magnier and Fitri Hay, Fame And Glory won by three lengths after swooping into the lead in Ascot’s finishing straight.
The winning trainer said: “That was a great ride by Jamie and it’s thanks to everybody who allowed a horse of this class to run in the Gold Cup. You’ll see very few mile-and-a-quarter Group 1 winners tackling the race. I’m delighted.
“When horses have so much class they often stay and he did – it’s a privilege to train him. Jamie had ridden him in two races [earlier this season] and he was confident he would stay.
“He’s a mature horse now, and he’s been running in Group 1 races at two, three and four – he was the ideal candidate for this race if he stayed the trip. I’m never confident, I’m always hopeful, but he stayed a mile and a half at top level and you just hoped he would stay this extreme distance.
“The plan after today was to give him a rest and train him for the Arc, but we’ll take one day at a time. We’ll give him a break now and then a race before the Arc, and then back for the Gold Cup next year.
Spencer said: “We didn’t go very fast early but they injected some pace after a mile and a half. My fellow was keen, but he’s used to going a different pace and he wanted the extra pace to feel comfortable. I’m privileged to ride him and I’m grateful to Dr and Mrs Hay for investing in the horse. It’s a great training performance by Aidan – people had their doubts as to whether he would stay but I never had any doubts.”
John Magnier added: “This race has a history and Derrick and Michael love their racing. The Hays bought into the horse during the winter. The horse had all the credentials in that he had the class, so the question was whether he would stay. If he got the trip, all the stars were aligned.
“If I said I wanted to retire him to stud now I know the others would say ‘let’s keep racing’. If the horse is well and healthy this is the place for him.
“He could run up a sequence in this race, and if Sea The Stars hadn’t run at Epsom this horse would be retired to stud as a Derby winner.”