Cigar beaten at 1-5 but still goes to Woodbine

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The Independent Online
Cigar, whose 16-race winning streak was snapped in the Pacific Classic at Del Mar in August, has tumbled to his second reverse in three races. He failed to peg back the champion three-year-old, Skip Away, in the Grade One Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park on Saturday night.

Cigar, the 1-5 favourite, made his usual move towards the leader on the home turn, but Skip Away refused to give way and held on by a head.

Jerry Bailey, Cigar's rider, said: "I met a horse I couldn't beat. I started in at the half-mile pole but from a furlong out I couldn't make up any ground. I tip my hat to the winner."

Despite the defeat, Cigar will still go for the Breeders' Cup Classic at Woodbine on 26 October. His trainer, Bill Mott, was gracious in defeat. "I don't feel badly about losing the race," he said. "I don't feel like he didn't run his race. I don't feel like Jerry did a bad job riding him or that I did a bad job training him."

n Shake The Yoke was second to Memories Of Silver in the Grade One Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland on Saturday.

n Sean Woods's Mistle Cat beat Mark Johnston's Gothenberg by two lengths in the Group One Premio Vittorio di Capua in Milan yesterday.