Racing: Hurricane blows Diamond field away

Despite only six runners Ascot's feature proves a classic as Fabre's star produces dramatic finish

If there was a notion that one of the smallest fields on record might have diminished the 56th King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes, it was firmly blown out of the water by the unfolding of events here yesterday. Massed ranks of horses are not a prerequisite to raise the hairs on the back of the neck; all it takes is three top-class ones, enough sub-plots to keep Shakespeare himself busy and a denouement that unfolded like high-speed chess.

The winner of the £425,850 prize, by half a length, was the French-trained 5-6 favourite Hurricane Run, with Electrocutionist, for Godolphin, second and Japanese raider Heart's Cry another half-length third. But the bare result cannot do any justice to the underlying drama in this crucible theatre.

In Hurricane Run's saddle was Christophe Soumillon, replacing the beleaguered Kieren Fallon for the André Fabre-trained colt's owners, the Coolmore axis. Soumillon, the brilliant, confident young Belgian was not only following a hard act but had his own monkey to deal with, having infamously failed to shine on board Ouija Board in the Eclipse Stakes on his last venture onto the Group One stage in this country.

Electrocutionist pulled out stiff yesterday morning in Newmarket after being cast in his box overnight and his participation was confirmed barely an hour before the off, with the caveat that he would be pulled out at the start should Frankie Dettori felt anything amiss. The terrible fate of Horatio Nelson in the Derby was still fresh in the memory but, as it was, the five-year-old's action to post was a fluid joy to watch.

The Godolphin pacemaker Cherry Mix still held the call on the final turn to the short run for home, but behind him the plot was thickening and a collective gasp of consternation arose from the audience, for the first of the five pursuers in trouble was, apparently, Hurricane Run.

Last year's Arc winner, closer to the pace than usual early on, started to drop back with Soumillon at work and with nowhere to go as first Dettori and then Christophe Lemaire on Heart's Cry legitimately held him in place on the rail.

Dettori caught his hare inside the two furlong-marker, but no sooner did Electrocutionist's white face show in front than Heart's Cry went past. The pair set to a duel to which the shades of Grundy and Bustino would have nodded approval, with Electrocutionist lugging left-handed off the far rail as he began to rally, and eyeball his rival.

And there, suddenly, into the gap, came Hurricane Run, answering from nowhere demands from Soumillon that were stringent and urgent enough to earn a six-day ban for whip misuse. And, all out, the four-year-old confirmed himself the middle-distance king again.

There was no time at the business end for Soumillon to give his familiar, cocky, number one index-finger salute before the line was safely passed, but it was there afterwards, and the horse deserved it.

The jockey's reactions were of delight, but also of relief for, as he found out at Sandown, the line is fine between getting it superbly right and horribly wrong.

"I didn't want to be the bad guy who messed up," he said, "but today I was the good guy. I had no choice but to be where I was; I let him jump from the stalls and he took me there. I did not want to upset his rhythm so I let him stride. I knew the others wanted to keep me in so I did not battle for that position either.

"When the horse was short of room and stopped I let him do what he wanted and just played cat and mouse and waited. Then the room came and I knew this horse has such good acceleration that he could get there."

The Godolphin team were magnanimous in defeat by, simply, a better horse. "No excuses, he gave me everything he had," said Dettori. "The Japanese horse went by me and mine showed great determination to get back up. But Hurricane Run had a dream run on the rail and came and beat us both."

And over all, in the winner's enclosure, hung the shadow of the spectre of the player who was not there. "My first thoughts were for Kieren Fallon," said Fabre, winning the great summer showpiece for the first time. "We owe him a lot, as it was he who found out the best way to ride this horse."

Although Fallon cannot ride in Britain after the High Court upheld the decision of racing's authorities to suspend him pending his trial on conspiracy to defraud charges, he is not banned elsewhere and is likely to be back in Hurricane Run's saddle for the tilt at the Longchamp double in October. Today he will be in action in Turkey, riding a horse called Bors in the President's Cup in Istanbul.

And his men are standing by him. "We will be helping him every step of the way," said Coolmore boss John Magnier. "It is up to the lawyers now, but it is far from over. The whole thing is like Alice In Wonderland." Whether a fantastic fairy-tale or a bad dream he did not specify.

BETS OF THE DAY

Best shortshot
Regal Velvet (Ascot 4.25) should find compensation from her narrow seasonal-debut defeat, when rather unlucky and ring-rusty against fitter rivals.

Best longshot
If Paradise (Ascot 2.40) has a poor win record, but if the forecast rain arrives he could go well at a price.

News
Netherlands' goalkeeper Tim Krul fails to make a save from Costa Rica's midfielder Celso Borges during a penalty shoot-out in the quarter-final between Netherlands and Costa Rica during the 2014 FIFA World Cup
newsGoalkeepers suffer from 'gambler’s fallacy' during shoot-outs
Arts and Entertainment
Sydney and Melbourne are locked in a row over giant milk crates
artCultural relations between Sydney and Melbourne soured by row over milk crate art instillation
News
A scene from the video shows students mock rioting
newsEnd-of-year leaver's YouTube film features playground gun massacre
News
Two giraffes pictured on Garsfontein Road, Centurion, South Africa.
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Environment
View from the Llanberis Track to the mountain lake Llyn
Du’r Arddu
environmentA large chunk of Mount Snowdon, in north Wales, is up for sale
Travel
travel
Voices
A family sit and enjoy a quiet train journey
voicesForcing us to overhear dull phone conversations should be regarded as an offensive act
News
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleBenidorm, actor was just 68
Arts and Entertainment
Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux play teeneage lovers in the French erotic drama 'Blue Is The Warmest Colour' - The survey found four times as many women admitting to same-sex experiences than 20 years ago
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
News
people
News
i100This Instagram photo does not prove Russian army is in Ukraine
News
Morrissey pictured in 2013
people
News
i100
Life and Style
The director of Wall-E Andrew Stanton with Angus MacLane's Lego model
gadgetsDesign made in Pixar animator’s spare time could get retail release
News
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
Environment
Tyred out: should fair weather cyclists have a separate slow lane?
environmentFormer Labour minister demands 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists
News
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Hydraulic Power Pack Design Engineer

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: I recruit for contract mechanical design...

SQL DBA/ C# Developer - T-SQL, C#.Net

£45000 - £55000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Working with an exciting ...

SCO Supervisor Electrical

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client based in the Midlands is looki...

Ecommerce Executive

£20000 - £24000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Ecommerce Executive Working with an...

Day In a Page

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices