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.


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.

Arts and Entertainment
Louis Theroux: By Reason of Insanity takes him behind the bars again
tvBy Reason of Insanity, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Cassetteboy's latest video is called Emperor's New Clothes rap
videoThe political parody genius duo strike again with new video
Stephen Hawking is reportedly taking steps to trademark his name
Seth Rollins cashes in his Money in the Bank contract to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
WWERollins win the WWE World Heavyweight title in one of the greatest WrestleMania's ever seen
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: IT Buyer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This award winning IT company are currently re...

Recruitment Genius: IT Account Manager

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Domestic Gas Breakdown Engineers

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Domestic Gas Breakdown Engineer...

Recruitment Genius: Domestic Gas Breakdown Engineers

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Domestic Gas Breakdown Engineer...

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor