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
people
News
A survey carried out by Sainsbury's Finance found 20% of new university students have never washed their own clothes, while 14% cannot even boil an egg
science...and the results are not as pointless as that sounds
News
politicsIs David Cameron trying to prove he's down with the kids?
News
Cumberbatch was speaking on US television when he made the comment (Getty)
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: One of the world's leading suppliers and manuf...

Tradewind Recruitment: Science Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: We require a teacher of Science in this com...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Manager

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider of waste ...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Representative

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To promote and sell the Company...

Day In a Page

Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea