For John Magnier, who had bought the horse for a Coolmore partnership before Hurricane Run won the Irish Derby, mission seemed to have been accomplished. A son of his freshman sire-sensation Montjeu would soon also be an energetic figure in the breeding sheds.
That realisation seemed to impact on Magnier, who wore a customary comfy brown trilby and belted blue gaberdine with a rather unusual grin on his face making its racecourse debut. Yet big John, it seems, might be losing it.
There was good news and bad news yesterday and it was the same news. It appears that racing's audience will be allowed another season of Hurricane Run, which will be of little comfort to connections of other horses performing at the highest, middle-distance level.
There is also the possibility that Hurricane Run will be out again this season. The bumps and scrapes of battle will be allowed to settle before André Fabre issues a bulletin on the colt. Thumbs up could mean an assault on the Breeders' Cup Turf at Belmont Park on 29 October.
"That's the only serious possibility, to go to New York, but we'll wait a week before making a decision," the trainer said yesterday. "He has taken the race well, but I want to see how he comes out of yesterday's race and see his next work before committing him to that."
Before Sunday, the general perception was that Hurricane Run had to have the key turned many times in his slot before he could get cranked up. But Longchamp proved there is minute-man speed there as well. "He's shown that kind of acceleration before, but it looked so spectacular because he was squeezed coming out of the gate and had to make up so much ground," Fabre added.
"He's still a teenager, and I'd expect further improvement from him. It's not that he'll get faster, but that he'll get stronger. And he's got the right temperament."
Less palatable for turfistes is the future of Motivator. We already know the Derby winner is off to stud, but it seems that Michael Bell's colt will never be seen on a racecourse again. Motivator does have options in the Champion Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday week or the Breeders' Cup Turf. The inclination though, as the leaves slipped off the plane trees in the paddock on Sunday, was that Motivator's life, competitively at least, was also drifting away.
"We don't know why he did not finish off the race," Harry Herbert, for the horse's owners, said yesterday, "if it was the distance, or the races he's had, or whatever. It's a mystery in that respect. I've not had a full report from Michael yet. We'll see how he is and what vibes he gives Michael and see whether we take up one of the two options or call it a day." Put your house on the last alternative.
Details also emerged about Sunday's placed horses. Runner-up Westerner, the Gold Cup winner, justified the decision to drop back in trip and may now stick at middle-distance races for a journey to the Hong Kong Vase in December. "Westerner ran as well as we had hoped," Alec Wildenstein, the owner, said. "It was not a gamble to go for the Arc. I never gamble."
Third-placed Bago may also be a consideration to join the gangs in New York, but it appears Shawanda will not be going anywhere quickly. The omnipotent filly of France was found to have sustained a pelvic injury following her slightly disappointing Arc sixth.
"It does not appear to be anything major, but it explains why she didn't carry on with her acceleration," Georges Rimaud, the Aga Khan's French racing manager, said.
"Christophe [Soumillon] reported that she slipped on the bend. She then moved across, allowing Motivator and Hurricane Run to come through. The vets are looking at her now and taking X-rays."
Nap: Wedaad (Catterick 2.50)
(Leicester 4.10)Reuse content