Both the day's Group races went to horses owned by the Malaysian sultan, Ahmad Shah, the names of each bearing geographical reference of his homeland: Tioman Island won the Goodwood Cup and Sri Pekan captured the Richmond Stakes.
Tioman Island may give his owner the opportunity of a relatively short hop to watch him in action in November, as he is a consideration for the Melbourne Cup. 'That's a handicap, so we'll have to see what weight he gets,' said trainer Paul Cole, like winning jockey Richard Quinn, also a component in Sri Pekan's success. 'Vintage Crop was very well in last year when he won. He was a Group One performer running off a Listed race weight, so let's see what we get.'
Quinn reported that he was swinging along gently for much of the way on Tioman Island, but was left in front far too early for his liking when the front-runners punctured. 'I was hoping to have a longer lead,' he said.
Sri Pekan took his winning sequence to four in becoming the 10th horse to secure the noteworthy double of yesterday's juvenile race and the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot (Dilum had done the same for Cole in 1991).
The trainer now considers the colt to be Classic material, and Ladbrokes and Coral assessed his chances at 25-1 for the first colts' Classic next year. 'The 2,000 Guineas is a realistic target for him now,' Cole said. 'You've got to take him more seriously now, and I'll probably rest him before coming back for the Dewhurst (Stakes, at Newmarket).'
The Whatcombe man added that Sri Pekan had suffered from sore shins before Royal Ascot and was an example of how the simple act of keeping a horse in race readiness was a major part of a trainer's art. 'The public don't realise that a trainer's job is to keep a horse sound,' he said. 'A sound horse will race enthusiastically but a sore one won't, and you've got to keep them in one piece which is very, very hard. Fifty per cent of our job is keeping them in one piece so they can keep racing.'
This sentiment would have been seconded by Alex Scott, who saddled the former invalid Fraam to success in the Golden Mile. 'He has given everybody at home a lot of heartache, he keeps cracking bones,' he said. 'He had two screws in a hind pastern earlier this year and then went lame on his near fore as soon as we started back cantering. To win a top handicap like this is some effort by everyone.'
Tony Clark, the rider of Kayvee, was suspended for three days in this race for careless riding which saw him interfere with two other runners. Walter Swinburn, Fraam's rider, escaped the melee, but still came home with the evidence of a competitive race. There were weals on his hands from the whip of a fellow jockey, sustained in a bunch finish.
These were trivial injuries, however, compared with Swinburn's problems on Saturday, when he was discarded by Ezzoud in the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot.
Nevertheless, the jockey was back to add yet another big prize to his collection yesterday and his rapid reversal in fortunes will be of some encouragement to Lester Piggott, as he recuperates from his fall yesterday.
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