Art Connoisseur posts masterly show

Bell's sprinter captures Golden Jubilee Stakes by thwarting Cannonball's run

Though it is probably of little comfort to fans of the oval ball, one South African sporting star was vanquished yesterday. The Johannesburg-based J J The Jet Plane started favourite for the Golden Jubilee Stakes but could finish only fourth as, in the face of a thoroughly cosmopolitan challenge, Art Connoisseur finally garnered some respect for the home side in the elite sprint division. But it was a close-run thing; the three-year-old had only a neck to spare over the raider from the States, Cannonball.

Art Connoisseur, trained by Michael Bell in Newmarket, was returning to the scene of his previous best performance. Twelve months ago he became one of the early favourites for the 2,000 Guineas after scorching home in the Coventry Stakes and though his 20-1 triumph yesterday raised a few eyebrows, including those of his trainer, he has clearly found his true metier.

Compared with some of his globe-trotting rivals, Art Connoisseur is but a callow youth, for between his two victories here he has raced only thrice in a career punctuated by injury. After being brushed aside by no less than Mastercraftsman at the Curragh last year, he cracked a shinbone in the Gimcrack Stakes at Newbury. Then after finishing down the field in the Free Handicap – behind another of this week's winners, Ouqba – at his local track in April, he developed soreness in a foreleg.

"It was a bit of a surprise, I thought it was going to be a boy against men today," admitted Bell, "but he answered every call. And he was given a peach of a ride." Step forward, Tom Queally, even if the young Irishman's first Group One success came almost by default. But for a ban, Jamie Spencer would have ridden the colt and next in line would have been Hayley Turner, currently sidelined on medical grounds.

Queally, nearer the back than the front as J J The Jet Plane took the field along, started to make ground through the penultimate of the six furlongs and stayed on past outsider Lesson In Humility in the last 100 yards with enough in reserve to repel Cannonball. "There was a bit of scrimmaging for position early," said the 24-year-old, "so I just gave him time and when I got the split is was do or die up the rail. He'll do anything you ask him, but not much more as he is idle, but in fairness to him when I gave him a couple of cracks he knuckled right down and, thankfully, kept going."

Art Connoisseur's place in the field was a close-run thing. His latest physical problem was a fairly routine one for a racehorse – he developed the sore, bony swelling on a leg known as a splint – but its appearance was ill-timed. After two weeks of weightless exercise in a swimming pool, he had only three pieces of work under saddle. "I would have been more confident but for the splint," said Bell. "I ran him at Newmarket earlier in the year to see if he might stay the mile for the Guineas, but he showed then he was a sprinter pure and simple."

The trainer, to his delight, still part-owns the son of Lucky Story with London art dealer Richard Green, the names of all of whose horses reflect his business. "We turned down a lot of money for him after the Coventry," Bell added, "and although I was slightly regretting it over the winter, it now looks like the right decision."

Next stop for Art Connoisseur will be the July Cup at Newmarket, where he will clash again with J J The Jet Plane and possibly more pertinently with Australian flyer Scenic Blast, so impressive in Tuesday's King's Stand Stakes. International game still on.

Winners come in all shapes and sizes and, as Chaucer observed, handsome is as handsome does and here it was to win yesterday's supporting feature, the Hardwicke Stakes. Stocky little Bronze Cannon is no-one's idea of perfect equine beauty but short legs are no disadvantage if a brave heart is pumping above them.

It took the four-year-old, known as Mighty Mouse at home in John Gosden's yard, until the last three strides of the mile-and-a-half Group Two to catch and master favourite Campanologist.

"Never for one moment does this horse think of not trying to compete," said Gosden. "Yes, he is very small. But the way he lengthens and lays his body down is remarkable."

Equally remarkable must be gauged Caracciola, who made light of his 12 years and 55 previous outings to take the meeting's finale and the calendar's longest Flat race, the two and three-quarter mile Queen Alexandra Stakes. The versatile Nick Henderson-trained veteran has now won nine times on the Flat and six times over hurdles and fences.

Despite Richard Hughes' short-head victory on Big Audio in the opening Chesham Stakes, Johnny Murtagh hung on through his two-day suspension to retain his leading rider title. Both men scored three; Murtagh took it on second-place countback.

News
Patrick Stewart in the classiest ice bucket to date
peopleSir Patrick took a more understated approach to the challenge
News
The current recommendation from Britain's Chief Medical Officer, is that people refrain from drinking on at least two days a week
scienceTheory is that hangovers are caused by methanol poisoning
Arts and Entertainment
tvWe have created an infogaphic that looks back over the previous incarnations of the Doctor
Sport
Olivier Giroud celebrates after his late goal saved Arsenal a point at Goodison Park
football Giroud rescues a point for Arsenal after they trailed by two goals
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
News
newsComedian Lee Hurst started trend with first tweet using the hashtag
News
i100
News
Australian rapper Iggy Azalea was left red faced but, thankfully, unhurt after taking a few too many steps backwards, sending her tumbling off the stage.
people
Life and Style
A nearly completed RoboThespian robot inside the Engineered Arts workshop is tested in Penryn, England. The Cornish company, operating from an industrial unit near Falmouth, is the world's only maker of commercially available life sized humanoid robots
techSuper-intelligent robots could decide destroying the human race is the kindest thing to do
Life and Style
techConcept would see planes coated in layer of micro-sensors and able to sense wear and tear
News
scienceExcitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
News
newsRyan Crighton goes in search of the capo dei capi
Life and Style
Customers can get their caffeine fix on the move
food + drink
News
i100
Extras
indybest

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Software Developer (Java /C# Programmer)- London

£30000 - £45000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A global investment management fi...

Senior Network Engineer-(CCIE, CCNP, Cisco, London)

£65000 - £75000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Senior Network Engineer-(CCIE, CC...

Senior Network Analyst - (CCIE, Cisco, CISSP)

£70000 - £80000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Senior Network Analyst - (CCIE, C...

Senior Network Engineer-(Design, Implementation, CCIE)

£60000 - £80000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Senior Network Engineer-(Design, ...

Day In a Page

All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Robert Fisk: All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Chuck Hagel and Martin Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise
Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

So claims an EU report which points to the Italian Mob’s alleged grip on everything from public works to property
Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Once the poor relation, the awards show now has the top stars and boasts the best drama
What happens to African migrants once they land in Italy during the summer?

What happens to migrants once they land in Italy?

Memphis Barker follows their trail through southern Europe
French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

The ugly causeway is being dismantled, an elegant connection erected in its place. So everyone’s happy, right?
Frank Mugisha: Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked

Frank Mugisha: 'Coming out was a gradual process '

Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked
Radio 1 to hire 'YouTube-famous' vloggers to broadcast online

Radio 1’s new top ten

The ‘vloggers’ signed up to find twentysomething audience
David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

A blistering attack on US influence on British television has lifted the savvy head of Channel 4 out of the shadows
Florence Knight's perfect picnic: Make the most of summer's last Bank Holiday weekend

Florence Knight's perfect picnic

Polpetto's head chef shares her favourite recipes from Iced Earl Grey tea to baked peaches, mascarpone & brown sugar meringues...
Horst P Horst: The fashion photography genius who inspired Madonna comes to the V&A

Horst P Horst comes to the V&A

The London's museum has delved into its archives to stage a far-reaching retrospective celebrating the photographer's six decades of creativity
Mark Hix recipes: Try our chef's summery soups for a real seasonal refresher

Mark Hix's summery soups

Soup isn’t just about comforting broths and steaming hot bowls...
Tim Sherwood column: 'It started as a three-horse race but turned into the Grand National'

Tim Sherwood column

I would have taken the Crystal Palace job if I’d been offered it soon after my interview... but the whole process dragged on so I had to pull out
Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard admits he is still below the level of Ronaldo and Messi but, after a breakthrough season, is ready to thrill Chelsea’s fans
Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

The Everton and US goalkeeper was such a star at the World Cup that the President phoned to congratulate him... not that he knows what the fuss is all about
Match of the Day at 50: Show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition

Tom Peck on Match of the Day at 50

The show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition