Wrote ends sad chapter
Though it remained to be seen whether his big hopes later on the
card would prove oasis or mirage, Aidan O'Brien finally slaked his
Breeders' Cup thirst here last night. Wrote's decisive success in
the Juvenile Turf was only the Ballydoyle trainer's second at the
great American carnival since High Chaparral – sire of this same
colt – shared a dead heat for the 2003 Turf.
Whether through ill luck or judgement, O'Brien and his patrons at Coolmore had meanwhile endured a variety of disappointments at what they consider a priceless stage for potential stallions. Even the race they did win, a Marathon on the synthetic track at Santa Anita a couple of years ago, had seemed almost to tease them with its irrelevance in that regard. Moreover they had suffered another frustrating reverse on Friday's preliminary card, when Misty For Me broke awkwardly and had to circle the field before flying into third.
The relief was palpable, then, when the script developed so smoothly for Wrote. Breaking well, he was settled behind the leaders by Ryan Moore and angled out for a sustained challenge in the stretch, never threatened as he forged two lengths clear. Farraaj excelled in third for his rookie trainer, Roger Varian, but Casper Netscher did not get home after racing freely through the early stages.
It will by no means be the last time that Moore wins a big race for Ballydoyle, albeit O'Brien reiterated that their association has not yet been formally confirmed. "Everybody will have a meeting at the end of the year and then everything will be decided for next year," he said. "We were delighted with everybody that rode for us this year."
Wrote, who is 25-1 for the Investec Derby with Boylesports, had finished third to his stablemate, Daddy Long Legs, in the Royal Lodge Stakes at Newmarket. "He got a little unbalanced coming down a hill the first time," O'Brien said. "After that he had a bit of a temperature so he had to have a break, but he's been working very well."
Moore was celebrating his third Breeders' Cup success, having won the Turf twice on Conduit. "This horse gave me confidence with the way he moved through the race," he said. "It's nice to have a winner, I was unlucky yesterday because if Misty For Me hadn't slipped coming out of the stalls, she would have won."
O'Brien had spoken candidly in the build-up of his cumulative "hurt" here. "The lads put so much into this, year in, year out, and we feel very privileged to be part of the team," he said now. "But obviously when they put so much into it, we feel like we have to get results, which is the reality. It's great when it does happen, but it's very hard at championship races like this. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. All we can do is our best. But when it does work, it's a real thrill for everybody."
Wrote relieved a poor start to proceedings for the Europeans, who had been obliged to settle for a series of places on Friday. Runners from France, Ireland and Britain in the Marathon were respectively the last three to finish behind the shock winner, Afleet Again. Meeznah pottered home tailed off, eased with nearly a circuit still to go. Tom Queally told her trainer, David Lanigan, that she was never travelling after taking a bad step. "One of those days," Lanigan said. "I tried."
But the raiders had contrived huge credit in defeat the previous evening, perhaps none more so than Gerard Butler. The pioneering Newmarket trainer, who has established a small satellite barn over here, saddled Pachattack to take third in the Ladies' Classic itself.
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