Choisir's Rivals Gasping in Golden Jubilee
Updated: Monday, June 23, 2003 9:03 AM
Posted: Saturday, June 21, 2003 3:24 PM
Choisir, far right, pulls stunning upset in Golden Jubilee to score second win in five days.
Australian-bred Choisir won his second race in five days at Royal Ascot, beating Airwave by a half length Saturday in the $418,000 Golden Jubilee Stakes (Eng-I).
Choisir, a 13-2 shot ridden by Johnny Murtagh, held off the favored Airwave, who dug in late in the six-furlong sprint. Airwave, at 11-8, was second, and 50-1 shot Baron's Pit was third.
``This is just fantastic, the thrill of a lifetime,'' said Paul Perry, Choisir's trainer.
Choisir became the first Australian horse to win at Royal Ascot when he captured the King's Stead Stakes on Tuesday.
Airwave won the Temple Stakes last month.
``She was just beaten by a better horse, and she's done nothing wrong,'' trainer Henry Candy said.
The winner overcame an outside draw in the field of 17 that started. Twenty-three were orignally entered and Choisir was assigned the 20th stall.
"Tuesday was unbelievable, but this is something special," Perry told the Racing Post. "It was stunning. He sort of drew the bad alley and worked across, that was Johnny's plan.
"As a boy growing up anyone in racing knows Royal Ascot and what a prestigious meeting it is, one of the best in the world. This is a great thrill."
It was the first time in Ascot history a horse won both of the storied course's leading sprint events. Four days ago, the Newcastle, New South Wales 4-year-old won the Kings Stand Stakes.
Saturday, he led nearly all the way, using enough of his unrivaled speed to clear the field and reach the rail, then had enough left to withstand Airwave at the end. In the process Choisir lowered the 11-year-old course record to 1:12.23.
"That's probably it for him until Hong Kong or we could have one more go at the July Cup," Perry said.
Murtagh said, "From the 20 stall I knew that I had to jump out and let him drift, but he has so much speed and I was sure a furlong and a half out that nothing would catch us – not even Airwave."
Airwave was a length better than Baron's Pit. Zipping was fourth.
American entry Morluc finished last and returned lame.
"That was very disappointing," said jockey Gary Stevens. "He loved the ground and broke well, but the first dip he came to he just couldn't handle and rather put the brakes on going down into it. He wants a dead flat track."
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