For most of the week leading up to Saturday's Racing Post Trophy (Eng-I), most of the focus had been on colts trained by Sir Michael Stoute and Aidan O'Brien. After all, these two champion trainers were in a serious battle for the training title in Britain, and this race was the last group I of the season.
Stoute had entered Best Alibi, a King's Best
colt coming off a maiden win two weeks ago. O'Brien entered his usual 'team' of runners, headed by Septimus, winner of the Juddmonte Beresford Stakes (Eng-II) earlier this month, Arabian Prince, and Dylan Thomas. The best finish any of the trainers' entrants could muster, however, was third, behind 20-1 outsider Palace Episode.
Palace Episode, a son of Machiavellian out of a Seattle Dancer mare, relished the heavy going at Doncaster, whereas both Septimus and Best Alibi struggled. Kevin Ryan trains the 2-year-old colt, who was coming off a lackluster fifth-place finish in last week's Darley Dewhurst Stakes (Eng-I). This was Ryan's second group I winner within a month. His colt, Amadeus Wolf, pulled another upset in the Shadwell Stud Middle Park Stakes (Eng-I) in September.
Jockey Neil Callan was content to keep Palace Episode just in behind the pacesetter, Winged Cupid. Palace Episode and Callan surged to the front over a furlong out and kept going easily to win by 1 ½ lengths. Winged Cupid stayed on well for second, with Septimus struggling to finish third. Best Alibi was fourth.NEWBURY RACE COURSE
At Newbury Race Course on Saturday, Aidan O'Brien unveiled another promising 2-year-old colt when Hurricane Cat won the Stan James Horris Hill Stakes (Eng-III). The son of Storm Cat
, out of the champion mare, Sky Beauty, broke his maiden October 15 by eight lengths. In Saturday's race, Hurricane Cat stormed from off the pace to win easily by ¾-length.
In winning today's group III event, the colt became his dam's first graded stakes winner. Like his fellow Coolmore stablemates, Hurricane Cat will be pointed toward next year's English 2000 Guineas (Eng-I).