Art Connoisseur Upsets Golden Jubilee Rivals
by Mary Schweitzer
Date Posted: 6/20/2009 1:30:51 PM
Last Updated: 6/21/2009 11:52:33 AM

Art Connoisseur came from last to first to score a major upset in the Golden Jubilee Stakes (Eng-I) on closing day of Royal Ascot June 20.

The 3-year-old son of Lucky Story was sent off at odds of 20-1 for trainer Michael Bell, who also trains Sariska, winner of the Investec Oaks (Eng-I) earlier this month.

Ridden for the first time by Tom Queally, Art Connoisseur was held up in last as South African sprint star J J The Jet Plane went immediately to the front. He was followed closely by Lesson In Humility and Duff, as two of the main contenders, Sacred Kingdom and Lalysos, raced in mid-pack.

J J The Jet Plane began to fade after five furlongs, and was passed by Lesson In Humility, as both Art Connoisseur and Cannonball began to make their moves from far back. Queally sent Art Connoisseur through an opening along the stand-side rail and burst to the front just inside the final furlong.

Cannonball, an American homebred of Ken and Sarah Ramsey and trained by Wesley Ward, made a run at the leader but had to settle for second, just missing by a neck. Lesson In Humility, the only filly in the field of 14, held on well for third, 2 1/2-lengths further back.

Final time for the seven furlongs was 1:14.90 over the 'good to firm' course.

Art Connoisseur has improved his record to four wins from seven lifetime starts. The bay colt seems to do his best running at Royal Ascot, having captured the Coventry Stakes (Eng-II) there last year.

When interviewed after the race, trainer Bell said, “He worked very nicely but this is still a big surprise. I thought he was a boy against men, but he answered every call and Tom gave him a peach of a ride.

"I own a share with Richard Green and we turned down a lot of money for him after the Coventry. I was slightly regretting it over the winter, but it now looks like the right decision."

Art Connoisseur was bred in Ireland by D. McDonnell. He is the first foal out of the young Danehill mare, Withorwithoutyou, and hails from the female family of champion Balanchine and multiple group I winner, Saoirse Abu.
 



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