First-time blinkers made all the difference for Olympic Glory, who cruised past supplemental entry Top Notch Tonto for a clear win in the £1 million QIPCO Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (Eng-I) Oct. 19 at Ascot.
Geared down near the finish line by Richard Hughes, the 3-year-old Choisir colt snapped a three-racing winless skid. Olympic Glory won comfortably by 3 1/4 lengths after spearing through rivals a furlong out to challenge Top Notch Tonto, who took up the running to lead a quarter-mile out.
Top Notch Tonto, a 14-1 outsider, held back Kingsbarns by three-quarters of a length to hang on to second. Classic winner and 2-1 favorite Dawn Approach finished another two lengths back in fourth in his career finale on less than ideal soft ground.
Trained by Richard Hannon for Qatari Sheikh Joaan Al Thani, Olympic Glory finished one mile in 1:44.18 at 11-2 odds, emphatically rebounding from a pair of runner-up finishes in France in his two previous outings. He finished five lengths behind Maxios in the Qatar Prix du Moulin de Longchamp (Fr-I) Sept. 15 after finishing a nose behind Moonlight Cloud in the Prix Haras du Fresnay-le-Buffard Jacques Le Marois (Fr-I).
Maxios made a mild rally three-eighths out in the QE II Stakes but had nothing extra and finished seventh in the 12-horse field.
Elusive Kate, who was third in the last year's edition of the race, closed ground from midfield but could get not closer than fifth.
Winner of last year's Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere-Grand Criterium (Fr-I), Olympic Glory won the Greenham Stakes in April at Newbury to start a short-lived classic campaign, but subsequently finished fourth in the Poule d'Essai des Pouliches (Fr-I, French Two Thousand Guineas). He followed up with the two runner-up finishes at Longchamp but he was much the best in the QE II at Ascot.
Hannon told England's Press Association that blinkers helped Olympic Glory focus.
"It's a big shout to put blinkers on a good horse like him but he lost his concentration in Paris last time," he said. "They went very fast today and that helped him; he traveled very well. He's always gone well on this ground."
Olympic Glory has six wins and three seconds from 10 career starts. Bred in Ireland by Denis McDonnell, he is out of the winning Alzao mare Acidanthera.
Sire Choisir, a 14-year-old by Danehill Dancer, is based in Ireland at Coolmore Stud.