Fame And Glory took command with two furlongs left to run and rolled to an impressive three-length victory in the $407,388 Gold Cup (Eng-I) at Royal Ascot June 16. The 2 1/2-mile Gold Cup is the signature event of Royal Ascot, and it is the highlight of Ladies’ Day at the track.
The victory by the son of Montjeu brought the Gold Cup back home to the Ballydoyle yard, which had captured the Cup four straight years with the mighty Yeats from 2006-2009.
Trained by Aidan O’Brien, Fame And Glory was sent off as the 11-8 favorite. The 5-year-old horse entered the race off of two straight listed wins in Ireland. As a 4-year-old, Fame And Glory won four of six starts which included victories in the Tattersalls Gold Cup (Ire-I) and the Investec Coronation Cup (Eng-I).
Over the winter, Dr. and Mrs. Jim (Fitri) Hay bought into the team that owns Fame And Glory; the horse now runs for the partnership of Derrick Smith, Susan Magnier, Michael Tabor, and Fitri Hay.
Jockey Richard Hills sent confirmed front-runner Tastahil to the front immediately from the start, and the pair led the field of 15 runners past the grandstand for the first time. Jamie Spencer had Fame And Glory settled comfortably in midfield along the rail, content to wait as long as he could before making his move.
Tastahil continued to lead at the halfway point of the 20-furlong marathon. He was tracked by Duncan in second and Aaim To Prosper in third. Ten-year-old veteran Geordieland, who was making his first start in two years, suddenly rushed up to join the leaders, taking over from Tastahil and opening up a small lead.
Geordieland’s lead was brief, however, as he very quickly ran out of gas and began to fade, leaving Duncan as the leader, with Aaim To Prosper a close second. That pair continued to show the way as the horses entered the final bend before the home straight.
Spencer angled Fame And Glory off the rail and into the clear, driving the horse up to challenge for the lead. Duncan and Fame And Glory dueled briefly for a few strides until Fame And Glory powered past the gelding and headed for home.
By that point the race was pretty much settled. Fame And Glory strode clear through the final furlong to win easily. Opinion Poll closed well to finish second, with Brigantin another 4 1/2 lengths further back in third.
The final time for the 2 1/2 miles was 4:37.51 over a course listed as good to soft.
O’Brien, who was celebrating his second winner of the week, told reporters, “I just want to thank everyone for letting a horse with his class to run in the Gold Cup. We’ll give him a break now and then bring him back for a run or two towards the backend. We’ll probably give him a run and then go to the Arc. He’ll be back here next year.”
Fame And Glory was bred in England by Ptarmigan Bloodstock and Kirsten Rausing. He is out of the Italian group III-placed Shirley Heights mare Gryada.