Twice Over Repeats in Champion Stakes

Twice Over completed a memorable afternoon for his connections when he rolled to an impressive 1 3/4-length victory in the Emirates Airline Champion Stakes (Eng-I) at Newmarket Oct. 16.

The 5-year-old horse, who won the race last year, also provided a group I double on the day for owner/breeder Khalid Abdullah, trainer Henry Cecil, and jockey Tom Queally, who had earlier teamed up to win the Dubai Dewhurst Stakes (Eng-I) with the undefeated Frankel.

At the start it was Debussy, the impressive winner of the Arlington Million (gr. IT), who went immediately to the lead under jockey William Buick. The pair opened up by a length as they led the field at a slow early pace.  

Twice Over sat just behind Debussy in second, while Poet' Voice, who was very rank under jockey Frankie Dettori, raced in third. Olivier Peslier had the favorite, Vision d'Etat, settled in midfield as they raced alongside Gitano Hernando.

With two furlongs remaining, Twice Over took command of the race and began to pull away, eventually drawing clear in the final furlong to win easily. Vision d’Etat made a belated challenge but was never a real threat and finished second, three-quarters of a length in front of Debussy.

Poet’s Voice, who entered the Champion off of a victory in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (Eng-I), was never a factor and finished ninth.

The final time for the 10 furlongs was 2:08.54 over the good turf course.

The victory earned Twice Over an automatic berth in the Emirates Airline Breeders’ Cup Turf (gr. IT), since the race is a part of the “Win and You’re In” series. But a trip to the Breeders’ Cup was immediately ruled out by trainer Henry Cecil, who intends to point Twice Over to the Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) instead.

“He’ll have a nice rest now and hopefully we’ll have a go at the Dubai World Cup again,” Cecil said. “It’s a race I’d like to win for the Prince.

Twice Over, who was named champion older horse in England last year, has improved his record to nine wins from 22 career starts, and has finished in the money 18 times. He now boasts three group I victories on his resume, having also captured the Coral-Eclipse Stakes (Eng-I) earlier this season.

Twice Over was bred in England by his owner, Khalid Abdullah’s Juddmonte Farm. He is by Observatory out of Double Crossed, by Caerleon. Double Crossed is a stakes winning half-sister to Clepsydra, the dam of stakes winners Passage Of Time, Father Time, and Timepiece.