Yeats Best of Strong Field in Gold Cup

Irish stayer Yeats, trained by Aidan O'Brien and ridden by Kieren Fallon, won the Gold Cup (Eng-I) at Royal Ascot Thursday.

Leading early in the straight, the 5-year-old Yeats moved past his rivals and raced clear. The 7-to-1 shot finished four lengths ahead of French challenger Reefscape, with Distinction a head back in third. American-bred High Action (Theatrical-Secret Imperatrice, by Secretariat) was fourth.

Media Puzzle, the 2002 Melbourne Cup (Aust-I) winner, broke down on the line of the 3.2-kilometer (2-mile) race and was quickly dismounted by Pat Smullen. He was taken off the track in a horse ambulance after suffering a near foreleg injury.

"Media Puzzle ... is very lame," said track spokesman Paul Struthers.

"The race course vet stabilized it on the track and he has gone in the horse ambulance for treatment at the racecourse stables for further examination."

There was no further word on his condition or his future racing status.

Barolo led at the start, but High Action went to the front early and took a six-length lead. Fallon made his move on the home straight, taking several lengths out of the field.

It was trainer O'Brien's first Gold Cup and Fallon's second after winning with Mr. Dinos in 2003.

"I knew they hadn't gone that quick and I'd saved all my gas," said Fallon. "I knew he'd have a turn of foot as he showed that over a mile and a half (2.4 kilometers).

"He's a horse with a lot of class. You never know until they race over the distance if they are going to get it."

O'Brien conditions Yeats for Mrs. John Magnier and Mrs. David Nagle.

The 5-year-old son of Sadler's Wells out of the Top Ville mare Lyndonville was bred in Ireland by Barronstown Stud and Orpendale.
The Gold Cup was the first start of the year for Yeats, who earned his fifth win from nine career starts.

The five-day Royal Ascot meeting ends Saturday.