Sir Percy Pulls a Surprise in the Dewhurst

Sir Percy kept his undefeated record intact with a hard-fought neck victory over favored Horatio Nelson in the Darley Dewhurst Stakes (Eng-I) at Newmarket on Saturday. Opera Cape, runner-up in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere (Fr-I) to Horatio Nelson two weeks ago, was third.

Jockey Martin Dwyer kept Sir Percy near the back of the eight-horse field for most of the race. The duo waited to make their run until there were less than two furlongs left to go. Once Dwyer switched Sir Percy to the outside, the colt had clear sailing and accelerated powerfully. He was then able to hold off the onrushing Horatio Nelson.

Horatio Nelson only received the go-ahead to run shortly before the first race, when Aidan O'Brien scratched stablemate George Washington. The Danehill colt, who was coming off an impressive win in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere (Fr-I) two weeks ago, never appeared to be traveling well during the early stages of the race. Jockey Kieren Fallon and the Coolmore colt had a troublesome trip throughout most of the seven-furlong contest. Horatio Nelson finally was able to get into gear late in the race, and was rolling at the end, just missing at the wire.

Sir Percy, who was originally purchased by his owners with the thought of training him as a steeplechase prospect, will now be pointed toward the 2006 English 2000 Guineas (Eng-I) and the Vodafone Epsom Derby (Eng-I).