Giant's Causeway Upset in Queen Elizabeth II

Giant's Causeway's string of consecutive group I wins was ended at five on Saturday when the 3-year-old son of Storm Cat finished second to Observatory in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (Eng-I) at Ascot. The win marks the first group I win for Observatory, who previously won the Jersey Stakes (Eng-III) and the Theo Fennel Lennox Stakes (Eng-III). Under Kevin Darley, the 14-1 shot completed the mile in 1:41 2/5 over good to soft ground.

Khaled Abdullah's 3-year-old Observatory (Distant View--Stellaria, by Roberto) rallied through the stretch, taking the lead with 100 yards to run to win by a 1/2 length over the 11-10 favorite. Best of the Bests was third, followed by Medicean, Golden Silca, Diktat, Indian Lodge, Crimplene, Almushtarak, Valentino, Lermontov, and Manhattan.

Prior to the Queen Elizabeth II, Observatory finished second to Medicean in the Celebration Mile (Eng-II) after winning the Theo Fennell Lennox and Jersey Stakes. The win improves Observatory's career record to five wins from eight starts. He was bred in Kentucky by Juddmonte Farms.

"I knew before the race there was only one way in which we could beat Giant's Causeway, unless we took a machine gun to him, and that was to come wide away from him up the straight," Gosden told Sporting Life.
"So I told Kevin (Darley) that, if he was in the right lane, to come wide so that Giant's Causeway could not see him and it all worked out." (Chart, Sporting Life)