Kayf Tara Survives Gold Cup Inquiry

Godolphin Racing's Kayf Tara (by Sadler's Wells) withstood an inquiry to win the Ascot Gold Cup Stakes (Eng-I) at Royal Ascot on Thursday. Ridden by Michael Kinane as the 11-8 favorite, Kayf Tara took the lead with less than an eighth of a mile remaining in the two-mile turf test. The stewards conducted a lengthy inquiry, but took no action, as a result of the winner swerving to the right and impeding eventual fourth-place finisher San Sebastian (Niniski). Far Cry (Pharly) was a head back in second, followed by Compton Ace (Pharly).

The Gold Cup, witnessed by a 'Ladies Day' crowd of 72,546 (up 3.1% over the 69,860 figure for 1999), marked the second day in which a Godolphin-owned runner trained by Saeed bin Suroor was victorious in group I company at Ascot. On Wednesday, Godolphin's Dubai Millennium impressed with an eight-length romp in the Prince of Wales's Stakes. It was also the second Ascot Gold Cup victory for Kayf Tara, the 1998 winner who finished third to Enzeli (Kahyasi) last year. On Thursday, Enzeli was eighth in the 11-horse field.

Bred in Great Britain by Meon Valley Stud, Kayf Tara has 10 wins, one second, and two thirds from 15 career starts. In his previous 2000 start, the 6-year-old horse won the Merewood Homes Yorkshire Cup (Eng-II).

In the Cork and Orrery Stakes (Eng-II), American jockeys John Velazquez and Jerry Bailey finished second and third, respectively, aboard Godolphin horses as 20-1 shot Superior Premium (by Forzando) posted the upset. The winner ridden by John Murtagh led inside the final furlong en route to a two-length triumph in the six furlong test. Velazquez' mount, 14-1 Sampower Star (Cyrano de Bergerac) was three-quarters of a length in front of Lend a Hand (Great Commotion), the 7-4 favorite under Bailey.

In other Ascot group races Thursday, Miletrian PLC's Miletrian (by Marju) was a 1 1/4-length winner in the Ribblesdale Stakes (Eng-II) under jockey Michael Roberts. Godolphin's Teggiano (Mujtahid) was the runner-up in the nine-horse field of 3-year-old fillies, giving American jockey John Velazquez his best finish during his Ascot stint. Interlude (Sadler's Wells), owned by The Queen, finished third. Kalypso Katie, who would have been favored, was scratched.

The Norfolk Stakes (Eng-III) was won by Superstar Leo (by College Chapel), owned by The Superstar Leo partnership that includes retired British jockey Lester Piggott, co-breeder of the filly. In defeating colts, the juvenile filly ran five furlongs on good to firm turf in 1:03.18. Bouncing Bowdler (Mujadil) was second, followed by Pan Jammer (Piccolo), with favored Keats (Hennessy) fourth. (More, Sporting Life)