GODOLPHIN’S Antiquarium broke the heart of north-east native Brian Ellison when swooping late to deny Seamour a famous success in the John Smith’s Northumberland Plate at Newcastle.
Born on Plate day 64 years ago, it has been Malton-based trainer’s dream to land the two-mile feature for as long as he has been involved in the game, and he will surely never come closer without doing so.
After finishing sixth last year after being handed a wide draw, Seamour had been trained specifically for the race this season and two furlongs out everything had gone to plan.
Ben Curtis arrived on the scene with a double handful and kicked into a three-length lead and the race looked over entering the final furlong.
Unfortunately for his connections, he began to tire and the Charlie Appleby-trained Antiquarium stayed on powerfully to win going away by a length-and-a-quarter.
The winner was partnered by James McDonald, Godolphin’s retained rider in Australia.
“I’m delighted, he was proven on the all-weather and I’d been pleased with him going into the race,” said Appleby.
“I was hoping the trip would actually bring out improvement and it appears it has.
“James gave him a great ride and filled him with confidence. He was over for Ascot and as there not much going on at home for him he stayed a bit longer.
“There’s a handicap at Goodwood which could be an option, but I’m a believer in the horses telling you when to run, he’s got no lofty entries. He might be a Cup horse later in the season, we’ll see.
“Not many have been coming from off the pace there so it’s nice he was able to.”
New Zealander McDonald said: “Maybe there’s a good one in mind in early November (Melbourne Cup). I’m sure he will, he showed a really good turn of foot which we like Down Under.”
Ellison said of the runner-up: “He probably went too early, but he had so much horse underneath him.
“He was going too well.
“It does show we have a really good horse on our hands.
“He’ll go for either the Ebor or the Lonsdale (at York in August). That’s where he’ll go next.
“We had him right on the day.”
Harzand is to be aimed at the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe after joining an elite band of horses to complete the English-Irish Derby double when taking the Dubai Duty Free-sponsored Classic at the Curragh from Idaho.
The champion is the fifth horse to win both the English and Irish Derbies for the Aga Khan after Shergar (1981), Shahrastani (1986), Kahyasi (1989) and Sinndar (2000).
Ridden by Pat Smullen, it was trainer Dermot Weld’s third win in the Irish Derby after previous triumphs for Zagreb in 1996 and Grey Swallow in 2004.
“He ran a magnificent race. He showed the speed that he has today,” said Weld. “Those two horses really picked up and quickened. Idaho is a high-class horse, he’s always been that and he was at his best today. It was a great day, a great ride – a special day. It was a proper horse race. He’ll have a good break now and we’ll train him for the Arc.”
Minding duly landed the odds to collect her third Group One triumph of the season in the Sea The Stars Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh.
The 1000 Guineas and Oaks heroine cut down long-time leader Bocca Baciata and surged clear in the final half-furlong for jockey Ryan Moore and trainer Aidan O’Brien.