/ Racing

Excelebration time for O'Briens

Updated: Tuesday, 30 Oct 2012 10:58

Joseph O'Brien rode Excelebration home to victory in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes
Joseph O'Brien rode Excelebration home to victory in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes

Excelebration finally enjoyed his moment of glory when romping away with the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot.

Beaten five times by Frankel, the Aidan O'Brien-trained four-year-old gained his first Group One success in Britain and third in all with a superb victory.

Although he had to wait for the gaps to come, when they did the 10-11 shot powered clear in the hands of Joseph O'Brien to win easily by three lengths from Cityscape, with Elusive Kate three and three-quarter lengths away in third.

Elusive Kate made the running from Side Glance with Excelebration tucked in behind runners.

Cityscape made his bid three furlongs out while Excelebration looked to be hemmed in on the rail.

However, O'Brien junior oozed confidence on his mount and once the gaps appeared Excelebration pulled away to win in style.

The Queen's colt Carlton House finished on the heels of the placed horses in fourth.

The winning trainer said: "We are delighted. He's been working brilliant. He's got an awful lot of speed and class, and Joseph was confident.

"The lads did a great job with him at home.

"We rode him different that day (behind Frankel in the Queen Anne). We probably learnt a lot and he's progressing.

"If he's OK and everybody is happy we'll go to the Breeders' Cup."

Excelebration is in his first season with O'Brien having formerly been trained in Newmarket by Marco Botti.

O'Brien added: "He was a good two-year-old and three-year-old and it has taken us a while to get to know him.

"He is getting quicker and heavier with every run. I had a fair idea what Joseph wanted to do and he had a lot of confidence in the horse.

"When we ran against Frankel in the Queen Anne we tried to match strides with him and that was the wrong thing to do. Speed is his forte and he probably did well to be second that day."

Asked about the possibility of Excelebration staying in training, O'Brien said: "The better he gets the more the boys want him (for stud), it's something we will have to discuss at the end of the year."

The winning jockey said: "He's improving with racing and he's an exceptional horse.

"The ground makes no difference to him and he has a lot of pace.

"He's a six- and seven-furlong horse with a lot of speed and he gets a mile no problem.

"He's run some very consistent races and I've probably sacrificed him a couple of times against Frankel, trying to race up against him four out.

"My horse has to be ridden for speed. We have learnt that throughout the year and I nearly got nabbed for second here earlier in the year trying to beat Frankel."

Roger Charlton said of Cityscape: "He has been such a good horse for a long time and been second in so many races.

"The winner was impressive and they have finished in the same order as they did at Deauville.

"Coming into this we thought it might be his last race but I will have to talk about options with Prince Khalid (Abdullah). If he had another run this year it would be in Japan not Hong Kong."

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