09/28/2001 11:00PM

A 33-1 rabbit upsets Noverre


ASCOT, England - Pace may make the race, but pacemakers rarely make off with Group 1 races. Yet that was exactly the case at Ascot Saturday when Summoner, started by Godolphin to serve as a rabbit for Noverre, stole the $477,000 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes.

Even the Godolphin brain trust, trainer Saeed bin Suroor and racing manager Simon Crisford, were scratching their heads in disbelief as Richard Hills brought the 33-1 Summoner home 1 1/2 lengths in front of Noverre, the 2-1 favorite, getting the mile on soft ground in 1:44.54.

Hills had Summoner in front by as many as eight lengths at one point and was still six in front at the quarter pole. A furlong out it was clear that the rest were in trouble even as Summoner tightened up, but he and Hills somehow found enough to last. Hawkeye came home third with French invader Vahorimix fifth and the German challenger Proudwings a disappointing seventh of eighth.

"They let him get away on the lead, and if you let that happen you are in danger of losing," Crisford said. "Summoner is a good horse in his own right. Obviously, we wish it had turned out the other way around, but we're still very happy with the result."

Crisford also said that Noverre was still on course for the Breeders' Cup Mile but that Summoner would soon be sent to Dubai for a winter's rest.

On the seventh anniversary of the day on which Frankie Dettori swept the seven-race card here at Ascot, Jamie Spencer started off as if he might duplicate that feat.

Spencer began the day by riding Mutinyonthebounty to a

1 1/2-length victory over Tholjanah in the one-mile Group 2 Royal Lodge Stakes for juvenile colts. Trained by Aidan O'Brien and running in the colors of Michael Tabor, the 16-1 Mutinyonthebounty was sent through on the rail by Spencer to lead at the eighth pole while getting the mile in 1:45.86.

The 21-year-old Spencer gave further notice that he is the fastest rising star among European jockeys when he guided the 4-5 choice Gossamer to a 2 1/2-length triumph over Maryinsky in the Group 1 Fillies Mile.

Briefly boxed in entering the stretch, Spencer maneuvered Gossamer to the outside and she responded with a turn of foot all the more remarkable given the state of the ground. Her time for the mile was 1:46.60.

In adding to victories in a maiden and the Group 3 Prestige Stakes, Gossamer was giving her trainer Luca Cumani and her breeder/owner Gerald Leigh a most satisfying victory. Leigh, who also bred and owned Barathea, was diagnosed with cancer last year. He is donating all the money his horses earn this season to a cancer charity.

O'Brien maps Cup plans

Trainer Aidan O'Brien has revealed the next step in his ambitious Breeders' Cup campaign.

"We'll be taking eight or nine horses to the all-weather trak at Southwell [in England] on Wednesday, including Galileo, Mozart and Black Minnaloushe," he said.

"Galileo is very well, and we'll see how he adapts to an artificial surface," he said. "He wasn't very happy for the few days after he was beaten in Ireland [by Fantastic Light in the Irish Champion Stakes], but he is in great form now."

In other Breeders' Cup news, the Andrew Lloyd-Webber-owned Crystal Music, three times classic placed, will run in the 1 1/4-mile Group 1 Prix de l'Opera at Longchamp on Oct. 7 as a prep for the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf.