06/03/2010 11:00PM

Fame and Glory captures Coronation Cup


Fame and Glory covered himself in glory at Epsom on Friday with a tough-as-nails victory in the Group 1, $328,000 Coronation Cup, an hour before supplementary entry Snow Fairy landed the spoils in the $511,000 English Oaks.

Brilliant rides were the order of the day in both cases from Johnny Murtagh and Ryan Moore. In the 1 1/2-mile Coronation Cup, Murtagh realized the slow pace being set by Fame and Glory's Aidan O'Brien-trained stablemate Dixie Music was not to his advantage back in fourth place, and so moved his mount right up to his leader's heels after a half-mile. Fame and Glory assumed command at the half-mile pole and gallantly held off a determined late run from the filly Sariska. The winning margin was 1 1/2 lengths as the 5-6 Fame and Glory covered the 12 furlongs on ground labeled good, good to firm in places, in a quick 2:33.42, just 1.12 seconds off Lammtarra's 1995 course record.

The George Strawbridge runner High Heeled, who had finished third behind Sariska in last year's English Oaks, was third again, 1 1/4 lengths behind the runner-up, while perennial bridesmaid Youmzain, who was drifting left throughout the 3 1/2-furlong stretch, stayed on for fourth.

A 4-year-old son of Montjeu, Fame and Glory has emerged as the leading middle-distance horse in Europe this year after a 3-year-old campaign in which he was repeatedly stymied by the great Sea the Stars. He had won his previous two starts, the 1 1/4-mile, Group 3 Mooresbridge Stakes and the 1 5/16-mile, Group 1 Tattersalls Gold Cup, by a combined 11 lengths. O'Brien suggested a cut back to 1 1/4 miles for a quick return on June 16 in the Prince of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot might be in the offing. Sariska, meanwhile, will be aimed by trainer Michael Bell for the 1 1/2-mile King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot on July 24.

Snow Fairy and Ryan Moore were blocked behind a wall of horses at the quarter-pole in the English Oaks, but Moore waited patiently for the gap and when it came, Snow Fairy knifed through to lead at the eighth pole. The 9-1 Ed Dunlop-trained daughter of Intikhab pressed on gamely for a neck victory over the 25-1 Meeznah with Remember When, who led briefly before Snow Fairy made her winning move, third, two lengths farther back. The pacesetting Akdarena faded to sixth with the 7-2 favorite Aviate seventh. The time for the 1 1/2 miles was 2:35.77.

Dunlop, who trained Ouija Board to win the Oaks in 2004, saw Snow Fairy improve to win the listed Height of Fashion Stakes at Goodwood last time on May 19 at 1 1/4 miles. He wasn't sure that she could stay the mile and a half, but was very happily proved wrong.