10/18/2014 8:54AM

Gordon Lord Byron wins QIPCO Champions Sprint


Second or third in his last four starts, and previously a winner only once this year, the 7-year-old Gordon Lord Byron broke through with a powerful, brave victory in the Group 2 QIPCO British Champions Sprint on Saturday at Ascot in England.

Trapped behind horses for much of the six-furlong trip, Gordon Lord Byron and jockey Wayne Lordan found a sliver of an opening with a half-furlong left to race. Neither jockey nor horse hesitated, and once through the narrow opening, Gordon Lord Byron fled the scene, bursting home a clear winner over Tropics and Jack Dexter.

Trained by Ireland-based Tom Hogan, Gordon Lord Byron could only finish seventh on the 2013 QIPCO Champions card,  but that was in the one-mile Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, and one-mile races are on the far edge of Gordon Lord Byron’s distance preferences. The six furlongs of the Champions Sprint was just far enough, and Gordon Lord Byron always has handled soft going, though the soft-to-heavy conditions Saturday may well have been as extreme as he’s ever experienced.

A world traveler, Gordon Lord Byron, a gelding by Byron, won for the 11th time in 43 starts.

Forgotten Rules takes Long Distance Cup

Forgotten Rules was born to be a stayer, and trainer Dermot Weld knew it from the start. The 4-year-old Moyglare Stud homebred debuted this year in a two-mile race, and he ran his career mark to 3 for 3 Saturday at Ascot in the two-mile QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup.

Forgotten Rules, last in the early going, rallied steadily under Pat Smullen to win by 1 3/4 lengths over Biographer, with Pallasator third. He lugged in during the stretch run and caused significant trouble to horses inside him, but no stewards’ inquiry was conducted, and Forgotten Rules was home in his group stakes debut.

By Nayef, Forgotten Rules will have the Ascot Gold Cup as a major goal in 2015.