Updated on 09/15/2011 12:53PM

Mozart takes Nunthorpe


Despite his saddle slipping as the gate opened, Mozart sped to a two-length victory in the five-furlong, Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes at York Thursday and is now Breeders' Cup bound.

Jockey Michael Kinane thought that he might not reach the finish line when his saddle went backward as Mozart, upon whom the hopes of some very large wagers were riding at 4-9, left the gate. But Mozart, a 3-year-old son of Danehill, was soon in striking position in third, led at the quarter pole and was clear a furlong from home.

Last year's winner, Nuclear Debate, came late for second but was never catching Europe's best sprinter, who was timed in 57.27 seconds, or 1.11 seconds off Dayjur's course record.

Mozart, who is out of the Spectacular Bid mare Victoria Cross, was following in the footsteps of another Aidan O'Brien trainee named for a composer, Stravinsky, in completing the July Cup-Nunthorpe Stakes double. And like Stravinsky, he is now very likely to go straight to the Breeders' Cup Sprint at Belmont Park without the benefit of a prep race, although O'Brien did say that he would send his speedster to a British all-weather track for at least one work before heading to Belmont.