10/21/2005 11:00PM

Palace Episode pulls 20-1 upset


Palace Episode completed a wonderful year for Yorkshire trainer Kevin Ryan and his stable jockey, Neil Callan, when pulling off a 20-1 shock in the final Group 1 race of the British season, the Racing Post Trophy, at Doncaster on Saturday.

Winged Cupid, also trained in Yorkshire, by Mark Johnston, set a solid pace in the Racing Post with Palace Episode always close behind. Palace Episode moved to the front with two furlongs to run and stayed on well to beat Winged Cupid by 1 1/2 lengths. The turf was rated heavy for this straight mile race for 2-year-olds, which explains the slow time of 1:45.10.

The winner, an American-bred son of Machiavellian, scored for the third time in five career starts and was running for the second time in a week, having finished a moderate fifth behind Sir Percy in the Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket the previous Saturday.

It was a second Group 1 success for Ryan and Callan, who had combined to spring a surprise in another of the top end-of-season juvenile races when Amadeus Wolf took the Middle Park Stakes three weeks earlier.

The Racing Post Trophy had been billed as a head-to-head between Irish trainer Aidan O'Brien and Newmarket-based Sir Michael Stoute in their battle for the Trainers' Championship. But, despite saddling three of the seven runners, the best O'Brien could manage was third with the odds-on favorite, Septimus, meaning that Stoute, who was responsible for fourth-placed Best Alibi, is virtually assured of his eighth trainers' title.