10/16/2010 11:52AM

Twice Over repeats in Champion Stakes, giving his connections a Group 1 double

Edward Whitaker/Racingpost.com/photos
Tom Queally (left) is all smiles after his aggressive ride helps Twice Over repeat in the Champion Stakes.

Twice Over got first run on Vision d’Etat as the enterprising tactics employed by Tom Queally gave the winning 4-year-old son of Observatory his second successive victory in the Group 1, $602,000 Champion Stakes, the last that will be run over Newmarket’s straight 10 furlongs.

Twice Over’s victory also capped a famous double for his owner Khalid Abdullah and his trainer Henry Cecil, as well as for Queally, the trio having combined to produce Dewhurst Stakes winner Frankel 45 minutes earlier.

The 7-2 winner was always traveling in cruise control as he tracked a pedestrian pace set by Arlington Million winner Debussy. Twice Over assumed command approaching the two-furlong marker as Olivier Peslier was caught a bit flat footed aboard the 3-1 favorite Vision d’Etat, who chased the winner to the line without ever threatening to reel him in. Twice Over emerged a 1 3/4-length winner with Vision d’Etat taking second by three-quarters of a length from Debussy. Team Valor’s Gitano Hernando was up for fourth by the same margin over Arlington’s Secretariat Stakes runner-up Wigmore Hall.

The two disappointments of the race were Prix du Moulin de Longchamp winner Fuisse, who came home seventh, and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes winner Poet’s Voice, who was ninth. Both were running beyond a mile for the first time in their careers, and both failed to stay the mile and a quarter, for which Twice Over was timed in 2:08.54 on good to soft ground.

Last year Twice Over followed his Champion Stakes triumph with a third-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, but a trip to Churchill Downs for this year’s Classic is not in the cards. Instead, he will be given a winter break before traveling to Dubai for the Dubai World Cup on the Tapeta surface at Meydan.

Next year the Champion Stakes moves to Ascot’s right-handed course as part of a redesigned program prompted by Racing for Change, the marketing group hired by the British Horseracing Board to generate more publicity for racing. First run in 1877, all of the 134 runnings of the Champion Stakes had been run on Newmarket’s straight 10-furlong course.

◗ In the Group 2, $144,000 Challenge Stakes, the 5-1 Red Jazz scored a 2 1/4-length victory over Cat Junior as he covered the seven furlongs in 1:26.04, or .31 of a second slower than the time recorded by Frankel in the Dewhurst a half-hour later. The 3-year-old Kentucky-bred son of Johannesburg had previously finished just a half-length third behind Poet’s Voice and Rip Van Winkle in the one-mile Queen Elizabeth II Stakes and will now be aimed at the Dubai Duty Free by trainer Barry Hills. Godolphin’s Delegator, who had been under consideration for the Breeders’ Cup Mile, finished fourth, 2 3/4 lengths behind the winner.