Aidan O’Brien’s fine miler, Excelebration, finally had his chance to shine, and duly grabbed the opportunity with both hands, when comfortable landing a high-class renewal of the Group 1 Prix Jacques le Marois at Deauville on Sunday, writes Elliot Slater.
The four-year-old colt has had the misfortune to be born into the same generation as the mighty Frankel, and no less than five times over the last couple of seasons has finished second behind Sir Henry Cecil’s all-time great in the major mile contests in Britain.
Most recently, he slammed 11 lengths as the world champion racehorse put up arguably his greatest performance in turning Royal Ascot’s Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes into an absolute procession.
With Frankel stepping up to 10 furlongs though, the way has now been left clear for Excelebration to finally make hay while the sun shines, and he duly ‘did the business’ when quickening up well inside the final furlong to easily account for the gallant, Cityscape and Elusive Kate, with an unlucky-in-running Moonlight Cloud finishing fast to take fourth.
As long as all goes well for Frankel in the Juddmonte International Stakes at the York Ebor 2012 Festival meeting on August 22, it seems that Excelebration will have more chances to shine at a mile this term. Races like the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot and possibly the Breeders’ Cup Mile in the US in November are obvious targets for the imposing son of Exceed and Excel.
There is also the option of dropping back to sprinting. O’Brien has given his charge an entry in the six furlong Betfred Sprint Cup, and judging by the way he travels in his races and quickens, there are good grounds for believing that, if he did change tack, the Ballydoyle colt would also be a force to be reckoned with at shorter trips.
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