Yeats and Johnny Murtagh
(Julien Herbert /Getty)
We predicted it would be extraordinary and it certainly was! Our own SOLSKJAER’s brother, YEATS, equalled SAGARO’s hat-trick of victories in the Gr1 Ascot Gold Cup in emphatic style yesterday. The seven year old beat the highly rated grey, GEORDIELAND, by five lengths.
YEATS’ breeder, David Nagle was quoted as saying “It’s unbelievable and something that every breeder aspires to”. It seems YEATS’ racing career will continue with the possibility of running in Australia’s Melbourne Cup later in the year.
Bloodhorse reports that classy campaigner Yeats secured his place in history by becoming just the second horse to capture three consecutive renewals of the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot June 19.
Sagaro was the first to complete the hat trick between 1975 and 1977, and the Aidan O’Brien-trained Yeats equaled that impressive record with a five-length victory under Johnny Murtagh.
The 7-year-old son of Sadler’s Wells ran comfortably in fourth as long shot Le Miracle went to the front and set a moderate pace. Undefeated French raider Coastal Path sat just behind Le Miracle, with Finalmente holding the third spot.
As the field entered the final half-mile of the 2 1/2-mile marathon, Coastal Path took over from Le Miracle. Yeats was beginning his move on the outside, and the pair quickly opened up a few lengths on the rest of the field.
Geordieland suddenly loomed as a threat on the far outside, and the three opponents ran abreast of each other for several strides.
Coastal Path was the first of the trio to crack with two furlongs left to run. Yeats and Geordieland continued to battle it out, with Yeats finally asserting his superiority and gradually pulling away in the final furlong to win impressively.
Coastal Path held on for third, 4 1/2-lengths behind Geordieland. The final time for the 2 1/2-miles was 4:21.14 over the good to firm turf.
An elated Aidan O’Brien told reporters afterwards, “It’s unbelievable and I really didn’t think it would happen.” “The lads (at home) did a great job to get him here for one Gold Cup, and then he came back for a second one, and now a third one - it’s unbelievable.”
The Ballydoyle conditioner added, “He’s a very straightforward, clean-winded, and very sound horse, and the lads say he gets very aggressive when he’s fit. He’s a great mover with massive lungs and he has a massive heart.”
Yeats, who was bred in Ireland by Barronstown Stud and Orpendale, is out of the Top Ville mare Lyndonville. He is owned by Susan Magnier and Diana Nagle.