Farhh plays starring role at Ascot

Silvestre de Sousa, riding Farhh, won the Qipco Champion Stakes at Ascot on the horse's final race day. Picture: Getty
Silvestre de Sousa, riding Farhh, won the Qipco Champion Stakes at Ascot on the horse's final race day. Picture: Getty
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FARHH signed off his short but ultimately successful career by playing a starring role in a thrilling renewal of the Qipco Champion Stakes at Ascot on Saturday.

The son of Pivotal raced just twice in the first two years of his racing life, winning on each occasion, and few would have expected such a meteoric rise as he made his seasonal reappearance last year in the Thirsk Hunt Cup.

After a demolition of his opponents, Farhh went on to be placed in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes and the Coral-Eclipse before finding only the brilliant Frankel too long in the Sussex Stakes and the Juddmonte International.

The five-year-old made a smart start to 2013 in the Lockinge at Newbury, but was not seen again until his Champions Day appearance.

Proving a superb advert to trainer Saeed bin Suroor’s considerable training talents, Farhh felled French star Cirrus Des Aigles and Derby hero Ruler Of The World in a pulsating climax to the ten-furlong Group One.
He now heads off to stud having claimed six wins from ten competitive starts, never finishing out of the first three and connections are surely wondering what might have been this summer had he remained fully fit.

Bin Suroor said: “He’s a great fighter – every year he has had problems. We’ve always had problems with him and he has to have a different programme of training to all the other horses in the stable. He’ll be retired now and he’ll go to stud.”

The seven-year-old Cirrus Des Aigles lost nothing in defeat and is set to stay in training at eight, with Derby winner Ruler Of The World also likely to be a force to be reckoned with next season.

Olympic Glory could be Breeders’ Cup-bound after a most impressive display in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes for Richard Hannon and Richard Hughes, effectively sealing the trainer’s title for Hannon.

The supplemented Top Notch Tonto ran a blinder to finish second ahead of Kingsbarns and the now-retired 2000 Guineas winner Dawn Approach.

Hannon said: “He likes a bit of a cut in the ground. We put a pair of blinkers of him at home and Hughesie settled him nicely. They certainly helped. He stays in training next year.”

Eddie Lynam’s Slade Power held off Jack Dexter to take the Qipco British Champions Sprint, with the winner’s stable companion Viztoria back in third.

James Fanshawe’s 16-1 shot Seal Of Approval ran away with the Qipco British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes. 
George Baker was replacing Hayley Turner in the saddle, with Turner’s season brought to a premature end when Seal Of Approval suffered a heavy fall at Doncaster last month.

Fanshawe said: “I always felt she’d improve on this ground. The only sad thing is that Hayley got injured at Doncaster and couldn’t ride her so I must thank Hayley for her help.”