Dean Ivory’s belief that Lancelot Du Lac would one day hit the jackpot on the big stage proved well founded in the Qatar Stewards’ Cup, as the curtain came down on Glorious Goodwood for 2017.
Quick away from the stalls in the hands of Frankie Dettori, the 25-1 shot, who finished down the field in the Wokingham at Royal Ascot, assumed control of the six-furlong cavalry charge at halfway, before holding the fast-finishing Aeolus by three-quarters of a length.
Ivory said: “He was always going to have a big day in him, so I am not surprised he has won a big race. I must admit I didn’t quite expect it today – I thought the ground might be too soft.
“I wanted to get the draw in the middle and I got the draw in the middle, and thankfully it worked well. This is the one to do it in out of all of them.
“It really does mean a lot to win it, as I felt I was a bit unlucky two years ago with Tropics. He stumbled when he was carrying all that weight.
“It is nice to win a big one like this as it is the prestige of the Stewards’ Cup.
“It is not just a big handicap, at the end of the day it’s the Stewards’ Cup.”
Dettori, who picked up a four-day ban for careless riding, believed the application of a hood made the difference.
Dettori said: “Dean was sweet on the horse. He has ability, but he boiled over at Ascot, so he put a hood on him today. He was very calm and that made a big difference. I was there to be shot at, but in fairness he put his head down and galloped to the line.
“Dean tries really hard, I’ve known him a long time and it means a lot to him to win a big race like this. Well done to him.”
The St Leger was the last British Classic to be ticked off the CV of Sir Michael Stoute and his chances of capturing the race again were significantly strengthened following the impressive victory of Crystal Ocean in the Gordon Stakes.
The Newmarket handler said of the 6-4 winner: “He is a horse we’ve always liked and Ryan [Moore] has always liked him, too. We knew he handled soft ground as he did in the Dante. My only concern was would he handle this ground. He is very adaptable.
“We are certainly thinking about the St Leger. We will see how he comes through this.
“I said before the Dante we didn’t consider him as a Derby horse as he had got to be more mature going into Epsom.
“He is pretty good at this trip [mile and a half]. We may do a Conduit [did the Gordon and Leger double for Stoute in 2008] and have a one off fling [at a mile and three-quarters].”