Olympic Glory Times his Run to Perfection
Just hours after Team GB landed its first gold medal in the 2012 Olympics, the aptly-named Olympic Glory provided owner Julie Wood, trainer Richard Hannon and jockey Richard Hughes with back-to-back victories in the Veuve Clicquot Vintage Stakes with a last-gasp half-length victory over Artigiano.
Richard Hannon Jnr, assistant trainer to his father, said: "There was only one part of that race that was enjoyable and that was the last stride before the line."
"I thought he was going to get boxed in at one point with about a furlong to go," said Wood. "We were by the winning line so we knew that he had got it but it was the one time that you wanted the winning line to extend and not come closer.
"He carried his 3lb penalty well and he deserved it. Richard (Hughes, jockey) said he had a little difficulty coming round the bend but once he straightened up and got his legs he took off. He obviously gets the seven furlongs well and we'd have to be looking at races like the Dewhurst now."
Wood added that last year's winner Chandlery had suffered an early-season setback but is back in easy work. Olympic Glory has one of four names reserved by Wood four years ago with the 2012 Olympics in mind. World Record made his debut in yesterday's two-year-old maiden at Glorious Goodwood, while the other two are Gold Medal and Citius (from the Olympic motto, meaning faster).
Winning rider Richard Hughes said: "Olympic Glory wasn't turning round that bend and was hanging badly left. They got racing very early, so I let him find his feet to try and get him running straight rather than hauling him in. Once he did that, he took off.
"I thought at the two-furlong marker I would get there but then Paul (Hanagan) switched Ghurair and it stopped my run for two strides. After that, he was always going to get there.
"He got me out of trouble today. He is a good horse without doubt and had a penalty."
ARTIGIANO SECOND FOR GODOLPHIN
Godolphin's racing manager Simon Crisford felt Artigiano and Tha'ir had bumped into a smart rival when respectively finishing second and fourth to Olympic Glory in the Veuve Clicquot Vintage Stakes.
"I'm delighted with both of them," said Crisford. "We'll look to step Artigiano up to a mile next time and then Tha'ir could stay at seven or step up to a mile. We've no plans but we will have a look for both of them.
"We were always waiting for Olympic Glory to swoop in the last 100 yards so it wasn't a surprise when he came. He's a good horse and he upheld the Coventry Stakes form."
Luhaif belied his 80/1 odds to finish third and his trainer Mick Channon said: "I always thought he was decent and he has just been waiting for his ground, it's been a long time since he's had it. I thought he had a chance even if not many other people seemed to."