More Curragh Gold for Kazeem
Popular veteran Al Kazeem clinched another Group One prize in a thrilling renewal of the Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh.
The Roger Charlton-trained seven-year-old claimed the first of three top-level victories in this event two years ago and returned from an unsuccessful stint at stud almost as good as ever last season, going down narrowly in the Champion Stakes at Ascot.
Having made a winning reappearance at Longchamp before being denied by Cirrus Des Aigles in the Prix Ganay, Al Kazeem was sent off at 3-1 on his return to Ireland and raced with his usual enthusiasm throughout in the hands of James Doyle before a dramatic climax to the race.
Postponed employed a front-running role from the outset, with fellow British raiders The Grey Gatsby and Al Kazeem his closest pursuers.
Heading inside the last two furlongs, Al Kazeem appeared short of room as he angled for a gap between runners, but he bravely went through it to get to the lead.
For a moment it looked as though Fascinating Rock was being produced to foil the raiding party, but Al Kazeem held him off under a jubilant Doyle, who was winning the race for the third successive year.
Postponed was close up in third, with 11-10 favourite The Grey Gatsby only fourth.
Charlton said: "He's amazing, looks amazing, is brave and all you need in a good racehorse. I'm lucky to have one as good as that and to have him back from stud. I'd say it's my proudest moment.
"As long as he's enjoying himself he'll keep going and one day I'm sure he'll go back to stud.
"It's a great credit to his constitution that he never runs a bad race. He's never looked at another filly and just gets on with his work.
"He'll probably go next for either the Hardwicke or the Prince Of Wales's (at Royal Ascot) and as he's won a Group One here, he'll probably go for the Prince Of Wales's Stakes.
"A horse like him is good for racing. Jumpers are around for a long time and having him has to be good for racing."
Doyle added: "The ground today was perfect for him, he doesn't need any jar in it. I just felt the ground was a bit holding in France the other day and he got a bit stuck.
"When I got a gap I thought he'd take a bit of beating. He seems to have quickened up a bit (at the age of seven). I can't speak highly enough of the horse. He's everything you look for in a racehorse. He looked a picture beforehand and a credit to his connections."
Dermot Weld said of Fascinating Rock: "He ran the race of his life and I'm very proud of him. It's not an excuse, but if we'd got a drop of rain last night I think he'd have won - he just changed his legs once or twice in the last furlong and it's cost him the race, but he's run super.
"He's a Group One horse - he was just beat a neck there. He's always been so consistent and I wasn't surprised. I expected him to do what he did and he nearly made it."