Belfast Telegraph

Monday 29 December 2014

Perfect Ten for O'Brien

Gale Force Ten, left, ridden by Joseph O'Brien, battles back close home to win the Jersey Stakes
Gale Force Ten, left, ridden by Joseph O'Brien, battles back close home to win the Jersey Stakes

Gale Force Ten provided Aidan and Joseph O'Brien with their third winner of this year's Royal Ascot when battling back to beat Montiridge in the Jersey Stakes.

Having run well in the French and Irish Guineas already this season, Gale Force Ten was sent off the 9-2 favourite as he dropped in class and trip.

He made what looked a race-winning move two furlongs out when getting a break on the field, but Montiridge quickened up well and just edged in front 100 yards from the line.

To his credit, Gale Force Ten battled back to win by a head, with Godolphin's Tawhid performing well in third and Garswood in fourth.

O'Brien junior said: "He's very tough, but I was praying someone would come to me as he was being very idle. When he saw the other horse he put his head down. He got a mile very well at the Curragh, that's why I didn't want to get too far back. He's small but he has a big heart."

Aidan O'Brien said: "He fought back well. He's a hardy horse, a strong horse and loves that fast ground. Joseph said in an ideal world he would not want to be in front as long as that.

"He could step up to a mile or go back to six furlongs, which is unusual. Over six furlongs he would not want to be in front as long as that."

Richard Hannon, trainer of Montiridge, said: "He's a better horse on better ground, it's quite quick out there.

"He's quite good. There's a few French races for him. The Prix Jean Prat is only in 10 days, but you never know."

Saeed bin Suroor, trainer of Tawhid, said: "We were worried about the ground - he would prefer it softer - but he handled it and he ran a huge race. There is no target, we'll find another Group race for him."

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