Glory goes for Gold
Just two years since the legendary Yeats created history by winning a fourth Ascot Gold Cup, Aidan O'Brien sends Fame And Glory to Berkshire to pick up his mantle.
Winner of an Irish Derby and a Coronation Cup, owners Dr Jim and Fitri Hay bought a significant share of the five-year-old with his career at stud in mind, but they are enjoying being involved with the favourite of the feature race of the meeting.
"Aidan's whole intention is that Fame And Glory is the next Yeats. I don't think anyone in the camp is too concerned about the stamina issue. We know that Jamie (Spencer) can switch him off and that's the big technique to get him to last the trip. That's worked in his last couple of races," said Dr Hay.
Spencer, who used to be O'Brien's stable jockey, is the retained rider for all of the horses owned by the Hays. When beating last year's Gold Cup winner Rite Of Passage, who is absent from this year's field, in the Saval Beg, it was only the second time that Spencer had ridden Fame And Glory.
"Aidan's horse always improve for a prep race. I was happy, Aidan was happy, and the owners were happy. Until he actually goes and runs over two and a half miles nobody can say he is or isn't going to stay, but he travels well and settles well," said Spencer.
"He has a strong stamina pedigree. He's won an Irish Derby and you'd be very hopeful he would stay. At Leopardstown he cruised into the race and only beat what's put in front of him. He can be quite lazy."
O'Brien is excited about sending Fame And Glory over the trip, but also admits to being in the dark over the distance poser.
"You can't be sure about the two and half miles, but we are looking forward to it," said O'Brien.
"This horse is a dual Group One winner over a mile and a quarter as well as mile and a half, so you can't be too sure and the two and a half miles. On form and quality (he's the best horse) and looking at his run at Leopardstown you'd think he'd definitely get two miles, we'll just have to see about the other half a mile."