O’Briens New Era Of Fame & Glory At Ascot

By: Ryan Clark
June 20th, 2011

The Royal Ascot carnival has produced some tremendous results over the five days and in the process showcased some absolute superstars.

Unfortunately from Australia’s perspective it was a disappointing meeting but nevertheless there’s a couple of horses plenty of Aussies will be keeping an eye on.

One of them is Fame And Glory, the Aidan O’Brien galloper which cruised to victory in the main event Group 1 Gold Cup.

It was an extremely important run from O’Brien’s perspective after So You Think bombed out in the Prince Of Wales Stakes to finish second as an odds on favourite.

O’Brien accepted plenty of criticism after that race and was desperate to get back in the winner’s circle with Fame And Glory.

He too started as a big favourite and while not quite as short as So You Think there was a mountain of expectation.

The jockey in charge of getting him home was Jamie Spencer who was riding for O’Brien on the big stage for the first time since they parted ways back in 2005.

There’s no doubt he was feeling the pressure as he explained after taking the win.

“Initially I was more relieved than anything else,” Spencer said.

“It’s a big ride and he’s a great horse.

There were no queries about riding tactics in this race as there have been throughout the carnival and things just went to script.

“The race went very smoothly and when you’re on a horse like him it’s like everything is in slow motion – you can go where you want and the gaps open,” he said.

“There was no stage in the race when I didn’t think I would win.

O’Brien has now won five Gold Cups in a row with his former show stopper Yeats going back to back from 2006 until 2010.

There’s already talk that Fame And Glory could be up to a similar set of achievements, something that Spencer tends to agree with.

“I rode Yeats in his younger days and this fellow is so easy to ride,” he said.

“He does the bare minimum – in his trials he was very idle and relaxed.

“Let’s hope he’s around for a few more years and he can go back there and win again.”

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