Geoff and Sandra Turnbull’s 6-year-old gelding Lord Glitters (FR) rebounded from a narrow defeat in the 2018 Queen Anne Stakes (G1) to snatch his first Group 1 victory in the race 12 months later and earned an automatic berth into the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) via the Breeders’ Cup Challenge.
The Breeders’ Cup Challenge is an international series of 86 stakes races, whose winners receive automatic starting positions and fees paid into a corresponding race of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, which will be held at Santa Anita Park, in Arcadia, California, Nov 1-2.
As part of the benefits of the Challenge series, the Breeders’ Cup will pay the entry fees for Lord Glitters to start in the Breeders’ Cup Mile. Breeders’ Cup will also provide a $40,000 travel allowance for all starters based outside of North America to compete in the World Championships.
In the race which traditionally lifts the curtain on the five-day Royal Ascot meeting, there was drama from the outset when Accidental Agent (GB) the horse who had inflicted a half-length defeat on Lord Glitters last year, stood still in the stalls when the gates opened and by the time he exited had surrendered several hundred lengths.
The gray Lord Glitters, a son of Whipper out of Lady Glitters (FR), was only outside the first two placings once in five previous runs at Ascot. He was settled towards the rear by his jockey Danny Tudhope before moving through a pack of runners to hit the front inside the final furlong and hold off Beat The Bank (GB) by a neck, with the mare One Master (GB) a length back in third. Romanised (IRE) was fourth, Le Brivido (FR) fifth and Laurens (FR) sixth.
2019 Queen Anne Stakes Replay
Lord Glitters, a 14-1 chance trained by David O’Meara, finished third behind Japan’s superstar filly Almond Eye (JPN) in the Dubai Turf (G1) in March but beat only one other finisher when 13 of 14 in Lockinge Stakes (G1) at Newbury, won by Mustashry (GB), who was a never dangerous seventh this time.
Tudhope said: “David told me to ride him as cold as I can and to be brave. If there is anywhere you can do it, it is this track because that last furlong is a long, long way. I got a lovely split and the race just panned out perfectly.”
O’Meara said: “He ran a stormer in Dubai and I thought if he had a good run in the Lockinge he would have been half the price today. But he ran with no cover at Newbury, which he doesn’t like to do. He loves to sit last and attack late.
“I ran Lord Glitters at Woodbine [Ricoh Woodbine Mile] last year thinking he would win and get there [to the Breeders’ Cup]. The trip over was a disaster. He got stuck in Holland for four or five days and he only arrived the night before the race, having stood in a stable in Amsterdam for five days. He was fine round a turn in Dubai. The Breeders’ Cup will definitely be on the radar.
“He will have a similar campaign to last year and could head to the Qatar Sussex Stakes (at Goodwood) where he was a touch unlucky last year.”
First Victory Since Stresnall Stakes
Lord Glitters covered the mile in 1:37.14 against 15 rivals in gaining his sixth win in 15 starts. Today’s victory was his first since capturing the 1 1/8-mile Strensall Stakes (G3) at York on August 25 of last year.
Lord Glitters becomes the first horse from Europe to win an automatic berth into the Breeders’ Cup Mile and the fifth this year. The other qualifiers were Do It Again (SAF), winner of the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate (G1) at Kenilworth, South Africa, Tamburo Di Oro (CHI), who won the Gran Premio Club Hipico Falabella (G1) in Santiago, Chile, Bolo (USA), winner of the Shoemaker Mile (G1) at Santa Anita and Indy Champ (JPN), who captured the Yasuda Kinen (G1) in Tokyo, Japan.
O’Meara, who trains in Upper Helmsley, Yorkshire, has saddled three runners at Breeders’ Cups, two in the Mile in which Mondialiste (IRE), also owned by the Turnbulls, finished second in 2015 and Suedois (FR) fourth in 2017.