Broome sweeps Hardwicke opposition aside to bring up 900 for O’Brien
Broome took Aidan O’Brien to the remarkable milestone of 900 Group or Graded race wins in the G2 Hardwicke Stakes, as he ground his rivals into submission under an astute ride from Ryan Moore.
Moore set out to make this a test and it was clear by the time the runners turned into the straight that Broome (6/1) had his rivals firmly on the stretch. The six-year-old responded resolutely to Moore’s urgings and galloped his way to an emphatic three-and-a-quarter length success.
The 8/11 favourite Hurricane Lane, who had not raced since the autumn, got tired on his seasonal return. Last year’s dual Classic winner came under pressure around the home turn and his challenge petered out in the final furlong, where he lost second to Mostahdaf (11/2).
O’Brien said: “I didn’t realise that [900 Group winners]. We are so privileged to be in the position we are and are so grateful to everyone at Ballydoyle. Also, to John and Sue [Magnier], Michael and Doreen, Derrick and Gay [Tabor] and Georg and Emily [von Opel]. We are so grateful to them all. In this life and world, we take one day at a time and try to appreciate every day. We are so grateful to do what we do every day.
“It was a brilliant ride. Ryan has done an incredible job on Broome. He is a six-year-old colt now and one very strange thing is that he seems to be coming to the peak of his career after all these years. He is by Australia and is very brave. We think we will see the best of him this year.
“When he was getting unsaddled after the Japan Cup, a horse walking by kicked him and fractured a shin. He was off for a long time. He just had the come-back run in the Tattersalls Gold Cup and finished fifth behind all those good horses.
“He has a very high cruising speed and does not surrender. We will be thinking about something like the King George back here.”
Moore said: “I think Broome has been brilliantly prepared. He was a different machine to what I’ve known him before.
“He was in a beautiful rhythm and stretched out excellent. He was really good today. The rhythm was beautiful, he just flowed and lengthened. I could see him walking in the paddock. We always thought a lot of him. He was close to winning a Derby and a few things haven’t gone his way.
“Broome brought me a lot of pleasure today. He galloped and Aidan had him in a place to do that. He was just in the right place and it didn’t matter what I do – if the horse isn’t right, then we can’t do it. They had this horse beautifully prepared.”
Thady Gosden said of the runner-up: “Mostahdaf has run a very good race. Ryan [Moore] gave Broome an exceptional ride from the front – probably the best ride I’ve seen of the week, for sure. We followed Hurricane Lane round the bend; the winner got loose, but he’s run very well. It seems to be the right trip for him now, and we’ll see where we go from here.”
Hurricane Lane’s trainer Charlie Appleby said: “We haven’t hidden anything about what our thought processes are – we’re working back from October, very much so. We feel Hurricane Lane is our Arc horse and, with the ground being as quick as it was, I said to William Buick ‘don’t forget, if it’s not happening for him, look after him round there’.
“But William said he travelled into it well, his action just shortened a bit, he said he just went through his girths and just got tired. The ground was quick enough for him – he does move better when there’s ease in the ground – we all know that.
“More importantly, he took two match-fit horses on as well. They’ve gone a good gallop – Ryan Moore has gone out there and set a good stall on Broome, and I’m pleased. It’s always encouraging – it’s the same from two to three or three to four, their first run, you’re just glad they’ve still got their enthusiasm.”
3.40pm Hardwicke Stakes (Group 2)
1 Broome (M Matsushima, Sue Magnier, M Tabor & Derrick Smith) Aidan O’Brien IRE 6-9-03 Ryan Moore 6/1
2 Mostahdaf (Shadwell Estate Co Ltd) John & Thady Gosden 4-9-03 Jim Crowley 11/2
3 Hurricane Lane (Godolphin) Charlie Appleby 4-9-03 William Buick 8/11F
Aidan O’Brien – 81st Royal Ascot winner
Ryan Moore – 72nd Royal Ascot winner