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High winds force Fairyhouse cancellation

This afternoon's meeting at Fairyhouse has been called off due to high winds.

Officials at the track consulted with Met Eireann this morning and opted to cancel the card on health and safety grounds.

Horse Racing Ireland tweeted: "Following consultation between Met Eireann and course officials, today's fixture at Fairyhouse has been postponed due to high winds."

The fixture has been rescheduled for Tuesday, with fresh declarations to be made on Monday.

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Firsts all round as crackling Cracksman puts in Champion performance at Ascot

There are few Group One races missing from the CVs of John Gosden and Frankie Dettori and there is now one less after Cracksman turned in a display of sheer brilliance in the Qipco Champion Stakes at Ascot.

It took a brave call from the Newmarket handler not to let the three-year-old take on stablemate Enable in the Arc, but it proved the right one after he demolished a high-class field to provide his sire Frankel - who won the race in 2012 - with a first top-level success in Europe.

Plenty doubted whether the Anthony Oppenheimer-owned colt would have the necessary speed on his switch back to a mile and a quarter, having been campaigned over two furlongs further in his last four starts, and those that did were suitably silenced.

Having raced prominently throughout, and with his stamina assured, the 13-8 favourite readily drew clear once sent to the front by Dettori entering the home straight to eventually cross the line seven lengths clear of Poet's Word, with Highland Reel a neck back in third.

Cracksman, who completed a Group One double for Dettori and Gosden after they earlier captured the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes with Persuasive, was cut to 4-1 for next year's Arc by Paddy Power.

Gosden said: "He is a lovely horse and has improved through the year. I thought he ran a blinder at Epsom in the Derby, he was unlucky in Ireland, but boy, with Capri the form was good.

"He seems to have got bigger and stronger. If he started a middleweight, he is now a light heavyweight.

"He handled the ground better than anyone and he has won it in true style. Coming down Tattenham Corner (in the Derby) he got in a dreadful muddle, but he is learning. It is great for Frankel to have a son win the race he won.

"I think in the Arc it was a difficult decision, but I think Enable was more in the zone and streetwise than him. I was happy with the decision we made and I think it was the right decision."

Dettori echoed the thoughts of Gosden in describing Cracksman as being much closer to the finished article now.

He said: "What I rode today is not what I rode at Epsom. He has developed and is stronger. He is a good horse now.

"I was surprised with the way he travelled as he can be a little bit laid-back in his races.

"He jumped and travelled and the pace was honest. I played my ace card where it was 'catch me if you can' because I knew he would get to the end no problem.

"It was a storming performance. I am thrilled for everyone. It was Frankel's first Group One in Europe and my first Champion Stakes. There were a lot of firsts and it was a great performance."

He added: "Today is Cracksman's day, let's enjoy him. If I had to choose between him and Enable I wouldn't know who to ride, they are two champions and we go into the winter to dream."

Gosden said: "I really hope Frankie does (have a difficult decision to make between Enable and Cracksman), we hope the horses have a good winter and go through to next year, but I've been around long enough not to count too many chickens."

While the victory did not come as a surprise to his owner, the manner in which it was achieved most certainly did.

Oppenheimer said: "It was amazing, especially as it was over a mile and a quarter.

"It was miles beyond what I expected. I thought it would be a tough race. It was amazing, he just took off. I am in quite a shock. He is a completely different horse now."

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Persuasive case is made with brilliant QEII performance

Persuasive headed into retirement on a high with a brilliant success in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot on Qipco British Champions Day.

Without a prior win this season, the four-year-old filly was sent off an 8-1 chance to beat the boys and quickened up smartly to triumph in style.

Ribchester, the leading miler in Europe this season, tried to control the race with two furlongs to run, but was there to be shot at in the closing stages.

When Frankie Dettori got in the clear on John Gosden's grey, she found a change of gear that Ribchester could not live with, eventually scoring by an eased-down length. Churchill was third for Aidan O'Brien, while Nathra, a stablemate of the winner, was fourth.

Gosden said: "He was saving and saving, trying to keep her together. He went for a run on the inside and got blocked, so had to take her back and swing out. She'd have been an unlucky loser.

"When she got out she flew down the middle of the track and Nathra ran a blinder in fourth, they are both off to stud now to be mothers but they've gone out in proper style."

Dettori, who performed his trademark flying dismount in the winner's enclosure, said: "She travelled so well, the ground is so key to her.

"She has an exceptional turn of foot and put the race to bed very quickly.

"This very race was my first Group One in 1990 (with Markofdistinction)."

Reflecting further on the performance, Gosden said: "She is a phenomenally good filly. We've waited for this ground, she loves this ground. I don't think she has had any luck in Group Ones.

"Things have gone wrong for her, but it has come right today. She is retired to stud and goes out on a high. I think Chris (Richardson, racing manager of owners Cheveley Park Stud) said she is in the QEII and if it rains should we run and I said it is a very good idea. It was as simple as that.

"We are thrilled and she deserved it. She is a nice filly.

"It never worries me late in a year with a filly (taking on colts) because I think they go through hell in the spring and summer coming in and out of season. They come to the late summer and autumn and everything is settled and they can focus on racing."

Ribchester had found testing conditions against him when beaten in the Sussex Stakes at Glorious Goodwood, and his trainer Richard Fahey said: "It's deja vu, the ground has beaten him again.

"He's a horse that's won on soft ground, but he's such a good moving horse. William (Buick) felt he came there to win and win well and he just gets blunted in the dead ground.

"He just doesn't put it to bed and the winner coped with the conditions better.

"That's twice he's been beaten in desperate conditions, but we're happy enough - I'm not really, but I'll have to say that."

Asked about a trip to the Breeders' Cup, Fahey added: "I can't even think about that at the moment. I'll get him home and see how he is and speak to the team.

"I'm proud of him, but disappointed really. For me his best run of the season was Royal Ascot when the ground was quick and he broke the track record.

"If he hadn't have won the Mill Reef on slow ground I'd have always been worried about the ground with him because he's such a good moving horse.

"He hasn't lost anything in defeat and he hasn't devalued himself in any way.

"He's come back bright as a button. Frustrated rather than disappointed."

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Hydrangea gives Aidan O'Brien record-equalling victory at Ascot

Aidan O'Brien drew level with the late Bobby Frankel's world record of 25 Group/Grade One wins in a year when Hydrangea landed the Qipco British Champion Fillies And Mares Stakes at Ascot.

The Galileo filly has beaten dual 1000 Guineas winner Winter twice already this campaign, but was racing over a mile and a half for the first time.

Ryan Moore made a bid for home early, obviously in no doubt about her ability to stay the distance, but the favourite Bateel cruised up alongside her. When asked to go and win the race, though, Bateel simply could not get past Hydrangea and, in the final 100 yards, the 4-1 shot began to pull away again.

Hydrangea eventually won by two lengths, with Coronet back in third.

On equalling the record, O'Brien said: " It's incredible for everyone, they all put in so much hard work, day in day out. We're a small link in a big chain and I'm delighted for everyone - it's a magic, special day. The chain is so long and we're so glad to be a little link in it."

He added of the winner: "She's by Galileo and they will not stop, their will to win is incredible. She pulled out more and it was Ryan's idea to run her as he thought there was a chance she'd get the trip. We weren't sure, but she did."

Moore said: "What Aidan O'Brien has done this year is remarkable and it is a massive team effort. Everyone who looks after these horses, they put in so much time.

"The filly has been on the go all year and has got better and better. I thought she had a good chance, I just hoped the ground would be a bit better than it was.

"I'm delighted for Aidan."

Trainer Francis-Henri Graffard said of Bateel: "Fantastic. There are no excuses today. My filly did everything, she tried really hard, she came with a lot of petrol under her and she came upsides Hydrangea.

"When Ryan really asked his filly she ran away from me. I was very very upset, but looking at the replay there were no excuses and I'm really proud of her.

"She did a fantastic job for us this year and we have to discuss with the owners about next year. She has earned her place at stud and she'll definitely be going for a break now.

"I would be happy to keep her and breed her, but every ending would be happy.

"I think she was at her top in the Vermeille and she was at her top today. She is a competitive Group One filly.

"She's a great filly, I don't think I could have done more with her, she was spot on for today, had her conditions and was beaten by a better filly on the day."

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Record-equalling Aidan O'Brien looking to next opportunity after Ascot landmark

Aidan O'Brien is likely to throw plenty of ammunition at the three Group One races in Europe next weekend in an attempt to claim the world record for most top-level victories in a year outright.

The master of Ballydoyle drew level on 25 victories with the late Bobby Frankel when Hydrangea won the British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes on Champions Day at Ascot.

It has been an amazing season for O'Brien, 48, who is never slow to credit others with success. The likes of Churchill, Winter, Roly Poly and Hydrangea herself are all multiple Group One winners.

"I think it's the best group of horses we've had, a whole team in all different sectors," said O'Brien.

"They've progressed all season, a lot of them are very well bred, by Galileo, and they've improved all year.

"It's a big team effort, there's a lot of links in the chain and everyone works so hard.

"The lads (Coolmore) put a lot of effort into getting the right people for the team."

With the season drawing to a close opportunities are running out for O'Brien, but there are chances at Doncaster and Saint-Cloud next weekend before he switches his attentions abroad.

"There's the Racing Post Trophy and two races in France next week so hopefully we'll have plenty of runners," O'Brien told ITV Racing.

"Galileo was very special, just as a racehorse and now as a stallion. We do our best, it's very hard to get our ducks in a row all the time, we're very grateful whenever we win."

Part-owner Michael Tabor could not speak highly enough of O'Brien, but also credited the team effort.

"I suppose it is like baking a cake. You have to have all the ingredients and if you don't have one of them the cake is OK but not quite right. Hopefully we have all the right ingredients and I suppose the proof of the pudding is in the eating," said Tabor.

"It is a fabulous achievement by Aidan. It is incredible. Really, words can't describe how dedicated he is and the whole family. It is a marvellous achievement.

"I think he takes it all in his stride. I don't think there is one particular skill. I think it is his all-round conscientious day-in-day-out relentless attention to detail. I think in all walks of life, attention to detail is important and he certainly typifies that.

"He is a modest man. He is not one to go shouting from the rooftops, that is the way he is. I am sure when he gets home at night he sits back in a chair and maybe watches a replay and takes great satisfaction from it, like we all do."

Brian Kavanagh, chief executive of Horse Racing Ireland, said: "Aidan O'Brien's career has never dipped below extraordinary. His latest achievement in equalling the world record for Group One victories in a year is a new high and on behalf of Horse Racing Ireland I would like to extend my congratulations to him on an outstanding achievement.

"Knowing Aidan, he will be keen to deflect as much praise as possible and will rightly shine a light on his team at Ballydoyle, his owners and the horses in his yard. But this is very much a personal landmark in the career of an exceptional trainer.

"We have seen that in Ireland for a quarter of a century, but with this world record will come due global recognition for a brilliant Irish horseman."

As well as reaching Frankel's landmark, O'Brien was confirmed as champion trainer in Britain for the sixth time, being presented with his trophy by runner-up John Gosden, after the latter had won the Champion Stakes with Cracksman.

O'Brien added: "We've been very lucky to have an awful lot of very special horses. We have had horses who have run strongly all season, we've been very lucky."

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Librisa Breeze shocks big names at Ascot to lift Champions Sprint honours

Librisa Breeze downed all the big names to win the Qipco British Champions Sprint at Ascot.

With Harry Angel sent off favourite to follow up his scintillating Haydock win and Commonwealth Cup winner Caravaggio plus Quiet Reflection and The Tin Man all in the line-up, there was no hiding place.

However, they were all left in the wake of Dean Ivory's speedy grey, who survived a bump a furlong out to win impressively.

Adam Kirby adopted more patient tactics on Harry Angel, but he kicked clear with two furlongs to run. However, despite coping with heavy ground at Haydock, Harry Angel soon got tired and the cavalry began charging.

Tasleet attacked on the far side, with Librisa Breeze in the middle of the track as Caravaggio also began to stay on.

Owned by Tony Bloom, who is the chairman of Brighton & Hove Albion and won the Cesarewiitch last week with Withhold, Librisa Breeze obliged at 10-1 under Robert Winston, beating Tasleet by a length and a quarter. Caravaggio was third.

Winston told ITV Racing: "It means a hell of a lot - my career was finished, only for this horse, and that's being honest. I was packing up last year, I gave my notice to Dean, but this horse and Mr Bloom have kept me going.

"Dean is a great man to ride for, he has great staff and brilliant owners, including Mr Bloom."

He added of the winner: "He'd get a mile-plus, but has so much natural speed and is so genuine. I know I have been criticised a couple of times this year when he should have won, but that's the way you have to ride him.

"It doesn't really matter now, he's won the big one this year and this was the plan."

Ivory said: "I could not believe it. The ground and everything went right for us. He has been off a long time, seven weeks, and he has been so unlucky this year - we have got the luck when it mattered.

"That was the hardest field in the last 10 years and to come out and do it like that, I'm thrilled. We have had a bit of a rocky road. You persevere and hope for a bit of luck and it has come good today.

"He is a horse that has never had a clean run. This year is his year and I've seen him grow into a proper horse. Last year he was not a proper horse, but he is now.

"At one time I thought he had gone back a bit, but he got the gap this time. He is versatile and you can't say he isn't a six-furlong horse. You train him where the races are as really, he is a seven-furlong horse or miler.

"Robert Winston believes in the horse as much as we do. It has been a rocky road, but we have had this race in our mind for some months really."

William Haggas said of Tasleet: "He's run another great race and I'd say he just got outstayed this time.

"I very much hope he'll be back for next year, but that's to be discussed. If he is, he'll follow the same route as this year."

Harry Angel had to settle for fourth, and Clive Cox said of his July Cup and Sprint Cup victor: "It wasn't his day, but I still think he showed his usual zip and class when he went to the front here on much more testing ground than at Haydock.

"Great credit to the runners that finished in front of him, he was just coming to the end of his run.

"I don't think anyone has lost any confidence. We know on a different day, on better ground, he will be back. I will be looking forward to next year. I would say the first thing is to give him a nice winter break as it has been well earned."

Aidan O'Brien said of Caravaggio: "He ran a stormer and we're delighted with him. I'm not sure about next year, but he probably won't stay in training, I'd imagine."

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Order Of St George goes the distance in thriller at Ascot

Order Of St George pulled off an unlikely victory to get up close home in the Qipco Long Distance Cup at Ascot.

Aidan O'Brien's stayer was sent off the 4-5 market leader, but with two furlongs to run he looked beaten back in fourth, hitting a big price on the exchanges as Torcedor kicked clear.

Gold Cup hero Big Orange was a spent force a long way out on the testing ground and it was Mount Moriah who led them into the straight, with Torcedor on his shoulder.

When Colm O'Donoghue asked the Jessica Harrington-trained Torcedor for maximum effort he looked sure to collect, but in the final 100 yards he was treading water as Ryan Moore got a late lunge out of Order Of St George.

John Gosden's Goodwood Cup winner Stradivarius stayed on for third under Frankie Dettori.

Moore told ITV Racing: "I was very happy the whole way round and thought I had the first two covered, but they picked up very well and it didn't look likely for a long time. But as they came back to him, he began to get motivated and at the line he's won well.

"He's an unbelievably good horse, he ran a very good race in the Arc 20 days ago, he's come here at the end of a long, hard year and looked magnificent.

"He's a pleasure to deal with and we're very lucky to have him."

O'Brien said of his five-year-old, who was fourth to Enable in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe: "He is tough and hardy and Ryan gave him a great ride. He never stops. In every race he has ever run in, he is always finishing.

"We saw him in the Gold Cup. He was finishing. Sometimes the line comes too quick, but he doesn't stop.

"He has had a busy time. Obviously we are delighted with him. That is him for this year, I imagine."

Harrington said of Torcedor: "He's run a real cracker, I'm absolutely thrilled. He's been beaten by a very good horse, it's as simple as that.

"He put it up to him and he's come on again since the summer and I've only had him a year, not even a year in training. I'm still learning (about him) and he'll be back next year."

Gosden said of Stradivarius: "He's run a blinder. It's not his favourite ground, he has this ability to quicken and you can't really quicken in that.

"It was a tremendous race, Order Of St George brings Arc form in here. Jessie's horse looked like he'd got it. We're thrilled with him and he's a better horse on good ground.

"He stays in training and we look forward to races like the Ascot Gold Cup."

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Lord Glitters shows Balmoral sparkle at Ascot

Lord Glitters came from the clouds to win the Balmoral Handicap at Ascot for David O'Meara and Danny Tudhope.

When GM Hopkins hit the front close home, he looked sure to provide John Gosden with a Champions Day treble.

The 3-1 favourite Lord Glitters met trouble in running on entering the final furlong and his chance seemed to have gone. However, once switched into the clear he fairly flew home, winning by a neck. Dark Red was third and Accidental Agent fourth.

O'Meara said: "It was a little bit nerve-wracking to watch, he got in all sorts of trouble, no fault of Danny's. He didn't get out until late on and we felt we needed to be far side and he had to pull out near side.

"The horse has got an amazing turn of foot. We bought him from France and the idea was to run him in the Challenge Cup here and then come to this race. We hit the woodwork there and won this and it's been great.

"We're hoping he might be a Group horse. We recently retired Mondialiste owned by Geoff (Turnbull), and this guy was bought to fill his boots and keep the colours in these good races.

"Hopefully he'll be as talented as Mondialiste given time. It's early days, that's only the 10th or 11th run of his life and he's obviously very talented."

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Silvestre de Sousa crowned champion after a 'great year'

Silvestre de Sousa was delighted after officially being crowned Stobart Champion Flat Jockey for the second time in a ceremony at Ascot.

De Sousa, 36, finished well clear of closest pursuer Jim Crowley, having the title sewn up many weeks ago, reaching the 200-winner mark at Lingfield on Wednesday.

De Sousa, who won the Cesarewitch at Newmarket last weekend, said: "It's great to be here after a long season. I've worked really hard this year and I always wanted to win the title again and I finally did."

He went on: "I am delighted to be here on a special day like this. I think this title was more enjoyable. When I started the season I had in my mind I wanted to win it, but you can never be sure that you are going to win it.

"I was riding better horses and was riding better than ever. I had more confidence in my rides. It was more enjoyable as trainers put more confidence into me, in that they left it up to me to do what was best for the horse.

"I do feel a better rider, but I think every year you feel that. This year was one of my great years. I rode over 200 winners this year and that was a great achievement.

"For the last few weeks I've been very confident that no one could catch me. Whoever was in second and third, they were going to need to work twice as hard to catch me.

"It is a lot of effort from everyone, from my agent Shelley Dwyer and my sponsorship with 188Bet is a big help. It is a big team that have got me here."

Born in Northern Brazil, De Sousa was champion apprentice at Sao Paulo in 2000 but left his homeland in 2003 and decided to try his luck in Europe, first with Dermot Weld in Ireland before moving to Yorkshire where he worked for the late Dandy Nicholls.

His breakthrough came when he was spotted by Mark Johnston in 2010 and a year later had his first winners on the big stage at Royal Ascot.

In 2015, the unassuming Brazilian fought his way to the top of the tree just 12 months after losing his job with Godolphin.

Runner-up in 2010 and 2011, pushing Paul Hanagan all the way in the latter season, De Sousa was the only jockey to reach three figures in the first year of the revamped title and, much like this term, he had sealed the deal with several weeks to spare.

He highlighted the Cesarewitch on Withhold as one of the highest points of the season.

"I think the day I rode five winners at Sandown and one at Goodwood, that was a big highlight," he said.

"Everyone was talking about my ride in the Cesarewitch, saying I gave a great ride on Withhold. I grabbed the race like the race was mine. There are 34 horses in the field and when you get things right it is great.

"If I am fit, healthy and well then I can't see why I won't be going for a third title. I want to do very well again next year and if I had the same support as this year I hope to ride plenty of winners.

"If the good horses come I will ride them, but if not I will go to Catterick and anywhere else to ride the winners."

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Johannes Vermeer takes Caulfield Cup third for O'Brien as Boom Time strikes gold

The Aidan O'Brien-trained Johannes Vermeer finished third behind Boom Time in the BMW Caulfield Cup in Australia.

The son of Galileo was well supported for the 12-furlong handicap after being beaten just a head in the Ladbrokes Stakes last Saturday, and Ben Melham was happy to settle in the chasing pack as first Amelie Star and then Sir Isaac Newton took the field along.

Sir Isaac Newton, who was trained by O'Brien until this year, built up a healthy lead of 10 lengths with around five furlongs to run, but he was quickly reeled in before the top of the straight, with Boom Time poised to challenge and Johannes Vermeer on his heels.

When Cory Parish gave the signal, Boom Time kicked on with about a furlong to run but Johannes Vermeer could not quite follow him through, eventually finding a gap to narrowly lose out on second to Single Gaze.

Hughie Morrison's Melbourne Cup hope Marmelo ran an eyecatching race in the hands of Hugh Bowman, making up plenty of ground in the straight to finish just out of the frame.

Parish, who was riding his first Group One winner, said: "I got to about the 50 (metre mark) and I knew I had it in the bag, he was travelling so well, and I just thought all my dreams were coming true.

"I just can't believe it."

Boom Time is jointly trained by David and Ben Hayes along with Tom Dabernig, and Ben Hayes was thrilled to have landed his first Caulfield Cup on a horse also owned by his family.

He told racing.com: "The family own the horse - it was amazing. I just remember him getting out (of the stalls) and then it's all just a bit of a blur.

"It was a great run, fantastic for Cory. He works really hard for us, it's just so exciting for him and the family.

"I'm the third generation of the Hayes family to win a Caulfield Cup now, so it's just super exciting. It's just great."

Melham thought Johannes Vermeer stayed well enough on his step back up to 12 furlongs but felt his position in the race was not ideal.

He said: "He ran really well, he just took a step backwards as the barrier opened.

"I just wasn't quite happy with where we were and would have preferred to be a couple of spots closer in the run, but nevertheless he was in a good rhythm, he was breathing and relaxed.

"We just had to pick and weave through the corner, but he was really strong on the line."

Marmelo is now among the favourites for the Melbourne Cup at Flemington on November 7 after dead-heating with Abbey Marie in sixth.

"It was an excellent performance and he's right on track for the Melbourne Cup," Bowman said.

Willie Mullins fielded Wicklow Brave but he failed to figure under Joao Moreira, who thought a slow start and trouble in running cost him as he could finish only 12th.

Moreira said: "His reaction was a little bit slow out of the gate and that made it a bit harder for him as he gave a head start to the others, but he was still able to get on the fence and save ground.

"Unfortunately I got a little bit of interference at the 600 metres (three furlongs) which cost him places."

Melham was suspended for a total of 12 meetings (October 21-November 1) after being found to have caused interference to Wicklow Brave, while Kathy O'Hara, Ben Allen and Chad Schofield were also given suspensions of varying lengths following incidents in the race.

Bowman was fined $1,000 for weighing in more than 0.5kg over his declared riding weight.