High drama as Dream Ahead lands G1 Sprint Cup
03 September 2011
DREAM Ahead survived a lengthy stewards' enquiry in nailing his fourth Group 1 win this afternoon at Haydock Park.
Trainer David Simcock's exciting stable star won the Betfred Sprint Cup by a nose from Bated Breath with Hoof It a further head back in third.
The initial post-race drama came with a protracted wait for the outcome of the photo finish. But after several minutes the news emerged that the Diktat colt had prevailed.
That was only the start of it as the connections of Hoof It requested that the stewards look into possible interference between their horse and Dream Ahead.
A further nerve-jangling period ensued before it was announced that the placings remained unaltered.
What an extraordinary series of events, not least an unforgettable race. Dream Ahead was ridden much more forward on this occasion than he had been on his last outing in the Prix Maurice de Gheest in Deauville.
Here rider William Buick had him travelling up the centre, much closer to the early speed and he hit the front just on the two-pole.
Bated Breath was soon challenging to his right and Hoof It wasn't long in launching a challenge on the left side.
And all the time Buick was having to try and keep his charge straight. First, Dream Ahead edged to the right and then he veered to the left.
It appeared as if his less than straight path may cost him, but Dream Ahead stick out his neck to add to his glittering win in the Darley July Cup as well as two other Group 1s in 2010.
Cue further drama with the judge and then the stewards before the 4/1 success was finalised for the history books.
Simcock said: "This is just a massive relief. France left us scratching our heads as we thought we had him in great nick for the race.
"William rode him far more positively today and he battled well. I probably won't see another horse like him. This is just very special and means as much as his win at Newmarket."
The final word was left to Buick. After doing a fine job in the saddle, he came up with a suitable summing up.
The young rider said: "He has got a big head and that is a big help in a finish like that!"