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Golden Horn Wins Gr1 Irish Champion Stakes

Monday, 14th September 2015

At Leopardstown in Ireland, former Darley shuttler Cape Cross (Green Desert-Park Appeal, by Ahonoora) celebrated a Gr1 success when outstanding 3YO colt Golden Horn (Cape Cross-Fleche d'Or, by Dubai Destination) returned to the winner's circle with a controversial 1-length win for trainer John Gosden in the €1.1 million Gr1 Irish Champion Stakes (10 furlongs) for 3YO+, over 3YO filly Found (Galileo-Red Evie, by Intikhab) & 4YO entire Free Eagle (High Chaparral-Polished Gem, by Danehill). Golden Horn took his record to 6 wins (including the Gr1 Epsom Derby, Gr1 Eclipse Stakes & Gr2 Dante Stakes) and 1 placing (the Gr1 Juddmonte International) from 7 starts for £1,852,021 earnings. Remarkably, despite slamming into Free Eagle inside the final furlong when the Dermot Weld trained galloper loomed up to win, stewards allowed Golden Horn to keep the race. Perhaps the fact that Coolmore filly Found edged Free Eagle for second influenced the stewards decision, for had he finished second, then surely Free Eagle would have been awarded the race given the severity of the interference.  As Golden Horn's trainer John Gosden commented: "I think the fact Free Eagle was third was a great help to us," he said. "The shadow of the grandstand caused him to hang. He's done it well and handled the ground. He's a top-class horse." Dermot Weld, trainer of Free Eagle, said: "Pat [jockey Pat Smullen] said that the interference completely knocked the wind out of Free Eagle and cost him the race. But I'm very proud of the horse and, I'll speak to Pat, but the Arc has to be under consideration."

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