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Cecil enjoys dream result in Juddmonte International

17 Aug 2011

Twice Over and Midday came home first and second for trainer Sir Henry Cecil in this afternoon's Juddmonte International Stakes at York, the sixth race in the QIPCO British Champions Series Middle Distance category.

A jubilant Ian Mongan celebrates after the biggest success of his career on Twice Over in the Juddmonte International Stakes at York.  Image courtesy of racingfotos.com.

Sir Henry Cecil strengthened his grip on the QIPCO British Champions Series top trainer title, for which he will win a specially crafted trophy and a cheque for £25,000 to donate to the charity of his choice, when Twice Over led home a famous one-two for the veteran Newmarket handler and his principal patron, Prince Khalid Abdulla, in the Juddmonte International Stakes at York this afternoon.

This victory in the penultimate race in the Middle Distance division was Cecil’s sixth Series triumph of the season, all registered in the Prince’s colours, and it was a fourth career Group 1 success for Twice Over.

The Prince sponsors the race through his Juddmonte Farms breeding operation and had never previously won it, so Twice Over’s victory was particularly sweet for him.

The tough six-year-old will now head for the final Middle Distance race, the £1.3m QIPCO Champion Stakes, the most valuable horserace ever staged in Britain and the highlight of QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot on Saturday 15 October. He has won the last two runnings of the race at Newmarket and so will be chasing an unprecedented hat-trick.

Cecil’s QIPCO British Champions Series tally is double that of his nearest pursuers, Aidan O’Brien and Mahmood Al Zarooni, who have three victories apiece, and he also boosted his tally of second places thanks the gallant mare, Midday, finishing runner-up.

With Cecil’s main jockey, Tom Queally, on board Midday, Twice Over was ridden by Ian Mongan, for whom this was by far the biggest victory of his career.

He overhauled Midday, who had taken it up with over two furlongs to run, well inside the final furlong to win by three-quarters of a length, with five lengths back to the disappointing odds-on favourite, Await The Dawn, in third place.

"He’s a true champion, this horse, and really stuck his neck out,” said the jubilant jockey after the race.

"It’s really special. I would like to thank the Prince and Sir Henry for putting faith in me because this is as good as it gets.

"The way it was looking I thought it might be a dead-heat, but he really stuck it out."

Cecil said: "The Prince has sponsored this race for years and years and never won it before.

"And I said to him if we didn’t win it today we’d have to wait for Frankel, hopefully, next year.

"Twice Over is a fabulous horse and we’ll probably freshen him up and go for the Champion Stakes at Ascot.

"If the ground had been a bit quicker, I think it would have helped Midday.

"She’s entered in the same race and we’ll see what happens."

To view the full race result, CLICK HERE.