Beauty and the beast – that’s Postponed. If there was an equine show for good looks, he would surely win all the prizes. But he’s not just a pretty face, as exhibited by the way he crushed his rivals in the Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Cup at Epsom today.
Andrea Atzeni described the five-year-old as “different class” after he had turned the £400,000 QIPCO British Champions Series feature into a procession. And the good news for racing fans is that his owner intends keeping him in training until at least the end of 2017.
The five-year-old was in a different league to his rivals, who included four Group 1 winners, as he cruised to a commanding four and a half-length victory over Found.
Supporters of the 8-11 favourite didn’t have an anxious moment as Postponed was never out of second gear. In a contest run at a stop-start gallop, he swept past his pacemaker Roseburg two furlongs from home and asserted in a matter of strides without his jockey having to get serious.
“He’s different class, a machine,” Atzeni said. “He’s just a proper racehorse. You can put him anywhere in the race, he travels good, he goes on any ground, he quickens up and I am very, very lucky.
“I am glad that Sheikh Mohammed Obaid [the owner] is here – he’s the main man. It’s good to do it for him and Roger [Varian, the trainer]. He’s a typical Dubawi [sire of Postponed] and he’s improving with age.”
Sheikh Obaid was in triumphant mood and touched on Postponed’s move to Varian from the yard of Luca Cumani last autumn.
He said: “I am really proud of this horse and, since he has joined Roger, I think he has improved. Whatever people say, I think all the benefit is from Roger and his staff, nobody else.
“I have already decided that, if Postponed is sound, then he will go back to the Sheema Classic next year.”
Varian will be delighted to hear that because he says one of the highest-rated horses in the world, who will next seek back-to-back wins in the QIPCO-sponsored King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot, is flawless.
He said: “He’s just a pleasure. He really is the ultimate and he’s shown his adaptability at a track like Epsom – the conditions couldn’t be more different from Meydan [where he won the Group One Dubai Sheema Classic in March], so he’s a versatile, talented horse and we are all very lucky.
Asked what set him part to others, he said: “His ability – you can’t install that. All his other attributes come a close second. He’s got the most level temperament; that’s a real quality.
“I should have thought he’s got the most level heartbeat of any horse at the start; he takes any situation in his stride. He can operate off a fast pace or a slow pace and in different ground conditions. He really is the ultimate.”
Simple Verse finished fourth but the stop-start gallop did not help last year’s St Leger winner. “They only raced for seven furlongs,” Ralph Beckett, the trainer, lamented. “The early pace wasn’t quick enough, which meant he [Oisin Murphy] was asking her to go quicker than she was able when it mattered.”