Ta Rib causes big upset
TA RIB gave 53-year-old Willie Carson French Classic glory yesterday when Ed Dunlop's 14 to 1 shot held off hot favourite Shake The Yoke by three-quarters of a length to take the Dubai Poule d'Essai des Pouliches at Longchamp.
In front of a large crowd enticed by free admission, Carson punched home the - winner owned by Sheikh Hamdan AlMaktoum - in typical style to give 27-year-old Dunlop his first winner from his first-ever runner in a classic.
Dunlop said: "I'm speechless but delighted. We always thought a lot of her, but a small injury prevented her running in the Guineas at Newmarket. I must pay credit to her owner Sheikh Hamdan, whose decision it was to come here today."
Dunlop, who took over the Newmarket stables of Alex Scott after the tragic shooting of that trainer in September 1994, was greeted in the winner's enclosure by his father, Arundel trainer John, who said: "I'm happier than if I had won this race myself."
Half an hour later Ashkalani ran out the brilliant winner of the Dubai Poule d'Essai des Poulains, and will now probably be seen in action at Royal Ascot in next month's St James's Palace Stakes.
The Aga Khan's unbeaten colt, described by his jockey Gerald Mosse as the best horse he has ever sat on, was sent off the 4 to 5 favourite by his army of French fans and justified the confidence with a three-quarters-of-a-length defeat of Spinning World.
Tagula, outsider of the six British-trained runners in the race, held the late thrust of Pat Eddery's mount Cayman Kai for third spot.
Other British trained challengers were Kahir Almaydan (fifth), Don Micheletto (eighth) Danehill Dancer (ninth) and Gothenberg (last of the 10 runners).
Mosse said: "I knew I was on the best horse today. He's a champion, don't you think?"
Like the winner, the runner-up Spinning World also could be seen in England next time, as connections have paid an £8,000 supplementary fee for the Vodafone Derby.
His rider Cash Asmussen said: "With a run as good as the winner I reckon I would have won today. I think this horse will be still better over an extra quarter mile, but couldn't be sure that he would last home at Epsom."