Joel glory for Cougar Mountain
Aidan O'Brien won the Shadwell Joel Stakes at Newmarket for the first time since 2001 with Cougar Mountain (15/2).
Cougar Mountain gained a deserved success
Mick Kinane was the man in the saddle that day but Ryan Moore was doing the steering this time and told Channel 4 Racing that he always felt he would take the prize.
"It was a funny race but it always felt like he would win today," he said. "It went well for him and he thoroughly deserved it.
"He's run in very good races [this season] and ran in some very good races last year. He's held his form very well."
Gifted Master adopted his usual position at the head of affairs and kicked clear of the pack after being given a breather with favourite Nathra notably struggling at the rear of the field.
Ryan Moore made a shrewd move just before halfway in the mile contest when he moved up from the rear to track the leader and the son of Fastnet Rock picked up strongly for Moore to hit the front a furlong out and he went on to win by three and a quarter lengths.
Nathra finished out of the places but did stay on late in the day to take third.
It was a first first success for 13 months for Cougar Mountain who was last seen finishing sixth in the seven-furlong Park Stakes at Doncaster a fortnight ago.
Kevin Buckley, representing the winning owners, said: "We came here hoping, we knew he'd come out of his race at Doncaster in good form and he likes good to firm ground.
"Personally, I think he's probably better over the mile trip. He's always been knocking on the door, always been there or thereabouts and we're very happy with that.
"He's a bit of a character, a likeable rogue. We're going to have to go in search of that ground again and we might have a look at the QEII on Champions Day if the ground is suitable alternatively we could go over to Santa Anita for the Breeders' Cup Mile."
Hugo Palmer was pleased with the performance of Gifted Master.
He said: "That was a blinding run. The horse absolutely adores this track and William (Buick) felt that a mile is his trip, which is what I've felt all along.
"He's in the Challenge Stakes in two weeks' time and we might have a go at it, provided he's OK.
"The long-term target is the Godolphin Mile on Dubai World Cup night. I don't know if he will go on dirt, but the way he runs, he shouldn't have a problem with sand getting kicked in his face."
John Gosden's Nathra was having her first start since finishing down the field in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot in June.
"I'm perfectly happy with her. She got left behind and it's not a day where you want to get too far back on this track," said the Clarehaven handler.
"Frankie (Dettori) felt he followed the wrong horse into the race. It was her first run back after a holiday and she's not had a hard race. She's had a good blow, she's in some nice races, but she's a superior filly with cut in the ground.
"We'll be looking at some of them (entries), as long as there's cut."
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