where the horse is always the hero
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Posted 2024-06-23 12:05:46  

Aidan O'Brien often showcases promising juveniles at Royal Ascot, but Bedtime Story's performance in the Chesham Stakes was extraordinary. The Frankel filly, highly regarded after winning her maiden earlier this month, showcased an impressive turn of foot, cruising home by nine and a half lengths. Under Ryan Moore, Bedtime Story took control after the two-furlong pole, making it look effortless. Her Coolmore owners were left amazed, and her 3-1 odds for next year's 1,000 Guineas seemed justified.

Bedtime Story, bred out of top sprinter Mecca's Angel, recorded the biggest winning margin at this year's fixture with blistering pace. She ran 0.68 seconds faster than any of her rivals between the second and final furlong and 0.49 seconds quicker on the drive to the line. Her win overshadowed Fairy Godmother's noteworthy success in Friday's Albany Stakes, relegating her stablemate to second favorite for next year's Newmarket Classic.

"Yesterday was good, but by my own eyes, she's the one," added Smith. "I've been wrong before, though!"

O'Brien, expressed his disbelief after claiming a record-extending seventh win in the Chesham. "We never let her go before, this was the first time she was asked to stretch," he said. "Ryan said he couldn't believe it – everyone just fell away, and she took off. He didn't even give her a slap down the shoulder. Fairy Godmother looked good too, but they've never worked together. We treated Bedtime Story gently. She has an unbelievable pedigree, and she's homebred, so it's obviously very special. We thought she was probably a Group 1 filly, but thinking is one thing and seeing is another. You've all seen what I saw today. We won't be looking again."

Winning jockey Ryan Moore, registering his sixth win of the meeting, found it hard to compare the two fillies. "It's a hard one," he said. "They haven't really been asked to do too much at home. We don't know a whole lot about them and we don't know what they've beaten yet, but they are two very exciting fillies. Bedtime Story traveled very easy, and they've gone too slow for her really. I had room at the three, so we started going forward, and the race was over very quickly. She is a level above all of them. A performance like that, you don't see normally."

"I'm speechless, really," said Derrick Smith, whose purple and white silks were on the 11-8 favorite. "Ryan said he didn't touch her, and you can see for yourselves, it's unreal. To win like that is so special. She's very uncomplicated and just went further and further away. She's very good and hopefully she goes on, though she's got a long way to go yet."

Despite the rest of the field competing for places, runner-up Tom Marquand was impressed with Pentle Bay. "It was a huge run," Marquand said of the 5-1 second. "We can count ourselves the winner of one race, and Ryan was the winner of the other. He's run massive and bumped into an extremely good horse." 

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