Superb The Fugue Lands Irish Champion Stakes

9/9/2013 - John Gosden’s decision to let his high-class filly, the Fugue, take her chance in the Group 1 Red Mills Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown despite the ground changing to be easier than is ideal for her, was well and truly vindicated as the four-year-old put up a brilliant performance to beat star 10-furlong performer, Al Kazeem.

The Lady Lloyd Webber-owned homebred filly had travelled to Ireland in search of her preferred quick conditions, but the easier than expected ground proved no barrier to success for the daughter of Dansili who just 16 days earlier had slammed Ballydoyle’s Venus de Milo by four lengths in the Group 1 Darley Yorkshire Oaks at York on fast ground.

Ridden with plenty of confidence by the excellent William Buick, The Fugue (4/1) settled in behind the pacesetting Jim Bolger pair of Irish Derby winner, Trading Leather, and his stable companion, Parish Hall, before making ground towards the outside of the field as they swung for home with two furlongs to run.

Inside the final quarter-mile, hot favourite, Al Kazeem (9/10 in many sports betting markets), tried to battle past Trading Leather but laboured to do so, before Buick came with a devastating run on The Fugue who quickly put the issue beyond any doubt, racing away inside the final furlong to score by a length-and-a-quarter from Al Kazeem, with Trading Leather left a further two lengths behind in third.

Equally at home over the 10 furlongs of the Irish Champion Stakes or at 12 furlongs, Gosden’s star performer was immediately slashed from a pre-race 20/1 in the racing betting to a general offer of 10/1 for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp on October 6, while a crack at the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf - in which she finished a fine third last term - could also be on the agenda.

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