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Radiohead - Royal Ascot - 18.06.09

Radiohead (right) swoops to defeat Reignier (centre) and Tawaabb (yellow) to take a rough renewal of the Norfolk Stakes

  PICTURE: Mark Cranham 


Radiohead emulates sire to take Norfolk honours

Report: Royal Ascot, Thursday
Norfolk Stakes (Group 2)
5f, 2yocolts and geldings

RADIOHEAD gave Jamie Spencer his second win of the week in a rough renewal of the Norfolk Stakes. The winner was returned at 10-1, with Reignier coming home in second and Tawaabb back in third.

As expected, American raider Yogaroo was the first away and led the field in the opening stages. However, Star Rover and Here Now And Why were rushed up to join the leader, who could never open up a sizeable lead.

Yogaroo started to falter and as his jockey, John Velazquez, picked up his whip, Yogaroo jinked to his left and collided with favourite Monsieur Chevalier, who in turn struck the eventual winner.

Despite this blow, Radiohead managed to regroup and came with an electric turn of foot late on to run out an impressive winner.  

“I thought it was over when the other horse hit me. When you get a bang like that at the furlong pole in a five-furlong Group race, it's curtains, " said Spencer.

"I couldn't believe he was able to get going again. He was hit from side on and generally a horse would be winded and it's so hard to get balanced again.

"I had to stop for three or four strides, get him balanced and off Richard's heels. It's just surreal really.

"He is some horse and that was a great performance,” Spencer added.

Winning trainer Brian Meehan was equally impressed with the victory.

He said: “I though our chance had gone and I looked away. The horse did so well to come back under a great ride.”

Radiohead emulates his sire, Johannesburg, who took the 2001 renewal of this race en route to landing the Phoenix Stakes, Middle Park Stakes and Breeder's Cup Juvenile. The son Hennessy ended that season as the champion to-year-old in Britain, Ireland, France and North America.

Radiohead is the 18th Group/Graded stakes winner by Johannesburg. Among his most notable performers is the Florida Derby winner Scat Daddy, who now stands alongside his sire at Ashford Stud in Kentucky, and last season's Prix d'Isapahan winner Sageburg.

Johannesburg stands for $35,000.

Bred by Redmyre Bloodstock and Stephen Hillen, Radiohead is the second foal and winner out of Security Interest, an unraced daughter of Belong To Me and minor US stakes winner She's Got The Facts.

Grove Stud purchased Radiohead for €130,000 at the Goffs November Sale as a foal. He was re-sold for 70,000gns to Hugo Merry at last year's Book 1 of the Tattersalls October Sale.

Security Interest has a yearling filly by Sleeping Indian.




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