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Bronze Cannon - Royal Ascot - 20.06.09

Bronze Cannon gets up to defeat Campanologist in the Hardwicke Stakes

  PICTURE: Mark Cranham


Bronze Cannon strikes
gold in Hardwicke

Report: Royal Ascot, Saturday

Hardwicke Stakes (Group 2) 1m4f

BRONZE CANNON cut down the heavily-backed 2-1 favourite Campanologist close home to land the Hardwicke Stakes at Ascot on Saturday.

The winner, sent off at 8-1, was giving weight away to all eight rivals but he shook off the weight burden to peg back Frankie Dettori and Campanologist in second, with Eddie Ahern third on the Gerard Butler-trained Dansant.

The victory was a boost for trainer John Gosden, who saddled his first winner at this year's Royal Ascot and had sent out 42 runners without a winner, until breaking that run with a winner at Newmarket on Friday.

Barshiba, who set a furious pace, was at one stage seven lengths clear of Richard Hills on Tajaaweed. But turning for home and with three furlongs to race, Dettori was well on his way to reeling the pacesetter in.

The Godolphin runner, who won the King Edward VII Stakes over course and distance last year, had earlier usurped the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Doctor Fremantle at the head of the market following sustain support in the betting ring.

Approaching the furlong market Campanologist was still a length in the clear and the gamble looked likely to be landed, but Bronze Cannon went clear under a determinedJimmy Fortune to land the spoils.

Gosden said of Bronze Cannon, who races as a homebred for the Oppenheimer family: "He won the Jockey Club Stakes at Newmarket and picked up a 3lb penalty for this. We were always going to comehere but it is difficult with a penalty.

"Frankie told me at the start of the week he thought this was his best chance of a winner but our horse has shown lots of courage, given them 3lb and beat the lot of them.

"I suppose we will have to look at Group 1s now but we are happy where we are at the moment."

Fortune said: "They went very quick early, and I was happy to sit where I was. He has a big heart this horse. Frankie wasn't stopping, my lad kept pulling that bit more out and wore him down in the end.

"It was a good effort to win with a penalty, they're not bad horses he's beaten. He gets a mile and a half well and is a very game little horse. He'scertainly going the right way."

Saeed bin Suroor, trainer of Campanologist, said: "The pace was too quick early but he ran a big, big race.

"I was confident coming here after his performance at Sandown and the horse has been working well at home.

"Frankie rode him in his last piece of work and that went well. I thought for a second that he was going to win, but we could have done with the winning post being further down the track."

Bronze Cannon is the third British or Irish stakes winner by Lemon Drop Kid, who stands for $50,000 at Lane's End Farm in Kentucky.

A half-brother to the Listed-placed Valance (by Horse Chestnut), Bronze Cannon is out of Victoria Cross, a Listed-placed daughter of Mark Of Esteem. Further back, the family includes the high-class hurdler Pridwell.







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