Aidan O’Brien’s hotly-fancied Power suffered a surprise defeat in Europe’s top two-year-old colt’s race, the Dewhurst Stakes won by Parish Hall.
Power, the winner of four of his six starts, failed to justify his 15/8 favouritism as he found fellow Irish raider Parish Hall too good in a race won by the peerless Frankel last year.
Parish Hall gave trainer Jim Bolger his fourth success in the race in the past six years with the winner’s sire (father) Teofilio having won in 2006.
However, Bolger said he would class his winner in the same category as another of his previous winners of the race, 2008 Epsom Derby winner New Approach.
“He’s in that league,” said 69-year-old Bolger.
“I would be looking all being well on Parish Hall being an Epsom Derby horse.
“He’s been improving all the time and when you think this time last year he was rolling around in a paddock he’s done a lot in those 12 months.”
The day was not lot for O’Brien who captured the other juvenile colts Group One race in England, the six furlong (1200m) Middle Park Stakes.
The lesser fancied of his two runners, 25-1 shot Crusade, gave the trainer his fourth win in the event.
Seamie Heffernan, heavily criticised for his ride on former Australian champion So You Think in last Sunday’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, delivered Crusade down the centre of the track with a devastating burst of speed.
He strode away to win handily from Richard Hughes on 8-1 chance Lilbourne Lad while O’Brien’s other runner Reply (9/1) was third.
Heffernan said he wasn’t surprised at Crusade’s improvement through the season.
“Like all of Aidan’s he’s improved run to run,” Heffernan said.
Unlike last Sunday Heffernan was wearing a broad smile after showing his qualities as a jockey, which as he had admitted himself hadn’t been the case in the Arc as he conceded he should have had So You Think more prominent.
He ended up finishing fourth after a late flourish but several lengths behind the winner German filly Danedream.
“When it comes together it’s great. When it doesn’t it’s terrible,” he said.
O’Brien, who himself was criticised for sacrificing Irish Derby winner and Epsom Derby second Treasure Beach as a pacemaker in the Arc, said that there may yet be more to come from Crusade this season.
“I am very happy with him. He got a little tired here over seven furlongs,” said O’Brien.
“Obviously the boys (the owners) will talk about what he does now, but I see him as adapting well to the Breeders Cup Juvenile on dirt. He would be ideal for that,” he added.
AFP AAP TURF