There have been many times over many years where jockeys have been stood down from their schedule rides …for anything from headaches, dehydration, injuries etc … only for them to have to then sit and watch the runners they were due to partner romp home to victory.
Many, many of them … but there is still room to spare a thought for Christophe Soumillon after the Breeders’ Cup meeting last weekend.
As Soumillon had tested positive for COVID-19, he was forced to give up the mounts on both Tarnawa, for Dermot Weld in the US$4 million Breeders’ Cup Turf, and on Order Of Australia, for Aidan O‘Brien in the US$2 million Breeders’ Cup Mile.
And, yes, you’ve guessed it … both of those horses won.
But, of course, there are two sides to any story and jockey Pierre-Charles Boudot, who benefitted from Soumillon’s absence by taken the $73 chance Order Of Australia to victory in the Breeders’ Cup Mile, must have really believed the racing gods were smiling on him, because he also had another pick up ride in the Breeders’ Cup Fillies and Mares Turf on the James Fanshawe trained Audarya, replacing Ioritz Mendizabal who also failed a Covid-19 before he was to travel to travel to the United States … and he duly won that as well.
Order of Australia, in fact, only got into the final line-up in the Breeders’ Cup Mile when One Master was scratched. Boudot was originally booked to ride One Master.
For Colin Keane, who picked up the ride on Tarnawa from Soumillon in the Breeder’s Cup Turf, it was the Irish Champion jockey’s his first Breeders’ Cup success.
The wins of Tarnawa, Order Of Australia, Audarya and Glass Slippers, who took out the US$1 million Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint … the first time a European runner had saluted in the race … ensured a total European domination of four Breeders’ Cup race that were contested on turf.
Amongst those results a special mention has to be made of trainer Aidan O’Brien who saddled the first three past the post in the Breeders’ Cup Mile.
That was O’Brien’s thirteenth Breeders’ Cup winner … but it was a first for the stable in the Breeders’ Cup mile.