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Quiet Reflection shows herself to be a big noise

17 Jun 2016

Former jump jockey Dougie Costello guides filly to emotional victory in Commonwealth Cup

Sealed with a kiss: Quiet Reflection took the spoils in the Commonwealth Cup under Costello, right. Picture:

Almost 70,000 people were at Royal Ascot today and none were cooler than Dougie Costello. The former jump jockey kept his nerve to deliver trainer Karl Burke victory aboard Quiet Reflection in the Group One Commonwealth Cup.

The 7-4 favourite, who is owned by the ten-man Ontoawinner syndicate, along with Hubert Strecker and Burke himself, was always travelling powerfully for her jockey but he sat patiently before using her potent turn of foot a furlong from home.

There was an anxious moment as runner-up Kachy drifted across the track but it didn’t affect any of the other runners as Quiet Reflection took command and won the six-furlong contest by a length.

Having been coolness personified on the track, Costello was a whirl of emotions afterwards and shed tears of joy. “Emotion took over a little bit,” he said. “Karl has put me in this position and given me this opportunity. It’s been a long road. This feels like the icing on top of the cake.

“I was very confident [about her chances] – but the more I looked at the paper, the more I was finding excuses for other horses beating us.

“The rain got in; there was a bit of spring in your step after walking the course this morning but after watching the first two races it was definitely deader and I thought that would blunt her speed. She’s such an honest filly, she jumps; she’ll go anywhere for you, she switches off.

“She probably didn’t pick up as well on the ground today but courage and class has pulled her through. From hereon in it is going to be exciting with her. There might be a few more tears somewhere along the line.

Burke. Owns 15 per cent of the filly himself and was full of smiles afterwards. “When she comes through she has a great turn of foot and it has got her out of trouble again today.

“I bought her at the breeze-ups and the lads at Ontoawinner were there and took half straight away. Elaine and my eldest daughter Kelly would not let me keep the other half so I sold 35 per cent to Hubert Strecker. I was determined to keep a piece because we have always thought a bit of her.

“My biggest fear is that we’d be in a barging match – she’s not a huge filly so I said to Dougie to keep it simple. As it happens, we were stuck in the middle but the runner-up running across the track opened it up a little and she used that turn of foot to great effect.”

Tom Dascombe was left to reflect on what might have been as Kachy hung left across the track after leading most of the way.

“For all I could see we were the winner all the way but I don’t want to take anything away from the winner,” he said. “She has beaten us but Kachy has ended up on the stands’ side rail.

“I don’t know what to say really we might have to go back to five furlongs and put a pair of blinkers on him. I’m absolutely thrilled for Karl Burke, he is one of my best mates so if I’m going to lose to anybody I’d rather lose to him.”

Aidan O’Brien, trainer of the third home Washington DC, remarked: “He ran very well and I am very happy. He would prefer the ground faster but he ran a great race.”