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They said what? Top quotes from this year’s Champions Series

21 Oct 2016

A look back at some of the things trainers, jockey and owners said during a memorable Series

Roger Varian was full of praise for Postponed, a dual Series winner in 2016. Picture:

“Every time we win a nice race I wake up the next morning and the first thing I do is check the Racing Post to make sure it happened. I’ll be doing that tomorrow and dreading this has been a dream.”
Hugo Palmer after Galileo Gold’s QIPCO 2000 Guineas triumph

“I got a bit smashed up on the rail for a bit but her class got us out of trouble. I always felt that we’d saved plenty as things had gone smoothly up to that point. I had no doubt she was the best filly and the best fillies get you out of trouble.”
Ryan Moore after Minding had overcome a bumpy passage to win the Investec Oaks

“I suppose not winning the Derby has been nagging away at me for a bit. It was the one race I needed to win. Quite often, though, you don’t have a good enough horse to run in the race, let alone win it. You have to make every opportunity count when you do.”
Dermot Weld savours Harzand’s Derby success

“His ability – you can’t install that. All his other attributes come a close second. He’s got the most level temperament; that’s a real quality. I should have thought he’s got the most level heartbeat of any horse at the start; he takes any situation in his stride. He can operate off a fast pace or a slow pace and in different ground conditions. He really is the ultimate.”
Roger Varian when asked what sets Postponed apart from the others

“Hugo was ultra-nervous today and he made me feel nervous too just talking to him.”
Frankie Dettori reveals Hugo Palmer’s edgy nature before the St James’s Palace Stakes. It all ended well, though, as Galileo Gold won

“The mare is the best thing in the world – she’s fantastic. People say Americans have to have drugs in their horses. She had no drugs and no nasal strip, the things everyone was worried about.”
Owner Robert Masterson after Tepin had landed the Queen Anne Stakes

“I can’t believe we got beaten.”
Ryan Moore stunned after Found had finished runner-up to My Dream Boat in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes

“I had to ride about four different races – it was a nightmare the whole way. He picked up well and to be still pouring it on at the end of two and a half miles is a very good performance.”
Moore in happier mood after Order Of St George had scooped the Gold Cup

“For me to the double in this race is like a childhood dream. I hope to get some more wins here because for me it is the best racing in the world.”
Jean Claude Rouget after Qemah had won the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot – a year after he had won the race with Ervedya

“I had a Ducati 1098 for two years before my daughter came along and my wife made me get rid of it. The way Quiet Reflection took off when I pushed the button at Haydock is probably the closest acceleration I’ve ever felt to it since.”
Dougie Costello on Quiet Reflection – before her wins in the Commonwealth Cup and 32 Red Sprint Cup

“I took him to Newbury recently to do a piece of work with him and he decided that he wanted to do two bits of work. He got rid of his work-rider and did a piece of work himself and then we did what we’d come there to do. La Rioja got rid of her rider, too, and they a nice spin round loose. It wasn’t funny at the time. I could do without mornings like that.”
Henry Candy reveals how Twilight Son prepared for his victory in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes

“It’s probably the most timely winner I’ve ever had.”
William Buick after enjoying Coral-Eclipse glory on Hawkbill – 24 hours before beginning a 30-day ban.

“Harry’s first comment was ‘I can’t wait to ride him again!’ He must give the jockey some special feel. It was absolutely electrifying, horses like him make the job easy.”
Henry Candy on jockey Harry Bentley and Limato after the pair had combined to win the Darley July Cup

“He’s just a fascinating horse – if you like that sort of problem. He’s like one of those kids who throw their weight around in the pub until someone challenges them and then they back down. That’s exactly what he’s like. Just when I think I’ve worked him out, he keeps changing.”
Sir Mark Prescott on Champions Series regular Pallasator

“She is a great traveller, she quickens very well, she stays very well. She looks after herself when she gets to the front. She is thriving and she has a great mind. She is an unusual filly who can cruise, relax and quicken.”
Aidan O’Brien on the virtues of Minding

“We had to pull him out of the King George, which was heartbreaking at the time, so to come back and win this races is one of the highlights (of my career). It’s joy, it’s relief – it means everything.”
Roger Varian reveals his emotions after Postponed had won the Juddmonte International

“This is a fantastic feeling but now I will have to throw another party and Michael [Dods, the trainer] never wants to chip in.”
David Metcalfe, owner of Mecca’s Angel, sees one downside to his star mare’s second Coolmore Nunthorpe victory

“He’s as slow as a hearse at home.”
David Simcock gives a blunt appraisal of Sheikhzayedroad after the gelding’s exciting Doncaster Cup win

“We are not going there for a day out, or to make up the numbers. We are going there with a horse who is entitled to be there and he could not be in better shape. He’s spot-on. It’s the perfect race for him; he’s an out-out stayer who has matured as the year has progressed. He’s only the price he is [generally 25-1] because he’s trained by us.”
Laura Mongan before Harbour Law’s run in the Ladbrokes St Leger.

“I think I screamed a lot. I’m in shock.”
Her initial response after Harbour Law had won

“To go down in history as the first woman to win it is amazing, at least I’ve done something right.”
Laura Mongan again after a little time for reflection

“The post-Frankel years have been difficult. But it’s like poker – if you keep going to the table, you’ve got a chance of getting a hand. I was dealt the best hand of all time a few years ago, but I know I am capable of playing a hand if I get it. I’ve had to wait a while, but I’m getting a kick out of it.”
Tom Queally after winning the QIPCO British Champions Sprint on The Tin Man

“I love this horse. I would rank him very highly against all the horses I have ever trained.”
Jean-Claude Rouget after Almanzor’s QIPCO Champion Stakes success at Ascot