Racing is not all about winning. Great joy can also be derived from near misses, especially when there is stacks of prize money on offer.
Connections of Gabrial will vouch for that. A tough and consistent gelding, he is one of those “limbo” horses – not good enough, perhaps, to win at the very highest level, and too high in the ratings to win the big handicaps.
That has not stopped him performing with distinction on several occasions in the QIPCO British Champions Series – being placed in three contests and picking up £225,000 in prize money.
In 2015, he was third to Solow in the Qatar Sussex Stakes, at 50-1, and stayed on strongly to fill the same place behind him in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes on Champions Day at Ascot in October, when 66-1.
Three years earlier, he had finished third to Frankel in the Sussex Stakes, at 80-1, being beaten just over nine lengths.
Look out for him again, at big odds, in 2017.