Cheveley Park Stud’s Chris Richardson has reflected on a “special moment and a great triumph” as Inspiral oozed class in the defence of her Prix Jacques le Marois title at Deauville.
The four-year-old is now a four-time winner at Group One level, and was arguably at the peak of her powers on the Normandy coast as she scooted clear of big-race favourite Big Rock following an inspired ride from Frankie Dettori, who was registering a record-extending eighth success in the showpiece event.
The victory was made all the more spectacular coming just 11 days after Inspiral had failed in her bid to topple Paddington in Goodwood’s Sussex Stakes, and Richardson, who is managing director of Cheveley Park, was full of praise for both Dettori and the training heroics of John and Thady Gosden following the filly’s quick turnaround in fortunes.
He said: “Unbelievable, it was fantastic and it’s full marks to every aspect of the team really.
“Frankie really looked after her at Goodwood and as I’ve said before, when he made his move on Inspiral to get the rail, her burst was short lived and he accepted it and just let her come home – and full marks to John for having the courage to say let’s go back 11 days later too.
“It all worked in her favour and I think it was probably one of the best performances of her career.”
Last year Inspiral prevailed by a neck from David Simcock’s Light Infantry, but this time around a stellar cast of milers had assembled and what made the triumph all the more remarkable was Dettori’s ingenious ploy of taking the filly all the way over to the far side of the track from her position in stall one to find the perfect position to mount a winning challenge.
“It was sensational and to be as brave as Frankie was to go from basically draw one to draw 12 and come down the outside having gone a lot further than everybody else, I think even he was as wide-eyed surprised that she just kept on motoring,” added Richardson.
“She loves a fast pace which she got and the ground had dried up enough and she has proved now that she goes on fast ground, good ground and good to soft ground.”
The Marois serves as a ‘win and you’re in’ race for the Breeders’ Cup Mile and a trip to Santa Anita in November is just one of a plethora of options now available for Inspiral, who also holds entries closer to home in the Matron Stakes (Leopardstown, September 9), Sun Chariot Stakes (Newmarket, October 7) and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes on British Champions Day (Ascot, October 21).
However, with all connected with the daughter of Frankel revelling in her latest triumph, the dust will be allowed to settle on her successful French raid before plans for later in the season are firmed up.
Richardson added: “Sadly Mrs (Patricia) Thompson (Cheveley Park owner) couldn’t be there, but Richard her son came with me and had a really special day. He was thrilled just like his mother and it was a great lift for everyone really. It was a special moment and a great triumph for all concerned.
“There is lots to think about now. John and I just thought on the plane home we would see how she is in a week to 10 days’ time. Mrs Thompson is also coming up this week, so we can discuss what plans we might want to consider.
“She has plenty of entries and if the Breeders’ Cup is something Mrs Thompson is prepared to consider then who knows, she might end up there. We will enjoy this moment and enjoy the next few weeks of planning.”