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By Martin Kelly, Press Association Sport. Last Updated: 04/06/10 5:05pm
Fame And Glory - took the Coronation Cup at Epsom.
Normal service was resumed by Fame And Glory in the Investec Coronation Cup as Aidan O'Brien harvested Epsom's Group One for older horses for the fourth time in six years.
With the annual pageant of stamina-laden bloodlines through the offspring of Montjeu, Galileo and Sadler's Wells, O'Brien can be depended upon to have a major presence in this division.
Although he drew a blank in 2009, a commanding performance from the stable's latest flag-bearer carried on the tradition from Soldier Of Fortune, Scorpion and Yeats in recent years.
Fame And Glory, last year's Irish Derby winner, came up short against Sea The Stars at Epsom and on two other occasions, but now appears to set the standard both at Ballydoyle and on the middle-distance scene as a whole - he is clear 6-1 favourite with Ladbrokes and William Hill for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.
Johnny Murtagh made a smart decision to tag along behind his pacemaker Dixie Music and Jukebox Jury, in the process stealing an advantage of at least half a dozen lengths from his serious rivals.
Last year's Oaks winner Sariska had finished in front of 5-6 favourite Fame And Glory in the Champion Stakes and jockey Jamie Spencer moved swiftly to ensure he was not left behind, bustling the filly into fourth and challenging quite early in the home straight.
But whatever Sariska threw at Fame And Glory he battled away and was full value for his winning margin of a length and a half as he followed on from victory in last month's Tattersalls Gold Cup.
O'Brien said: "He's tactically very quick now and Johnny said he was always in control. He was cantering.
"It was always the plan to go for the two big races and we'll maybe look at the Prince Of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot depending how he is.
"Sariska's a great filly, but we were very happy as he was going very well. He's a great horse."
Murtagh added: "He just missed the stalls a little bit today - he didn't jump very well.
"There didn't look to be too much pace in the race, so I said to Seamus (Heffernan) I'd probably be following you (on Dixie Music). He works with him all the time and knows him well.
"The horse on my inside (Jukebox Jury) had me a little bit keen early on.
"I wanted to get a breather in him but he went hard for a long way and is a real champion. I liked the way he knuckled down in the last furlong."
Sariska's trainer Michael Bell said: "It's hard to be really happy in defeat but I think in this circumstances we are - a filly taking on a very good colt.
"I thought two out we were going to come and beat him, but he found again.
"Jamie said the ground was not ideal. She is effective on it but softer ground plays to her strengths.
"She'll win another Group One this year and I'd love it to be one against the colts.
"We'll have to talk to Lady Bamford (owner) about the King George and obviously we'll have the option of dropping in against fillies again, but I'd love to take the colts on again. That's what it's all about."
High Heeled made a cracking debut for John Gosden to be third and the trainer beamed: "We were going to go to the Middleton Stakes at York but the ground was too quick and I couldn't be more thrilled with that run.
"She could have done with a little bit more juice in the ground but like I say, I'm thrilled with her."
Mick Channon was left with a rather bittersweet feeling after Youmzain, runner-up spot for the past two years, took fourth.
"He's run a good race again but he's not getting any younger and it's getting harder for him," he said.
"We've given a Group One winner, an Irish Derby winner and a horse who was the favourite a 10-length start and I don't understand it, but I'm a trainer and not a jockey.
"These things do happen and I'm pleased with the horse. We'll have a look at Saint-Cloud again as well as the King George and then go back to the Arc eventually."