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Last Updated: October 15, 2011 5:48pm
Fame And Glory: Back to his vey best
Fame And Glory landed the Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup at Ascot.
The Ascot Gold Cup hero was back to his very best after a disappointing effort last time at the Curragh and the 3-1 chance had enough in reserve in the closing stages to hold off favourite Opinion Poll and Colour Vision.
Jamie Spencer sent the eventual winner to the head of affairs early in the back straight and he made his move for glory off the final bend.
It proved decisive as he opened up a handy advantage and although the pack closed inside the distance he was always doing enough to get Ballydoyle on the scorecard by one and quarter lengths.
O'Brien said: "Everybody knew his big day this year was the Ascot Gold Cup, and he was trained very hard for that.
"Out of respect to the horse we had to be kind to him after that.
"We chased him hard for the Gold Cup and didn't want to do that to the horse twice in a year.
"He had his break and had his two nice comebacks and we're delighted with him today.
"Jamie gave him a great ride and got the horse into a lovely rhythm. He's got so much class.
"Next year is a decision for everybody else, it would be great to come back (for the Gold Cup), but obviously it is down to the lads and Dr Hay. It's been a privilege to have him this year and to have him next year would be great."
Spencer said: "We were always going to be relatively positive, but I wasn't sure if Darley Sun was a pacemaker for Opinion Poll.
"I decided to go on and let him use his stride.
"I don't want to sound patronising, but how could Aidan O'Brien get him to turn his form around so much. I was so gutted at the Curragh because I expected him to win, he was odds-on favourite but he was so disappointing.
"He was electric today, it was as if he had a buzzer when something came to him.
"He idled a little bit, but it's so exciting. It's a great day for everybody because it (British Champions Day) is something new.
"Other than Royal Ascot I can't remember being so excited for a meeting."
John Magnier, the driving force behind Coolmore Stud, added: "It was some ride from Jamie and a good training performance.
"To get him back up to that level was something special."
Trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni said of Opinion Poll: "I was a bit worried about the ground today, but he showed he didn't mind it too much.
"He's a lovely horse and always tries his best. There is no plan, but we'd look to run him on World Cup night in Dubai."
Fame And Glory is 2/1 from 3s at Sky Bet to defend his staying crown in next year's Ascot Gold Cup after inflicting a second defeat on Opinion Poll in the Long Distance Cup at Ascot on Saturday.
Matt Doyle of Sky Bet said: "The defending Champion stayer had looked to have gone off the boil since his Ascot Gold Cup victory but Aidan O'Brien is a master at training his horses to peak on the day and Fame And Glory will likely return here next year to follow in the hoofprints of Yeats."