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Last Updated: 15/10/11 3:32pm
Deacon Blues: Powered to Ascot glory
Deacon Blues continued his upward curve in the Qipco British Champions Sprint Stakes at Ascot.
James Fanshawe's star was winning his fifth race on the bounce this season and there was never really any doubt about the outcome in the Group 2 contest.
The 5-2 favourite was always travelling with menace for Johnny Murtagh just behind the pace set by Hooray and once the latter started to fold from the furlong pole the race was over.
Murtagh pushed his mount clear to score with plenty in hand as Wizz Kid (8-1) and Libranno (25-1) emerged from the pack to chase him home.
Fanshawe said: "I think he ran eight times as a three-year-old and won once,
this season he's run six times and won five. It's unbelievable.
"He's the most amazing horse and has just improved and improved. He's a wonderful horse to have in the yard.
"I'm not sure Johnny will have anywhere to stay when he comes to Newmarket (as he usually lodges with Frankie Dettori, whom he replaced in the saddle) but he was Johnny's ride first so I thought I'd keep it fair. Johnny also won four Group Ones on Soviet Song for me.
"It's a fantastic day and I'm really grateful to Qipco for putting up all the prize money.
"He's a credit to the owners (Jan and Peter Hopper) as they bred him and they also bred Frizzante who won a July Cup which is fantastic for a small stud.''
Murtagh added: "I've had some luck for James over the years, he's a great trainer, I'm not sure he knows how good he is.
"He looks after me very well and I'm very grateful to him for putting me back up on him.
"The day I won on him at the Curragh I thought he was a Group One horse. I think he has a lot more to give.
"I said I'd follow Sir Mark's (Prescott) horse (Hooray), I got there a bit soon but he won very easily and he's a genuine Group One horse.''
Looking to next season, Fanshawe said: "We'll enjoy today, next year is next year but I'm looking forward to it.''
John O'Connor, representing the owners of Wizz Kid, said: "We wanted to come here to see if she got six furlongs and handled Ascot, and she did.
"She is quite lightly raced and it is highly likely that she will stay in training next season.
"Gerald (Mosse) thought she would be even better when she was more mature.''
Richard Hannon said of Libranno: "That was a hell of a run for a three-year-old, and he is a pretty good horse.
"Hopefully we will have him back next year.''