John Gosden could barely hide his delight at the fine effort from last season’s Group 1 Ladbrokes St Leger winner Arctic Cosmos who showed that he remains a significant force to be reckoned with in finishing runner-up to Luca Cumani’s ex-Irish performer Quest for Peace in the Group 3 Grosvenor Casinos Cumberland Lodge Stakes at Ascot, writes Elliot Slater.
Arctic Cosmos hadn’t been seen on a racecourse since that famous day in September of last year when the first-time application of blinkers worked wonders on the son of Derby winner North Light, as he romped home under a great ride from William Buick to record a length-and-three-quarter verdict of Ballydoyle’s Midas Touch.
The plan had been to cross the Atlantic and take in the Canadian International before the season was out, but an injury to a cannon-bone during his final training gallop ruled out that bid and resulted in Gosden’s four-year-old being sidelined for over 12 months from racecourse duty. Those following the horseracing betting will have been disappointed by the incident.
Expected to improve for the comeback outing at Ascot, Arctic Cosmos showed all his old enthusiasm in leading from the start until headed by the free-going Yaseer after halfway. When Yaseer weakened quickly shortly after, Arctic Cosmos was left back in front more than half a mile from home and despite being headed by the race fit Quest for Peace, he kept on in very pleasing fashion to go down by just two-lengths, the pair finishing well clear of the admirable Nanton who stayed on from way back to finish third. Even those following the Breeders Cup betting will have been impressed.
Gosden expects the run to bring his charge on perfectly for a bid for this season’s Canadian International at Woodbine on October 16 and is more than hopeful that the patience shown by connections will get its due reward in front of the anticipated huge crowd at the Toronto circuit.