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Yeats Wins UK Gr1 Ascot Gold Cup
Despite having his 1st start for 242 days, Ballydoyle's Irish-bred 5YO staying entire Yeats (Sadler's Wells-Lyndonville, by Top Ville) confirmed his early favouritism for this year's Gr1 Melbourne Cup by racing away in the straight to blitz his 11 rivals by 4-lengths in the £225,000 (A$540,000) Gr1 Ascot Gold Cup (2.5 miles) for 4YOs & up in England overnight. Yeats (ridden by Kieren Fallon for trainer Aidan O'Brien) defeated Prince Khalid Abdulla's Juddmonte Farms home-bred French Gr1-winner Reefscape (Linamix-Coraline, by Sadler's Wells) & last year's runner-up Distinction (Danehill-Ivy Leaf, by Nureyev). Yeats (who won England's Gr1 Coronation Cup over 12 furlongs at Epsom in June last year) was having his 1st start at a distance longer than 14 furlongs; 2 seasons ago he had been a leading contender for the UK 2004 Gr1 Epsom Derby (after winning both Ireland's Gr3 Ballysax Stakes & then Gr2 Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial) but missed the Derby & the rest of the year with a muscle problem between his hip & backbone. Overall Yeats (who only returned to full training 5 weeks ago) now has 5 wins from 9 starts for owners Susan Magnier & Diane Nagle.