The Queen's Fabricate awarded Goodwood prize in stewards' room

Tue 1 Aug 2017

Dark Red and Fabricate ensured the Qatar Goodwood Festival kicked off in controversial fashion when the latter was awarded the Matchbook Betting Exchange Handicap in the stewards' room.

Ed Dunlop's Dark Red crossed the line in front, having seen off the Michael Bell-trained Fabricate, owned by the Queen, in a tight finish.

But Dark Red drifted markedly to his left under Oisin Murphy, knocking into Fabricate, who in turn nudged the third Khairaat.

After a long inquiry the placings were revised, with the 20-1 shot Fabricate placed first.

Bell said: "I was delighted with that as we were only experimenting over a mile and a quarter, I know Her Majesty will be delighted with that.

"This horse has been a real trial for us to keep right so it's great credit to my team.

"It was only an experiment coming back in trip but I spoke to Her Majesty this morning and said the ground would be lovely and Adam gave him a lovely ride.

"Adam was pretty confident he'd get it. It was a hefty bump and I'm glad the stewards agreed with him.

"Her Majesty will be delighted, I don't think either of us expected to win."

Murphy said of Dark Red: "He hit the front and then had a look around.

"I had my stick in my left hand to try and keep him straight and then put my stick down towards the line, he's won easy in the end.

"I can't tell the horse to go straight, all I can do is ask him to."

A philosophical Dunlop said: "Would the horse have gone straighter if the stick had been down? I simply don't know.

"The Queen's horse was coming in, we've wiped out most of the field but I think it is harsh to blame the jockey. The horse did it.

"I believe the best horse on the day won the race, but he didn't keep in a straight line."

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