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Broome on the way to winning the Hardwicke Stakes under Ryan Moore
By James Burn
Saturday: Hardwicke Stakes, Royal Ascot
Aidan O’Brien knows all about the trials and tribulations of horses getting injured, but you could not mistake the pride he felt in getting Broome firmly back on track.
The 6-1 success owed plenty to a masterful ride from the modest Ryan Moore, who was quick to deflect any plaudits, while the six-year-old, likely the only one of his generation at Ballydoyle, has long possessed plenty of raw talent .
He was able to showcase that in fantastic style when powering clear from Mostahdaf, while 8-11 favorite Hurricane Lane was third.
That Broome performed to arguably his best – something O’Brien suggested – is down, in part, to the unheralded name of Kanichi Kusano, a vet who was on duty at Tokyo in November when the son of Australia finished 11th in the Japan Cup.
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Broome wins the Group 2 contest by over three lengths on the final day of Royal Ascot
After Moore slipped off his back in the unsaddling enclosure, Broome was kicked in the shin by a local runner but Kusano’s quick thinking prevented the injury from becoming more serious and he was hailed by connections in the Saturday’s post-race debrief.
Moore was enjoying a glorious week in the saddle but in typical fashion did not want an ounce of credit – something he was happy to pass Kusano’s way.
“The horse was in unbelievable shape and he put up an excellent performance today,” said Moore. “He was in a great rhythm and was fantastic. I couldn’t have been happy with him.
“I’d just got the saddle off him in Japan when he was kicked and the vet Kanichi, who looked after him, is here today.”
Arguably the biggest grin in Ascot belonged to Kusano, who is now the general manager of the Japan Racing Association’s London office.
“I’m very happy and this was my main thing today even though there are Japanese horses running,” said Kusano.
“As the vet who was in that moment, I was hoping he’d win, although he didn’t have to win – just coming back to the racecourse was enough.
“That horse ran in the Japan Cup and we hope he comes again. Connections might have known, but now they definitely know about the treatment we’d give horses in Japan; it’s in the highest capacity. It might give them more comfort to know they can bring their horses safely.
“It was unfortunate for Broome at the time but we’re lucky we have this case to show Japan’s standards. There aren’t many places we can do that but Aidan was happy and so was Ryan, who is a gentleman.”
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Broome moves clear of Mostahdaf and Hurricane Lane in the Hardwicke Stakes
If Moore did not want praise for his ride, O’Brien was not listening.
“Ryan knows what he’s doing and gave him a brilliant ride – as always,” the trainer said.
“The horse fractured his shin in Japan and was off for a long time. He had a very good comeback run in the Tattersalls Gold Cup and we were happy.”
Getting Hurricane Lane to peak for the Arc, which he was third in last year, is what Charlie Appleby will try to do next.
“I’m pleased,” Appleby said. “I said to William [Buick] before the race that if he’s not there to win then don’t be too hard on him. It’s not something we’ve hidden from anyone that we’re looking at October.
“We think he’s our Arc horse and he does like the ground with a bit more ease in it, so it was quick enough for him. He’s taken on two fit rivals but he’s run well and it’s lovely to see him back and showing us he can have a big year.”
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