Chacha Quicksteps to Group 1 Victory in Stewards’ Room

Sir Henry Cecil received something of a tonic, as he battles serious illness when seeing his talented mare, Chachamaidee, gain her first Group 1 success with the help of the Leopardstown stewards, after crossing the winning line a short-head behind Duntle in a thrilling finish to the Coolmore Fusaichi Pegasus Matron Stakes on Saturday evening, writes Elliot Slater.

The five-year-old daughter of Footstepsinthesand had been briefly knocked off her stride well inside the final furlong, as Duntle edged to her right and caused a cannon effect that eventually pushed Chachamaidee a shade wider than had been intended.

The stewards decided that that loss of momentum, coupled with the fact that she was in front no more than two strides after the line, had probably cost Cecil’s mare the race and duly reversed the placings, much to the shock of many punters who had bet long odds-on in the photo that Duntle would keep the race.

The development has been a staple story in the horse racing news since it happened, standing as a warning to gamblers betting on the favourite.

Whilst David Wachman and the connections of the demoted ‘first past the post’ were understandably upset by the decision, few could deny that Chachamaidee has deserved a top grade success for some time, having strung together a series of fine performances in recent seasons.

She achieved a length second to French star, Sahpresa, in last season’s Group 1 Kingdom of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket, a contest for which she may again bid for top honours back at HQ on September 29.

The winner of the Group 2 Lennox Stakes at Glorious Goodwood this summer, having failed by just a neck to peg back Joviality, after losing five lengths at the start of the Group 2 Windsor Forest Stakes at Royal Ascot in June, Chachamaidee’s only disappointing effort had been last time out.

She came fourth of the five runners to Premio Loco in a muddling renewal of the celebration Mile but she well and truly bounced back to form in Ireland to justify the horse racing betting odds.