Jamie Osborne defiant as Toast Of New York trails home in Pegasus

Sun 28 Jan 2018
Gun Runner - 2018 - Pegasus Florent Geroux celebrates winning the Pegasus on Gun Runner (Racingfotos)

By staff

Gun Runner defied a wide draw to win the Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes at Gulfstream Park.

It had already been decided that the Breeders' Cup Classic winner would head off to stud whatever happened in the $16 million event but he signed off in style.

Jamie Osborne's Toast Of New York became the first British contender in the second running of the race but after sitting in mid-division in the first half of the contest he gradually lost touch and was allowed to coast home in the hands of Frankie Dettori.

Osborne tweeted afterwards: "Not our day but thankfully he seems fine. We will dust ourselves down and come up with another plan. Keep the faith!

"Very happy to report that Toast seems fine this morning. He will be back in Lambourn on Tuesday. We will regroup and make another plan. It's not over yet!"

The trainer later told the Racing Post: "I know I look slightly silly bringing him here now, but I still believe wholeheartedly that he is capable of competing at this level.

"Maybe he needs a full mile and a quarter to show it now but I'm still a believer and I don't think it's a soppy sentimental belief. I think I've seen enough in his work to justify that belief. He's been the horse of a lifetime and I have every intention of proving to the world that he is capable of a Grade One win.

"The important thing is whether or not his leg is OK and I think we're all right. I still believe there's a Grade One in him and I'll be doing my utmost to prove it."

Gun Runner was drawn outside Toast Of New York in stall 10 but he broke like a sprinter under Florent Geroux and was able to sit second on the first bend.

After that everything went to plan as Gun Runner, already Horse of the Year, followed Arrogate into the record books as a winner of the richest race in horse racing.

West Coast got closest to him with Gunnevera third but in truth it was all about one horse.

Asmussen told NBC: "It was emotional to come here for his last race given everything he's done for us.

"To overcome the draw - I'm just so proud of the horse and what a dream come true he is.

"He's improved with every opportunity he's got, even when he didn't have success he moved forward from it. 

"We're blessed to be in his presence. This memory will be with us forever."

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