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Sunday, 27 October, 2002, 17:55 GMT
High Chaparral comes to the fore

This was a Breeders Cup with everything, and Aidan O'Brien had mixed emotions at the close of events.

He was elated about High Chaparral's victory in the Breeders' CupTurf, distraught about the death of Landseer and disappointed about Rock of Gibraltar's defeat in the Mile.

The trainer was also frustrated by Hawk Wing's indifferent display, but there was also hope with Hold That Tiger's third place in the Juvenile.

Michael Kinane and High Chaparral after their victory
Kinane guided High Chaparral to victory
High Chaparral is an exceptional horse, having won the English and Irish Derby double and also finishing third in the Arc.

He has come back superbly from the illness that affected O'Brien's yard during the late part of the summer.

Next year, with Rock of Gibraltar probably out of the way, High Chaparral will be the standard-bearer for Coolmore.

Although there is nothing official yet, it seems unlikely that we will see Rock of Gibraltar racing again.

Rock has a job to do at stud and he will finish his career as one of the most remarkable horses in recent times.


Rock of Gibraltar's race will probably haunt Michael Kinane

He has been a solid performer but had a blip on this occasion while losing to Domedriver.

Despite losing, this was perhaps his most spectactular performance although unfortunately it didn't finish in success.

Some people took the view that jockey Michael Kinane made a mess and I think when he looks back, this race will haunt him.

The horse was slow out and didn't make a good start but when he eventually got going, in the most spectacular style, he was checked by Landseer but in a couple more strides he would have won.

Although everyone will probably remember this run more than others, he was a fantastic horse and has given us plenty of moments to savour over the summer.

Michael Kinane can't quite guide Rock of Gibraltar to victory
There was to be no eighth win in a row for Rock of Gibraltar

Valponi's win in the Classic was probably the biggest surprise in Breeders' Cup history.

A no-hoper before the race, those around him were always enthusiastic but they managed to send everyone home with a smile on their faces and make their mark on the day.

Although it is hard at the end of a European season to come across the Atlantic and beat the Americans, the British challengers failed to make their mark.

Islington was unlucky in the Filly and Mare, but Golan disappointed against High Chaparral and never really challenged while Gossamer and Zenda also failed to live up to expectations.


All the action

Cornelius Lysaght

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The winning post
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