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Page last updated at 16:13 GMT, Sunday, 2 May 2010 17:13 UK

Special Duty wins 1,000 Guineas after stewards' inquiry

Special Duty and Stephane Pasquier (l) and Jacqueline Quest and Tom Queally
Special Duty (l) and and Jacqueline Quest race to the finish at Newmarket

Special Duty won a thrilling 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket after a stewards' inquiry reversed the initial result.

The 9-2 favourite was pipped at the post by a nose by the Henry Cecil-trained 66-1 shot Jacqueline Quest.

However, the stewards ruled the French-trained Duty, ridden by Stephane Pasquier, had been hampered by Cecil's filly, with Tom Queally on board.

It was trainer Criquette Head-Maarek's fourth win in the Classic. Jim Bolger's Gile Na Greine (25-1) was third.

Jacqueline Quest, the daughter of former 2,000 Guineas winner Rock of Gibraltar, had her made bid for home from two furlongs out but Special Duty kept in touch and the pair were neck and neck at the final furlong mark.

Cecil's Quest began drifting to her right making contact with Special Duty and taking her towards the centre of the course.

The pair stormed across the line together as Jacqueline Quest got the verdict by a nose. However, 10 minutes after the stewards' siren had sounded Cecil was denied his seventh victory in the race.


It was a heartbreaking result for Noel Martin, the wheelchair-bound owner of Jacqueline Quest.

Jamaica-born Martin, who lost the use of his limbs after a neo-Nazi attack in Germany in 1996, had spoken in heart-warming terms of how the filly is named after his late wife before the klaxon sounded and the amended finishing order was announced.

"They took the race away from me. She is still Jacqueline Quest and they cannot take that away from me and she was still first past the post," he said.

Stipendiary steward William Nunneley said: "Obviously there was interference and you could see Special Duty had been taken across the track by Jacqueline Quest - we had to decide whether it affected the result.

"The winning distance was a nose and Special Duty was taken nearly halfway across the track.

"We had to decide if they had both stayed straight, would the result have been the same?

"We decided that it obviously cost her more than just a nose so we had to change the places around.

"When you have such a short distance between two horses and they have gone so far it is not a difficult decision and I'm afraid we had to make it."

Winning trainer Head-Maarek, who completed a French Guineas double after the Mikel Delzangles-trained Makfi won the 2,000 on Saturday, was in agreement. "Stephane said had the other filly not pushed him over, he would have won easily - but Jacqueline Quest was drifting all the time," she said.

"I don't like to win races like that and I feel very sorry for the others. I think the stewards were right to do that, but I didn't think they would.

"It is fantastic that both Guineas have been won by the French, but I don't imagine the British will see it like that."

Cecil, meanwhile, did not express any gripe with the decision, and instead was planning to make amends at Royal Ascot next month.

"I'm pleased she ran so well - it's one of them things. She ran really well. I wasn't sure she'd stay a mile but she's improving. Maybe I'll get my own back at Royal Ascot."

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see also
Makfi bags shock Guineas victory
01 May 10 |  Horse Racing
Abbey bidding for Guineas glory
29 Apr 10 |  Horse Racing
Fallon returns after injury scare
17 Apr 10 |  Horse Racing
Fallon claims first win on return
05 Sep 09 |  Horse Racing
Ghanaati seals 1,000 Guineas win
03 May 09 |  Horse Racing
BBC racing coverage
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