Feature Story

Kyprios breaks the heart of valiant Trawlerman to lift second Gold Cup  

Kyprios breaks the heart of valiant Trawlerman to lift second Gold Cup   Jun 20, 2024

By Sam Turner - 

Kyprios became the first horse since Godolphin’s Kayf Tara to regain the Gold Cup after a titanic duel in the Ascot sun saw Aidan O’Brien’s champion stayer recapture his title, two years after his first victory.

In a race for the ages, Ballydoyle’s son of Galileo needed all his class and courage in the hands of the indomitable Ryan Moore to edge past the valiant Trawlerman and William Buick in the closing strides to record a hard-fought length success and his pilot’s 83rd royal winner.

It was a fine tactical ride from Buick who set out to make all the running aboard John & Thady Gosden’s trainee, only giving up the lead as the two main protagonists lengthened clear of their rivals in the straight.

It took something truly special to break the heart of Trawlerman, but as stamina became the most precious commodity, the experience and nous of Kyprios emerged as he again shone on one of world horseracing’s biggest stages to give his handler a ninth victory in the marquee contest.

The Gosden operation also saddled third-home Sweet William who finished five lengths adrift of his stablemate under Rab Havlin, while the third stable representative, Gregory, looked like the marathon trip was beyond him and dropped away late on. 

A triumphant Moore said: "It was smooth early, that's where I wanted to be and then the filly ran off with Benoit and I was having to go round her. He started travelling a bit too well too early again. I got there going very easy.

"I said to Aidan that he's the class horse in the race and he stays the best, so I've just got to get it right. I didn't get it quite right but he still won.

"He's an unbelievable horse. Aidan knows exactly what they need to do, he knows how to get them here better than anyone. It's lovely to ride a horse like this."

Life has not been easy for Kyprios who missed last year’s renewal through injury and his handler paid tribute to the Ballydoyle staff for nursing him back to race fitness.

O'Brien said: "There were so many people involved in bringing him back following his injury.

“His owners have shown great patience with him, he had two lovely runs when he was back last year and did well over the winter.

“He’s a beautiful horse and Ryan was masterful with how he rode him. He had to judge exactly when to go on him, which is not an easy thing to do.”

A proud Buick added: “He was foot-perfect the whole way, and when I turned in, I thought I had plenty of horse. He kept finding all the way to the line, and even when the winner headed me, he came back. 

“It was a huge run. He stayed the trip. I’m sure Goodwood will be the next target. The winner’s been here and done it before so you’ve got to respect him, but Trawlerman’s run a mighty race.”