Aidan O’Brien knows all about the trials and tribulations of horses getting injured, but you can’t mistake the pride he felt in making himself Broome firmly on track in the June 18 Hardwicke Stakes (G2) at Royal Ascot.
The 6-1 success owes much to a masterful run from lowly Ryan Moore, who was quick to turn the applause away, while the 6-year-old, probably the only one of his generation at Ballydoyle, has long possessed plenty of talent raw. .
The fact that Broome no doubt did his best – which O’Brien suggested – is partly due to the unannounced name of Kanichi Kusano, a veterinarian who was on duty at the Tokyo Hippodrome last November when the son of Australia finished 11th in the Japan Cup (G1).
After Moore slipped from his back in the loosening paddock, Broome was kicked in the shin by a local runner, but Kusano’s quick thinking stopped the injury from getting worse and he was hailed by cheers. relations during Saturday’s post-race debriefing.
Moore was enjoying a glorious week in the saddle but, typically, didn’t want an ounce of credit – something he was happy to pass on the way to Kusano.
“The horse was in incredible shape and he put in a great performance today,” Moore said. “He was in good pace and was fantastic. I couldn’t have been happier with him.
“I had just taken his saddle off in Japan when he was kicked, and the vet Kanichi, who took care of him, is here today.”
Arguably the biggest smile at Ascot belonged to Kusano, now managing director of the London office of the Japan Racing Association.
“I’m very happy and that was my main concern today even though there are Japanese horses racing,” Kusano said. “As a vet who was at that time, I hoped he would win, although he didn’t have to win – he just had to come back to the racetrack.
“This horse raced in the Japan Cup and we hope he will come back. Connections might have known about it, but now they certainly know the treatment we would give horses in Japan; that is in the highest capacity. It might comfort them to know they can bring their horses safely.
“It was unfortunate for Broome at the time, but we are lucky to have this case to show Japan’s standards. There are not many places where we can do this, but Aidan was happy and Ryan too, who is a gentleman.”
If Moore didn’t want praise for his run, O’Brien wasn’t listening.
“Ryan knows what he’s doing and gave it a brilliant ride as always,” the coach said.
“The horse fractured his tibia in Japan and was out for a long time. He had a very good run back in the Tattersalls Gold Cup (G1) and we were happy.”
Taking Hurricane Lane to the top of the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (G1), where he finished third last year, is what Charlie Appleby will be looking to do next.
“I’m happy,” Appleby said. “I told William (Buick) before the race that if he’s not here to win, don’t be too hard on him. It’s not something that we’ve hidden from anyone that we’re considering for october.
“We think he’s our Arc horse and he likes the ground a bit easier so it was quite quick for him. He faced two fit rivals but he runs well and it’s nice to see him back and show us that he can have a great year.”