Gordon Lord Byron hit the front a quarter mile out and put daylight between himself and 12 rivals for a brilliant win in the Betfred Sprint Cup Sept. 7 at Haydock.
With Johnny Murtagh at the reins, the 5-year-old Byron gelding made amends for his close runner-up finish to Society Rock in last year's edition of the race. He spurted away from the field and crossed the finish line three lengths clear of Slade Power, with Hoof It three-quarters of length back in third.
Lethal Force, winner of this year's Diamond Jubilee Stakes and Darley July Cup, found the rain-softened ground less than ideal and finished ninth as the 5-2 favorite.
Gordon Lord Byron, at 7-2 odds, rallied clear to secure the triumph in 1:12.25 for six furlongs on turf rated as good to soft. Winner of the seven-furlong Qatar 2012 Prix de la Foret, he added a second Group 1 win to his resume.
Trained by Tom Hogan, Gordon Lord Byron also is an accomplished miler. He entered the Sprint Cup off a neck victory in the one-mile Desmond Stakes Aug. 18 at Leopardstown. That victory followed a creditable third behind Moonlight Cloud and Lethal Force in the Prix Maurice de Gheest at 1,300 meters [about 6 ½ furlongs] earlier in August at Deauville. He was fourth behind Lethal Force in the six-furlong Diamond Jubilee in June at Royal Ascot, but that opponent could only chase him home in the Sprint Cup.
Gordon Lord Byron raced prominently from the outset as Heeraat and Lethal Force dueled for command. But once in control, Gordon Lord Byron sealed the outcome in the matter of a few masterful strides.
"I was very confident going into the race because he's been in the best form he has been all year," Hogan told Racing Post. "Lethal Force is a serious horse, but I thought if ever we were going to beat him, today would be the day, but I didn't think it would be that easy.
"I knew the horse would stay well; there were no worries about that. He'll go back to France for the Foret [Oct. 10 at Longchamp], then we might consider stepping up in trip" for the QIPCO Queen Elizabeth II Cup Oct. 19 at Ascot.
Gordon Lord Byron has nine wins, seven seconds, and six thirds from 31 careers starts.
Bred in Ireland by Roland H. Alder, Gordon Lord Byron is owned by Dr. Cyrus Poonawalla and Morgan J. Cahalan. His dam is the Intikhab mare Boa Estrela, a half sister to Irish multiple Group 3 winner Cheyenne Star. He is from the first crop of Bryon, a 12-year-old son of Green Desert, who stands at Woodlands Stud in Ireland. Gordon Lord Byron is his sire's second Group 1 or Grade 1 winner in 2013, joining Vanity Handicap victress Byrama.