With Frankie Dettori riding in vintage form, Archbishop gained a dead-heat victory in the Thoroughbred Stakes (G3) at Goodwood Racecourse in England on August 3, joining multiple group stakes winner Trumpet Major on the finish line as the best in a high-class field of 14 three-year-olds.
Dettori, who kept Archbishop close to the early pace set by Ptolemaic before swinging out for what became a furious stretch duel, praised Archbishop for his determined battle. The victory marked the first in a group stakes for Archbishop, who is campaigned by Runnymede Chairman Catesby W. Clay.
“My horse was very courageous, and if it wasn’t for a bad draw (post 13), he probably would have won outright,” Dettori said.
Trainer Brian Meehan said the quality of the runners in the one-mile race makes the win more special, although he was not initially certain of the outcome.
“I wasn’t sure when they went past the post. It looked very close but we’ve won, that’s the main thing,” Meehan said. “He’s been consistent all season and I thought that was a Group 2 (race) in all but name.”
Archbishop and Trumpet Major crossed the finish line in 1:37.53 on a course rated good. Favored Aljamaaheer, a group-placed stakes winner, finished third, three-quarters of a length back. Group 2 winner Red Duke finished eighth and multiple Group 1-placed Gregorian was eased.
Bred in partnership by Runnymede, Clay’s son, James E. Clay II, and farm General Manager Martin O’Dowd, Archbishop won for the second time in five starts. His record also features two runner-up efforts, including a second in the Prix Paul de Moussac (G3) on June 9 at Chantilly in France.
By Arch, Archbishop is the third foal out of the Carson City mare Avaricity, a multiple winner of more than $100,000. Her first two foals also have been winners and she produced a handsome colt by Big Brown this spring.