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'He'd everything one looks for in a Classic winner' RACING POST TROPHY WINNERS IN THE GUINEAS Five-part series starts today: Apalachee (1974).

THE Vincent O'Brien-trained Apalachee beat the top-class French two-year-old Mississipian impressively by two lengths in the 1973 Observer Gold Cup - now the Racing Post Trophy - after which Timeform concluded in their Racehorses annual that he had "everything one looks for in a potential Classic winner" and added that they had "not seen a horse as promising for years".

Their rating of 137 was extraordinarily high for a two-year-old, but Apalachee had won his two previous races with tremendous ease and the Doncaster form looked rock solid, with the first two ten lengths and more clear of what looked reliable yardsticks. The official classifications mirrored Timeform's exalted opinion by putting him 5lb clear at the top of the table.

Apalachee looked to have the world at his feet and, after another smooth win in the Gladness Stakes on his return, he was sent off at 4-9 for the 2,000 Guineas, the shortest-priced favourite for 40 years.

However, even before the race there were rumours that he was developing issues with his wind and, after showing narrowly in front two out, he could manage only third behind Nonoalco and Giacometti. He was sold afterwards for $2m to Gainesway Farm Stud in Kentucky and never raced again.

Graham Dench Tomorrow: Noble Decree
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Apr 30, 2012
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