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Horse racing-Magician upstages The Fugue to win Turf

Reuters

* Magician earns trainer O'Brien first Cup win this year

* Favourite The Fugue has to settle for second (Adds quotes, detail)

By Mark Lamport-Stokes

ARCADIA, California, Nov 2 (Reuters) - Irish raider Magician stole the limelight from the heavily fancied The Fugue with a storming late run from the outside to win the $3 million Breeders' Cup Turf at Santa Anita Park on Saturday.

Expertly ridden by Ryan Moore in glorious afternoon sunshine, Magician powered to the finish line to triumph by half a length and earn celebrated Irish trainer Aidan O'Brien his first Breeders' Cup win this year.

British-bred The Fugue, with William Buick on board, had been a 3-2 favourite heading into the starting gate and appeared to have the race in control coming down the home straight before being pipped by Magician.

Argentine-bred Indy Point finished third, three-quarters of a length adrift, and Point of Entry, the second choice before the race at 7-2, ended up in fourth.

"He's one of the best horses I've ridden in a long time," Moore said of Magician, a 12-1 shot for the Turf who won the Irish 2000 Guineas earlier this year. "He switched off nice at the beginning.

"I was a little farther back than I wanted to be because he got a bump at the turn and lost his back end, but he leveled off nicely, got his balance. From there he took me where I wanted to be."

Magician, a three-year-old colt, had not raced since Royal Ascot in June and O'Brien was delighted with the decision made by co-owner Michael Tabor for the horse to compete over a greater distance.

"It's been a job well done by the team to achieve this," said O'Brien. "I have to thank Michael whose idea it was that we should move him up in trip to a mile and a half."

English trainer John Gosden, who had prepared The Fugue for the race, was pleased with the overall form shown by his four-year-old filly, even though she came up short as the favourite.

"She's run a great race," said Gosden. "We came a bit wide into the straight. We've beaten a very good Argentinian horse (Indy Point), but the form is very hard to assess as the winner (Magician) hasn't run since June.

"He's a bit of a joker in the pack. She ran her race. She improved her position. She just got beat at the end." (Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes; Editing by Gene Cherry)

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