Taking knocks is all part of racing – and after suffering defeats with both Too Darn Hot and Calyx last weekend, John Gosden saw his fortunes change as Anapurna struck in the Investec Oaks at Epsom.
With the Newmarket handler also forced to delay the comeback of stable star Enable earlier this week, victory helped end a testing few days for the champion trainer – not to mention giving Anapurna’s sire Frankel his first British Classic winner.
After galloping her rivals into submission in the Lingfield Oaks Trial, it looked as though a place was the best Anapurna (8-1) and Frankie Dettori could hope for as Pink Dogwood skipped clear late on.
But with a sustained late effort she reeled the Aidan O’Brien-trained filly in, before scoring by a neck.
Gosden said: “You don’t let the pressure buckle you, that’s for sure. Calyx was disappointing and he didn’t handle the ground. We worked Enable and decided that Ascot was too soon.
“Too Darn Hot has had a nightmare of a spring, we know that, and I’ve been very open throughout. He has still missed so much of the year. I’ve every hope that the horse we remember and know will turn up in the St James’s Palace (at Royal Ascot).
“You’ve got to ride the punches in this game and if you can’t ride the punches, you have to get out of the ring.”
He went on: “I think it’s great for the staff – you win a Classic and you are over the moon. You can’t let those things (defeats) affect you, as if they do you become a bit negative, then you are no good to the people around you and the horses.”
He added of the Meon Valley Stud-owned winner: “She was off the bridle, green and still learning. I remember at one stage at the top of the hill, Frankie said, ‘come on old girl, we are meant to be racing here’.
“I thought coming past the furlong pole we would run a valiant second or third, then that last 50 yards, when it climbs again, she dug deep and the jockey dug deep.
“He just hand rode her in the last part and stuck her neck out and outstayed them.”