Special Duty gets the nod

SPECIAL Duty took the English 1000 Guineas from Jacqueline Quest after a stewards' inquiry on Sunday despite finishing second by a nose to the 66-1 shot.

SPECIAL Duty took the English 1000 Guineas from Jacqueline Quest after a stewards' inquiry on Sunday despite finishing second by a nose to the 66-1 shot.

The stewards ruled that Jacqueline Quest had pushed 9-2 shot Special Duty across the course when they briefly touched in the race to the line.

The revised result of the first fillies classic of the season completed a first-ever French-trained Guineas double after Makfi won the colts' equivalent, the 2000 Guineas, on Saturday.

Ridden by Stephane Pasquier, Special Duty is trained by Criquette Head, who won the race for the fourth time. The stewards' decision denied Jacqueline Quest's trainer, Henry Cecil, a seventh triumph in the race.

Their decision came 10 minutes after a dramatic finish to the straight 1,6km race.

The field of 18 split into two groups across the Newmarket course, and the leading two came out of those on the inside rail.

Jacqueline Quest, with Tom Queally in the saddle, hit the front but Special Duty got within a nose of victory at the finish line only to get the decision after the inquiry.

"Stephane said that, had the other filly not pushed him over, he would have won easily. But (Jacqueline Quest) was drifting all the time," Head said.

"I don't like to win races like that and I feel very sorry for the others. I think they (the stewards) were right to do that, but I didn't think they would."

Cecil accepted the ruling.

"It's one of those things," he said. "She ran really well. I wasn't sure she'd stay a mile but she's improving. Maybe I'll get my own back at Royal Ascot." - Sapa-AP

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