Twice Over (GB)
b c Observatory – Double Crossed (Caerleon)
Sir Henry Cecil
Twice Over was a brilliantly consistent horse, who raced over six seasons and was known to be one of trainer Henry Cecil’s favourites.
Unbeaten in two starts as a two-year-old, the son of Observatory returned at three to win the Gr.3 Craven Stakes first time out, defeated future Breeders’ Cup winner Raven’s Pass. Third placings in the Gr.2 Dante Stakes and Gr.1 St James’s Palace Stakes followed, before a trip to France resulted in a win in the Gr.2 Prix Eugene Adam at Maisons-Laffitte. He did not win again that season, but finished 2008 with a second to Gr.1 Derby winner New Approach in the Gr.1 Champion Stakes at Newmarket.
As a four-year-old, it took Twice Over a few runs to get back to winning ways, but he finally did so in a Conditions race at Doncaster in September. A Listed win followed, before Twice Over went one better than last year in the Gr.1 Champion Stakes, defeating the likes of Fame And Glory and Sariska despite being a 14-1 outsider. A trip to Santa Anita for the Gr.1 Breeders’ Cup Classic on dirt resulted in a third place behind the Champion Zenyatta and Gio Ponti.
The following season, a trip to the Gr.1 Dubai World Cup in March proved disappointing, but thereafter Twice Over did not finish out of the first three at Group 1 level. He was second in the Gr.1 Prince Of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot behind another Juddmonte runner Byword, and then picked up the Gr.1 Eclipse Stakes. Jockey Tom Queally commented after the Eclipse: “I’m delighted for Henry and the Prince, and most of all for the horse himself. He’s a wonderful character, a lovely personality.”
Placings in the Gr.1 Juddmonte International and Gr.1 Irish Champion Stakes were followed by another victory in the Gr.1 Champion Stakes, in the final running of the race at Newmarket before it was transferred to Ascot for 2012. It was a Group 1 double for Henry Cecil on that day (the first in his 40-year career) as Twice Over’s stablTemate Frankel posted his first of what would become 10 Group 1 victories in the Gr.1 Dewhurst Stakes.
Returning as a six-year-old, Twice Over was favourite for the Gr.1 Dubai World Cup, winning the Gr.2 Al Maktoum Challenge a few weeks previously. He was well beaten in the race however, and was down the field in his following two starts in England. He returned to winning ways in the Gr.2 York Stakes in July, and a month later at the same track won the Gr.1 Juddmonte International. It was a first success in the race (sponsored by Juddmonte since 1989) for Prince Khalid, and was a Juddmonte-bred trifecta, with Twice Over defeating Midday and Await The Dawn (the latter running in the colours of Michael Tabor).
It was to be Twice Over’s last victory – he ran unplaced in the Gr.1 Champion Stakes at Ascot, and then as a seven-year-old ran four times, on each occasion placing in the first four. After his final start (fourth behind Frankel in the Gr.1 Juddmonte International), Twice Over retired with earnings of almost £2.5 million, and was sold to stand as a stallion at Klawervlei Stud in South Africa, where he was well-received by breeders. He sired two Group 1 winners from his first crop in Do It Again (Champion 3YO Colt in South Africa) and Sand And Sea.