Highfield Princess heading to Breeders’ Cup stage with filler-to-riches story | Horse racing

A journey that began with defeat at Redcar in June 2020 could reach a glorious conclusion in Lexington, Kentucky on November 5 after Highfield Princess recorded her second Group One in 12 days in the Nunthorpe Stakes here on Friday.

John Quinn’s mare had spent most of her 29-race career competing at six and seven furlongs and opened her account at the highest level over six and a half, in the Prix Maurice du Gheest at Deauville on 7 August.

It was remarkable enough for a mare who was beaten by a rating of 57 in her first handicap two summers ago, but Highfield Princess took her form to another level here, admirably handling the blistering early pace in a five-furlong test of pure speed before passing The Platinum Queen, the other favourite, at the long bar.

Two and a half lengths ahead of The Platinum Queen at the line, she added a further £302,000 to her career winnings and, perhaps just as importantly, guaranteed herself a place in the field for the $1m Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint in Kentucky at the start of November.

“She wasn’t running at two o’clock, and it took her quite a while to learn the trade,” Quinn said. “From France [last time], she has been perfectly fine, eating very well and bright as a button. I wasn’t afraid to run her and she is a phenomenal mare. It’s a win-and-you’re in the Breeders’ Cup, and that’s the plan. She is also in Foret and Abbaye [at Longchamp in early October] so all is well, there are two more races. She is versatile and five and a half around two turns [at Keeneland] should suit her.”

The Group Two Lonsdale Cup lost its most recognizable stars in the closing hours when Stradivarius and then Trueshan, both Group 1-winning stayers, were ruled out due to a minor injury and the fast ground respectively. In their absence, Quickthorn produced a memorable front run to beat his five remaining opponents by a wide margin, having been sent into a clear lead from the off by Tom Marquand.

Tearaway leaders usually return to their field on the home straight, but it was clear from a long way off that Quickthorn still had plenty of running left. By the time Marquand’s rivals realized it too, the race was effectively over.

Quickthorn (right) takes the Lonsdale Cup. Photo: Mike Egerton/PA

“When racehorses get ahead like that, they die three furlongs out,” said Hughie Morrison, Quickthorn’s trainer, “and in this case he obviously didn’t, he had won the race four furlongs out.

“I’m disappointed that the other two didn’t show up. He’s a better five-year-old, he’s probably improved a stone this year [and] he’d certainly give them a run today, wouldn’t he?” Noble Style was cut from 16-1 to 7-1 second-favourite for next year’s 2000 Guineas by Paddy Power after making up a lot of ground off the pace to cut down Marshman, the favourite, in the closing stages of the Group Two Gimcrack Stakes.

“I see no reason why he won’t stay a mile [in the Guineas]”, said Charlie Appleby, the winner’s trainer. “His pedigree suggests he will get it for sure and he does everything very well.”

Saturday’s TV tip

With a £300,000 first prize, Saturday’s Ebor Handicap at York is worth more to the winner than several of the season’s Group 1 events and the huge pot of cash on offer has also made it a major target for Irish stables in recent seasons .

Irish-trained horses have won four of the last eight races of the Ebor despite accounting for just 14% of starters, and three of the top five in the betting – Earl Of Tyrone, Okita Soushi and License – appear to have have been training with Saturday’s race in mind for many months.

Among the home-trained contingent, meanwhile, a first Ebor success would be a huge boost to William Haggas’ challenge for the Flat Trainers’ Championship and his two runners, Candleford and Gaassee, go to the post with obvious chances on handicap form this year. .

However, both have jumped up significantly in weight as a result of previous victories, while Joseph O’Brien’s Okita Soushi (3.35) has run eye-catching races with significantly less effect on the handicap mark.

His amateur rider gave him too much to do at Leopardstown last month and the form of his previous two-length third at Royal Ascot, a 2lb lower mark than here, was franked when the winner won again next time. His hold-up style is ideal for Saturday’s race, top apprentice Mikey Sheehy takes off 3lb and he is the clear choice of the prices at around 8-1.

Newton Abbot: 1.07 Pop The Champagne, 1.42 Lock’s Corner, 2.17 Hooper, 2.52 Romanor, 3.27 Faint Hope, 4.02 Byzantine Empire, 4.35 Al Zaraqaan.

York: 1.50 Cadillac, 2.25 Caius Chorister (nb), 3.00 Rohaan, 3.35 Okita Soushi (nap), 4.10 Summerghand, 4.45 Treasure Trove, 5.20 Phantom Flight.

Chester: 1.55 Frankness, 2.30 All The Time, 3.05 Loft, 3.40 Trumble, 4.15 Sampers Seven, 4.50 So Smart, 5.25 The New Marwan.

Sandown: 2.05 Nizaaka, 2.40 Defence Of Fort, 3.15 Global Esteem, 3.50 Migdam, 4.25 Cruise, 5.00 Urban Sprawl, 5.35 Impeach.

Lingfield: 4.40 Firenze Rosa, 5.15 Eurythmical, 5.50 Paddy Brunty, 6.20 Crown Bridges, 6.50 Raise The Roof, 7.20 Miss Sligo, 7.50 Stormbreaker.

Chelmsford: 4.51 Street Poet, 5.26 Rock Girl, 6.00 Royal Mariner, 6.35 Nanga Parbat, 7.05 Miss Bella Brand, 7.35 Maylah.

“,”credit”:””,”pillar”:2}”>

Quick introduction

Greg Wood’s Saturday Tip

Performance

Newton Abbot: 1.07 Pop The Champagne, 1.42 Lock’s Corner, 2.17 Hooper, 2.52 Romanor, 3.27 Faint Hope, 4.02 Byzantine Empire, 4.35 Al Zaraqaan.

York: 1.50 Cadillac, 2.25 Caius Chorister (nb), 3.00 Rohaan, 3.35 Okita Soushi (nap), 4.10 Summerghand, 4.45 Treasure Trove, 5.20 Phantom Flight.

Chester: 1.55 Frankness, 2.30 All The Time, 3.05 Loft, 3.40 Trumble, 4.15 Sampers Seven, 4.50 So Smart, 5.25 The New Marwan.

Sandown: 2.05 Nizaaka, 2.40 Defense Of Fort, 3.15 Global Esteem, 3.50 Migdam, 4.25 Cruise, 5.00 Urban Sprawl, 5.35 Impeach.

Lingfield: 4.40 Firenze Rosa, 5.15 Eurythmical, 5.50 Paddy Brunty, 6.20 Crown Bridges, 6.50 Raise The Roof, 7.20 Miss Sligo, 7.50 Stormbreaker.

Chelmsford: 4.51 Street Poet, 5.26 Rock Girl, 6.00 Royal Mariner, 6.35 Nanga Parbat, 7.05 Miss Bella Brand, 7.35 Maylah.

Thank’s for your feedback.

York 1.50: A little drop back in the ride can help Cadillac to regain his winning streak in his third start following a big-money move to up-and-coming trainer Kevin Philippart de Foy.

Sandown 2.05: Nizaka has made rapid progress through the handicap ranks this summer and looks ready for that step up to Group Three company.

York 2.25: The progressive Caius’ chorister had more on hand than the margin would suggest last time and could well improve for this step up in the trip.

Sandown 2.40: Defense Of Fort, a convincing winner on debut, could be the pick of a very promising field of two-year-olds.

York 3.00: He is best known as a top sprint handicapper though Rohan has winning form at seven furlongs and was not beaten far at Group 1 level last time, so odds around 6-1 look too big.

York 4.10: Summerhand ran well from a poor draw at Ripon last time and starts from a much better pitch here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.