It was a battle of the fillies this weekend at the Deauville track as Pretty Pollyanna enhanced her status as spectators were given a showdown between the Michael Bell-trained filly and Queen Mary winner Signora Cabello with Pretty Pollyanna coming out on top to put on a stellar performance.
The daughter of Oasis Dream was steered to victory by Silvestre De Sousa who celebrated his eighth Group 1 success but for the first in three years. The Brazilian jockey allowed his mount to stride on and it looked to be a plain sailing win for the pair until Frankie Dettori and Signora Cabello burst out to lay down a challenge to the winners. However, Pretty Pollyanna performed to her Group 1 form and drew clear in the final furlong to put on an impressive show and take the title of the Prix Morny. Trainer Bell stated:
“She really toughed it out in the last furlong and what pleased me for the future was her last furlong was her best furlong.”
Bell, who will be hoping to add Newmarket Classic glory to his Derby and Oaks triumphs at Epsom, added: “She has a very good temperament, eats and sleeps and is very easy to train. She’s from a very good staying family which includes User Friendly, who won three versions of the Oaks for Mr Gredley.
“I hope she’ll get a mile. She’s in the Moyglare and Cheveley Park so we’ll talk together and decide.”
Trainer John Quinn was also very impressed with his filly Signora Cabello’s performance. She certainly challenged Pretty Pollyanna and will be one to keep a close eye on in the future.
Quinn stated: “I thought she might have done enough and she showed a great turn of foot to run the other one down in the first place.”
When quizzed on plans for the future be said: “We have always believed in her but she was beaten by a better filly so we’re happy to finish second. Frankie gave her a good ride and we’ll target the Cheveley Park, where hopefully we’ll meet the winner again.”
Karl Burke’s True Mason took connections by surprise to finish in the third position. The son of Mayson ran a cracking race to keep on to the same pace but was just not a match for the two fillies. Priced at 25/1 he was clearly the best of the rest of the field and trainer Burke has said it will certainly not be the end of the road for the colts Group 1 career.
The Prix Jean Romanet title was awarded to Henri-Francois Devin’s Nonza who was steered to victory by Alexis Badel. The pair has been waiting on a partnership to take a Group 1 title and finally, that dream was achieved at the Deauville track.
Son of Haras du Mesnil, Nonza is a homebred product of the Devin family. The four-year-old has only won a Listed Race prior to this Group 1 victory, which was on her previous start.
Devin only took out his training licence in 2013 but has quickly made a name for himself in the racing industry. He took time to praise his winning jockey after his impressive riding aboard Nonza. He said:
“Alexis is a fantastic jockey and I’m so happy for him,” said Devin. “He’s been riding for so long and it seems amazing to me that this is his first Group 1 win. See what he achieved in such a short time in Hong Kong. If he’d stayed he would be one of the top guys.”
Urban Fox under the guidance of James Doyle and trained by William Haggas finished in second place. It seemed a challenge for the daughter of Foxwedge who began to labour in the last 100 yards but persevered to put up a great performance to fight off any real challenge from the rest of the field. Urban Fox now has a Group 1 form of 122 since joining William Haggas. The Newmarket trainer remarked on her performance:
“He’s just got done close home but she’s run a very solid race again. I think this is her trip, and faster ground – James said the ground felt a bit dead on her – would suit her better.
“I’ll be definitely be looking abroad with her. We’ve got to make a plan, both short term and long term.”
Navaro Girl came from a long way back to finish third. On par with Aidan O’Brien’s trained Rhododendron who Ryan Moore eased up as he appeared to be struck into early in the straight.
The favourite on the field Francis Graffard-trained Bateel finished in the sixth position and seemed to not pick up on the straight as expected. The six-year-old was ridden by Olivier Peslier. Trainer Francis Graffard said:
“She didn’t really breathe properly during the race and the ground has gone a bit quick for her on what was her first run since May.”
Sir Dancealot dances home!
It was a day of celebrating for trainer and rider pair David Elsworth and Gerald Mosse as Sir Dancealot was successful in taking the title on Saturday at Newbury Racecourse in the Group 2 Ladyswood Stud Hungerford Stakes. This marked the four-year-olds third success out of his last four runs and with a length-and-a-quarter defeat of frontrunner Dream Of Dreams he certainly is a force to be reckoned with and a much improving Group horse.
After the ride, Mosse said: “Today I didn’t want to take any risks. I know he is a really good horse and I didn’t want any interference, so I gave him a chance and switched him off. I didn’t want to go that early, but it came nice and easy.”
Gunmetal steals the show
Ripon Racecourse hosted the highlight of its racing calendar this weekend with the William Hill Great St Wilfrid Handicap taking place. David Barron-trained Gunmetal took the title with Joe Fanning in the saddle.
The five-year-old son of Clodovil ran on strongly and was well in command inside the final furlong. The grey took the title easily over Dakota Gold who finished second. Although the son of Equiano ran a great race and stayed on inside the final furlong, his pace just did not match that of the winner.