Deauville triumph for Highfield Princess could pave way for Breeders’ Cup
It was a first Group 1 win for the five-year-old and her jockey Jason Hart, who won the race by the scruff of their necks as they entered the final two furlongs. The win caps an impressive rise through the ranks, having handicapped Ayr to a mark of 58 just under two years ago. She progressed to triumph at Royal Ascot last season across seven furlongs – again in handicap company – but this season her form has reached new heights, winning on the day of the all-weather final and a group two at York before to get closer to Royal Ascot last time. . After burning Naval Crown, which won the Platinum Jubilee at Ascot, a furlong out, she had to be ready to fend off Minzaal and Garrus by three-quarter lengths and a head.
“She’s a mare. She just kept improving,” said trainer John Quinn.
“We didn’t take her to Newmarket for the July Cup because it’s impossible to have an easy race and we’ve had that race on our minds all season. She’s staying so well the trip had to be fine.” She and Nunthorpe are in the Haydock (Sprint Cup) race, but our final game is the Breeders’ Cup. “There’s the five-and-a-half-furlong sprint, but there’s also a seven-furlong grade one for fillies only on dirt and we really like that. “I would say the Nunthorpe is unlikely. She’s in the Flying Five at the Curragh and I like the look because it’s a win and you’re in the Breeders’ Cup, it’s all paid and the timing is perfect. “I’m also going to race her at the Abbey because she was second to Tone The Barone out of five when I was preparing her for Newcastle (Finals Day) and she would have won with a clear round.” Haydock and Ascot on Champions Day must be taken into account, but for me it will be the Flying Five, the Abbey and the Breeders’ Cup – or if something came up we would seriously consider Haydock. “She’s the best. She ran a powerful race at Ascot, beaten just over a length and it didn’t quite fall for her. She went under the radar today and didn’t deserve it. She was a price higher than some she finished ahead at Ascot.”All season the races on our minds were the Duke of York, Royal Ascot, Maurice de Gheest and the Breeders’ Cup. “It’s great to have a Group 1 winner for me and my family and for Yorkshire. She is five years old but she didn’t race at two and I think that was huge. His owner was very patient and it paid off.” Hart told Sky Sports Racing: “The boss had this race mapped out after Ascot and he’s never wrong when he targets one. “She’s really special. She’s owned by John Fairley who owns John’s garden, he also bred her so it’s very special.” On his first victory at the highest level, Hart added: “Obviously these are the races that everyone wants to participate in. “I had a few near misses, at the Abbey with El Astronaute and Safe Voyage in the Foret, but it’s good to come here and get a band one. “She’s very versatile when it comes to travel and I was a little worried about the pitch, but she proved me wrong.”
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