Charm Spirit At Tweenhills In 2017 Dahlia Stakes
| Fillies' Group 2, Newmarket 14:25
1m 1f, Class 1
|Sunday 1st May 2016|
1 Usherette 5/1
2 Arabian Queen 7/1
3 Amazing Maria 6/1
9 ran Distances: 1l, 4½l, ½l
TIME 1m 51.06s (slow by 3.26s)
Usherette wins a tremendous tussle with Arabian Queen to land the Dahlia Stakes
Mickael Barzalona produced the Andre Fabre-trained filly to challenge the pacesetting Arabian Queen in the latter stages of the nine-furlong contest.
Arabian Queen would not go down without a fight but the Godolphin-owned Usherette, whose only defeat in five previous starts came in a Group One at Deauville last summer, wore her down to get the verdict by a length.
Amazing Maria did best of the rest, coming home four and a half lengths away in third, with favourite Jazzi Top weakening tamely out of contention from the furlong-pole.
Barzalona said: "It was a big step up, but she has a wonderful turn of foot and won very easily.
"The strong pace helped, but she still travelled a little keenly. I would have liked to have dropped her out more, but I had no choice. She did the job."
Fabre said of the Godolphin-owned winner: "I brought her here as in France we don't have any races restricted to the females. She's good and she works like a top-class filly.
"We'll come back for the Falmouth or for the Group Two (Duke of Cambridge Stakes) in Ascot.
"She can be described as a prospect, but she had worked well so I was quite confident. She has the best weapon as a racehorse, which is acceleration. She has more acceleration than Esoterique (winner of this race in 2014), but the class is the same.
"She is among the best (at this stage of her career), this was only her sixth race and she will improve."
Arabian Queen's trainer David Elsworth is eyeing a clash with the colts and a step up in trip for his filly, conqueror of Golden Horn in the Juddmonte Internatonal last season.
He said: "The Coronation Cup is what I'd like to run her in, but that looks like being a really good race this year with the likes of Roger Varian's horse (Postponed). We won our Group One, so we might as well take them on. It is just a case of whether we take in the Middleton Stakes before that.
"This filly will get a mile and a half. When we took her to France (Prix Vermeille) it was one of my mistakes, we ran her but she was wrong and underperformed. She ran a better race at Ascot, but has still not come back to herself.
"She does run well fresh, she just doesn't run well when she's flat. She is a filly to die for and, as long as she goes the right way from here, I expect her to improve."
Amazing Maria was third for David O'Meara, who said: "We were happy with her, as running over nine furlongs was not ideal.
"We had to start here or in the Lockinge and looking at that field a few of them would have runs under their belts and we were not keen to go there without a run.
"We might go to the Lockinge, if not we will wait for Royal Ascot, we'll see how she is."
Dahlia Stakes (Fillies' Group 2)
£90,000 added, 1m 1f, 4yo+, Class 1
|1st||(4)||Usherette (IRE) 5/1||M Barzalona
|2nd||(9)||1||Arabian Queen (IRE) 7/1||S De Sousa
|D R C Elsworth||4|
|3rd||(3)||4½||Amazing Maria (IRE) 6/1||James Doyle
|4th||(1)||½||Irish Rookie (IRE) 9/1||D Sweeney
|5th||(6)||nk||Furia Cruzada (CHI) 16/1||W Buick
|J H M Gosden||5|
|6th||(2)||2¾||Kyllachy Queen (IRE) 33/1||Andrea Atzeni
|7th||(8)||hd||Jazzi Top 5/2f||L Dettori
|J H M Gosden||4|
|8th||(5)||6||Persona Grata 33/1||Jim Crowley
|9th||(7)||12||Crystal Zvezda 9/2||R L Moore
|Sir Michael Stoute||4|