WINDSOR FOREST STAKES (GROUP 2)
1 Spacious 10/1
Spacious Strides to Victory
The finish of the Windsor Forest Stakes proved to be a thrilling spectacle, not least for owner/breeders David and Patricia Thompson of Cheveley Park Stud, who watched their own Spacious and Heaven Sent engage in a battle royal in the closing stages with Spacious coming out on top by a length.
The James Fanshawe-trained four-year-old jumped smartly to make all the running under Johnny Murtagh in a perfectly executed plan to dominate.
“Johnny said after Epsom that he’d really like to ride her here and I think Willie (Carson) has been saying on television all year that we should make more use of her stride,” said a delighted James Fanshawe, whose charge beat that of his former boss Sir Michael Stoute. “There didn’t seem to be an obvious front-runner so Johnny told me he was going to make it. She had a hell of a battle with Heaven Sent and my ex-boss won’t be very happy.”
He continued: “This filly has been a little bit disappointing since last year after she was second in the Guineas last year. She can get caught a little bit flat-footed when there’s no pace but she dictated today and was very courageous.
“It’s great to get her winning again. The stiff mile really seems to suit her but I think she’d get a mile and a quarter on an easy track.”
Johnny Murtagh replaced the filly’s regular rider Jamie Spencer in the Princess Elizabeth Stakes at Epsom and kept the ride for Royal Ascot.
The Irish jockey rode regularly for Fanshawe when based in England, the pair teaming up most memorably with the outstanding mare Soviet Song, who won this same race in 2006.
Murtagh said: “She’s a big-striding filly with lovely balance. She was a bit chopped up in the straight at Epsom but I thought this race would be ideal for her.
“She came out of Epsom really well and I let her stride along. She’s a beautiful mover and she really put them to the test.
“When Heaven Sent came to us we had a good battle but thankfully we came out on top. I really enjoyed that - James looked after me when I was riding in England and he’s a dangerous man at Royal Ascot - he always has his horses in peak condition here.”
FASTER PACE WOULD HAVE SUITED EVA’S
Trainer Mick Channon was happy with the effort of Eva’s Request to finish third behind Cheveley Park Stud’s duo of Heaven Sent and Spacious in the Windsor Forest Stakes.
“I’m pleased with her, she’s stepped up again although they didn’t go very fast today,” said Channon. “I’ve no complaints and I know she beat the winner last week at Epsom but they went a proper gallop then and just crawled today.
“She’s holding her form, which is great and I don’t know exactly where we’ll go - she’s in all the top mile races, including the Falmouth, but we want to win with her.
“She doesn’t want it too firm although I’m not using that as an excuse, it was perfect today.”
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