Pretty Polly Stakes
|Fillies Group 1, Curragh
Race Value: €225,000
|Sunday 2nd July 2017|
1 Nezwaah 13/2
2 Rain Goddess 6/1
3 Turret Rocks 25/1
11 ran Distances: 3¼l, 1½l, hd
Time: 2m 6.19s (slow by 2.19s)
Roger Varian's raider Nezwaah is the upset winner
The Sheikh Ahmed Al Maktoum-owned filly had struck twice at Listed level, including last time out at Ayr but was tackling the top level for the first time in the ten furlong contest.
Andrea Atzeni settled mid-division on the 13/2 shot before making his move two furlongs from home.
The daughter of Dubawi hit the front passing the furlong pole and kept on strongly in the closing stages to post a comprehensive three-and-a-quarter length success.
Rain Goddess finished off well to claim the runner-up spot but never looked like troubling the impressive winner.
“We're delighted with her and she's always promised a lot,” said Varian.“We thought we'd come here and have no excuses as the ground had dried out. We would have been a bit worried if the ground had been on the soft side but it dried out nicely for her.
“We've always thought a lot of her, thought she should run well today and we'd really learn how good she was.
“I'm delighted she's won and I'm really grateful to Sheikh Ahmed for being so patient with her.
“I think there were four previous Group 1 winners in the race. You could probably name a small handful of very good fillies that aren't here but still it was a good race on paper and none of these Group 1s are easy to win.
“It's a thrill to win one and a great thrill to get this filly winning at the top level because we've always loved her.
“We'll get her home and see if she's fine and speak with connections. She's well entered up. She's in the Nassau Stakes, the Beverly D at Arlington. She's got all the big entries and we thought how we ran today would perhaps determine where we went.
“Maybe she's justified staying in Europe and taking her to Goodwood. We'll see.
“She might stay further and might get a mile-and-a-half but we might not need to as there are plenty of nice races at a mile-and-a-quarter.
“It's great to get another Group 1 winner for Sheikh Ahmed who has supported me from the start.”
Atzeni said: "She was very impressive and travelled beautifully.
"She was a little bit slow into her stride. When I took the blindfold off she stood there for a couple of strides, but she travelled beautifully into the race and picked up really well.
"I got quite a smooth run and just had to wait to get a gap.
"Two days ago we didn't know if she was going to run or not because of the weather, but Roger felt the ground was going to be fine for her and she's proved him right."
Aidan O'Brien said of the runner-up Rain Goddess:- “We're delighted with that. It was her first time at the trip and she saw it out well.”
Pretty Polly Stakes (Fillies' Group 1)
€225,000 added, 3yo plus, 1m 2f, Class 1
Going: Good (Good to Yielding in places)
|Pos||Dr||D||Horse SP||Jockey Weight||Trainer||Age|
|1st||(5)||Nezwaah 13/2||Andrea Atzeni
|2nd||(11)||3¼||Rain Goddess (IRE) 6/1||R L Moore
|A P O'Brien||3|
|3rd||(8)||1½||Turret Rocks (IRE) 25/1||R P Whelan
|J S Bolger||4|
|4th||(2)||hd||Zhukova (IRE) 7/2||P J Smullen
|D K Weld||5|
|5th||(4)||1½||Laganore (IRE) 20/1||C T Keane
|A J Martin||5|
|6th||(1)||½||Intricately (IRE) 14/1||D O'Brien
|Joseph P O'Brien||3|
|7th||(3)||1¾||Smart Call (SAF) 13/2||Jim Crowley
|Sir Michael Stoute||6|
|8th||(10)||nk||Santa Monica 66/1||W J Lee
|9th||(9)||2||Pocketfullofdreams (FR) 33/1||J A Heffernan
|A P O'Brien||3|
|10th||(6)||2¾||Journey 15/8f||K J Manning
|J H M Gosden||5|
|11th||(7)||1¼||Creggs Pipes (IRE) 25/1||D P McDonogh