Duchess Of Cambridge Stakes
|Group 2, Newmarket 14:40
2yo Fillies only,
6f, Class 1
|Friday 10th July 2015|
1 Illuminate 7/4JF
2 Besharah 7/1
3 Blue Bayou 20/1
9 ran Distances: nse, shd, hd
TIME 1m 12.81s (slow by 2.61s)
Three-way photo in the Duchess of Cambridge Stakes - stunning finish!
Royal Ascot heroine Illuminate clung on grimly to edge a thrilling renewal.
Richard Hannon's filly was a 7-4 joint-favourite for the Group Two contest following her Albany Stakes triumph in Berkshire last month and was joined at the head of the market by Michael Dods-trained Queen Mary Stakes runner-up Easton Angel.
Rah Rah took the field along for much of the six-furlong journey, with Richard Hughes handy aboard Illuminate and Easton Angel buried in the middle of the pack by Paul Mulrennan.
While Illuminate made her way to the front passing the furlong marker, Easton Angel had to sit and suffer and when she did eventually get clear she was caught in a barging match.
Illuminate was crying out for the line at the finish and Queen Mary third Besharah lunged late, but the Hannon filly hung on by a nose.
Blue Bayou ran an excellent race in third, just a short-head further back.
Easton Angel failed to get the breaks and was ultimately well held.
Hughes said: "I was lucky to hang on I suppose, but she's very good and it was a very messy race.
"If you give Mark Johnston's horses a soft lead they're hard to beat, so I had to take her (Rah Rah) on three out. I fought her off and beat her, and then you're left with the climb here in Newmarket in the middle of the track and she probably just got a bit lonely.
"I didn't really want to get there too soon, but to her credit she ran very straight and that probably won her the race."
Hannon said: "I thought he gave her the perfect ride. She travelled very well and I thought she was going to win a length and then the other filly (Besharah) stayed on.
"She's always been a very good filly, really sweet to look at and a pleasure to deal with.
"I think she's as good as we've ever had - a very good filly.
"She's got a bit of scope about her and she's up with the likes of TIggy Wiggy.
"They've been winning from the front all meeting, so we couldn't give them the kind of lead we did at Ascot.
"Going a mile won't be a problem with her, she loves fast ground.
"She could do the whole lot - the Prix Morny and the Cheveley Park Stakes would be options.
"When you see in her morning, she's a pleasure to see and she's about the prettiest filly you'll see.
"She's a dreamboat to deal with and you'll see plenty more of her, I hope."
William Haggas said of Besharah: "That was a great effort, she ran very well and obviously overturned the form with the horse that beat her in the Queen Mary (Easton Angel) and has improved for the step up to six furlongs.
"The obvious race is the Princess Margaret Stakes at Ascot, but we'll see how she comes out of this."
A stewards' inquiry saw Rah Rah demoted to fifth, with Easton Angel gaining a place in fourth.
Trainer Brian Meehan was full of praise for Blue Bayou.
He said: "I'm gutted for the filly as much as any anything as I know how good she is. She's the best filly I've ever trained and she'll improve again for going up to seven furlongs.
"There won't be anything for her at Goodwood so races like the Rockfel Stakes and Cheveley Park are likely targets now."
Duchess Of Cambridge Stakes
(Formerly The Cherry Hinton Stakes) (Fillies' Group 2)
£80,000 added, 2yo only, 6f, Class 1
Going: Good to Firm
|Dr||Dist||Horse SP||Jockey Weight||Trainer||Age|
|1st||(7)||Illuminate (IRE) 7/4j||R Hughes
|2nd||(8)||nse||Besharah (IRE) 7/1||P Cosgrave
|W J Haggas||2|
|3rd||(9)||s.h||Blue Bayou 20/1||Dane O'Neill
|B J Meehan||2|
|4th||(5)||hd||Easton Angel (IRE) 7/4j||P Mulrennan
|5th||(6)||2||Rah Rah 9/1||W Buick
|6th||(1)||2||Glenrowan Rose (IRE) 25/1||L Dettori
|7th||(4)||nk||Kurland (IRE) 11/1||D Sweeney
|8th||(2)||5||Sixties Sue 50/1||S De Sousa
|M R Channon||2|
|9th||(3)||2½||Silk Bow 66/1||P Hanagan
|J G Given||2|