Betfred Middleton Stakes

Group 2, York
£100,000 added,
Fillies, 4yo plus,
1m 2f 88y, Class 1
Thursday 15th May 2014


1 Ambivalent 9/2
2 Secret Gesture 9/2
3 Odeliz 8/1
NR: Sinaadi (IRE)
8 ran Distances: 1¾l, 1l, 1¾l
TIME 2m 10.21s (slow by 2.71s)

Ambivalent wins the Group 2 Betfred Middleton Stakes at York under Andrea Atzeni for trainer Roger Varian.

© Caroline Norris

A Group One winner last season in Ireland, she ran a storming race at Meydan in March when third in the Dubai Sheema Classic against the boys. Trainer Roger Varian had targeted this race since her return to Britain and Andrea Atzeni was happy to make the running.

She looked beaten two furlongs out as Thistle Bird and Secret Gesture loomed up looking big threats. But Ambivalent really knuckled down to the task and the 9-2 chance ended up winning going away by a length and three-quarters from Secret Gesture, with Odeliz staying on into third.

Atzeni said: "She's a very tough filly. She gets a bit wound-up before racing but she's done it all of her life. I got quite an easy lead and she kept finding more all the way to the line."

Varian said: "She's a real personality, but she has a very big heart. She can act up a bit pre-race but not take anything out of herself. We learned in Dubai she took comfort in being with a pony and it just about contained her.

"She's not too bad at home when she's in her routine. She's just a bit highly-strung, that's her.

"Having been second in this last year, to come back and win is great. The loose plan is she'll go back in to Group One company. She competes so well abroad - winning in Ireland, second in Turkey and third in Dubai - so she's likely to go travelling in the autumn."

Secret Gesture
© Racehorse Photos
Secret Gesture

Ralph Beckett, trainer of Secret Gesture, said: "She ran very well and we're delighted. She's beaten by a Group One winner and I'm sure she'll improve for the run. We'll probably aim towards the Pretty Polly (Curragh, June 29). That is the obvious target."

Karl Burke said of Odeliz: "It was a great run and that ground is as quick as she wants. We'll have a think about where we go next."

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Betfred Middleton Stakes (Fillies' Group 2)
£100,000 added, 4yo plus, 1m 2f 88y, Class 1
8 ran

Going: Good to Soft (Good in places)

R Varian
Andrea Atzeni
9st 0lbs
9 - 2
Secret Gesture
R M Beckett
J P Spencer
9st 0lbs
9 - 2
1 3/4 length
K R Burke
D Tudhope
9st 0lbs
8 - 1
1 length
Mango Diva
Sir Michael Stoute
R L Moore
9st 0lbs
9 - 2
1 3/4 length
The Lark
M L W Bell
T P Queally
9st 2lbs
16 - 1
1/2 length
Thistle Bird
R Charlton
L Dettori
9st 0lbs
10 - 3
1 length
Quiz Mistress
H Morrison
I Mendizabal
9st 0lbs
20 - 1
2 lengths
Gifted Girl
P F I Cole
Jim Crowley
9st 0lbs
8 - 1
5 lengths
B J Meehan
K Fallon
9st 0lbs

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