Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Middleton Stakes

Group 2, York 14:25
£145,000 guaranteed,
Fillies, 4yo plus,
1m 2f 56y, Class 1    
Thursday 18th May 2023

Horses 468x60 Jpg

1 Free Wind 6/5F
2 Rogue Millennium 20/1
3 Poptronic 25/1
7 ran NR: Toskana Belle Distances: ½l, 2¾l, 1¾l
Time: 2m 10.06s (slow by 1.96s)

The John and Thady Gosden-trained Free Wind defied a 320-day lay-off to land the extended 10-furlong event under a fine ride from Frankie Dettori.

Sent off the 6-5 favourite, she settled well and when asked to lengthen approaching three furlongs to run, she did so effortlessly.

As the run from long-time leader Aristia – carrying a Group One penalty – petered out, Free Wind hit the front soon enough and outsider Rogue Millennium loomed large on the outside under Jack Mitchell.

Though the pair came close when Free Wind edged right, Free Wind kept finding and after a stewards’ inquiry, the result – a half-length victory – stood.

Gosden senior reflected on that Haydock run of Free Wind, which had been a dramatic one.

He said: “She got put through the rails at Haydock. She got up and won despite that near fatal accident and has come back from a nasty injury and 10 months off.

“It was a long way for her to come back, physically and mentally. She’s done that and showed a great attitude, so we couldn’t be more pleased with her.

“She was running way below her trip today. She wasn’t originally in the race, but Mr (George) Strawbridge (owner) is over from America to see Epictetus run in the Dante and we thought we’d supplement Free Wind and run her, too.

“She’s done great as this trip is a bit sharp for her. She’s won a Park Hill over a mile and six furlongs, which is a slightly different ball game.

“We’re very clear that we’re going a mile and a half next time. She’s in the Hardwicke (at Royal Ascot) and that would be a strong possibility at this stage.”

BetGoodwiin

Tom Clover was understandably proud of the effort of the runner-up.

He said: “She ran a lovely race. Jack gave her a lovely ride, he followed Frankie the whole way.

“She takes a step forward with each run. She ran well in France and ran well in the Magnolia at Kempton when she didn’t get a clear run, and she didn’t in France either.

“She’s a really lovely filly, she’s improved from three to four, she was well sourced by the team and it’s great to have a high-class filly of this nature.

“It would be lovely to win a Group race with her this year, and the obvious next two targets would either be the Hoppings (at Newcastle) or the Pretty Polly in Ireland, so we’ll see.”

Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Middleton Stakes (Fillies' Group 2)
£145,000 guaranteed, 4yo plus, 1m 2f 56y, Class 1
7 ran

Going: Good, Good to Firm in places

POS. (DRAW) DIST HORSE AGE WGT TRAINER JOCKEY SP
1 (6)    Free Wind 5 9-2 John & Thady Gosden Frankie Dettori 6/5F
2 (8) ½ Rogue Millennium 4 9-2 Tom Clover Jack Mitchell 20/1
3 (5) Poptronic 4 9-2 K R Burke Sam James 25/1
4 (1) State Occasion 5 9-2 Ralph Beckett Ryan Moore 9/1
5 (2) hd Stay Alert 4 9-2 Hughie Morrison Oisin Murphy 11/2
6 (3) Sea Silk Road 4 9-2 William Haggas William Buick 11/2
7 (4) 4 Aristia 5 9-5 Richard Hannon Sean Levey 11/2
NR 2 (7) Toskana Belle 4 9-5 Roger Varian NON RUNNER

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