Whatever mum Irresistible Jewel did ten years ago, daughter Princess Highway can match, the Dermot Weld-trained filly picking up the Ribblesdale Stakes (G2) in fine style today. She has to be considered the best three-year-old filly over middle-distance this year – she has already beaten the Oaks winner and today came home ahead of the Oaks runner-up and third.
“She is a proper filly,” said Weld. “That race [she won in Ireland] is named after Blue Wind, who was very special and the best filly I’d trained before this one, but I’m hoping Princess Highway could be even better. They went a good pace and Pat [Smullen] rightfully took his time and rode a good race as always. We need stars like Frankel and Black Caviar and maybe we’ve seen a future star here.”
Trainer Clive Cox picked up his third Royal Ascot winner courtesy of Reckless Abandon’s Norfolk Stakes success. Cox is another trainer hopeful that he has a future star on his hands.
“I’m sure he’ll get 6f in time, but he’s got so much speed that we wanted to stick at five for the moment. We’ll take it a step at a time, but so far it’s all working out as planned,” he said.
Planning also reaped rewards for German connections, who enjoyed a great success in the Tercentenary Stakes with Energizer. Application of a hood has helped the colt settle better in his races and has allowed connections to step him up from a mile to the 1m2f trip of this Group 3.
“I was hopefully beforehand, especially when I saw him relaxed in the paddock beforehand,” said winning jockey Adrie de Vries. “The horses are struggling in the final furlong because of the testing ground, but it helped me I think as he likes soft ground.”
William Haggas is hoping that the buyers from Hong Kong don’t come shopping for his colt Fast Or Free after winning the mile Britannia Handicap.
“We were lucky to get in off a mark of 98, but you need luck in these races – now I hope the agents from Hong Kong don’t come knocking and take him off me!” he smiled.