Blossoming Bluestocking has big targets at Goodwood and York

The Nassau Stakes and the Yorkshire Oaks remain likely targets for Bluestocking following her Group One breakthrough in Ireland last weekend.

Having made an impressive start to her four-year-old campaign in the Middleton Stakes at York, Ralph Beckett’s filly showed plenty of tenacity to go with her undoubted talent to mow down proven top-notcher Emily Upjohn in the Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh.

The daughter of Camelot is reported to have taken those Irish exertions in her stride and further major prizes await, with Goodwood and York obvious stopping points later this summer.

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“She came out of it great, Ralph was very happy with her. She’s a tough old mare to be fair to her,” said Barry Mahon, European racing manager for owners Juddmonte.

“She was gutsy and showed good determination to get up on Saturday. She’s threatened to deliver that for a while now, so it’s nice to actually get it done.

“In fairness, she was a big, immature three-year-old and a weak filly, so it’s no wonder she’s improving.

“I think that (Nassau then Yorkshire Oaks) looks the logical route. That was what Ralph was thinking and the owners were happy to go along with it, so if Ralph is happy with her, that’s the way we’ll go.”

Nostrum remains an exciting prospect for the Juddmonte team
Nostrum remains an exciting prospect for the Juddmonte team (Mike Egerton/PA)

Another Juddmonte homebred to perform well last weekend was the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Nostrum, who was on the comeback trail in the Criterion Stakes at Newmarket.

The son of Kingman looked destined for the top as a juvenile and made a smart start to his three-year-old campaign at Newmarket 12 months ago, but he was beaten at Goodwood on his subsequent start and finished last of six in his next two races before being gelded over the winter.

Nostrum made his return at Group Three level on the July Course and Mahon is taking plenty of encouragement from his performance in finishing a close second to Noble Dynasty.

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He added: “It was great to see him back and I think he’s just ready now to get going again.

“He’d obviously had a time of it since his last run at Sandown, so it was nice to see him behave well and settle well and finish the race off well. There were a lot of positives there, hopefully we’re on our way back to where we’d hope we’d be and we’ll look forward to his next run.

“There are plenty of options, he was entered for the City of York the other day and I think he’s in the Lennox at Goodwood. We’ll just let Sir Michael and the horse tell us when they’re ready for action.

“He did everything right the other day, which he hadn’t done on his last three starts, so hopefully we’re on our way to where we need to be.”

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