John Quinn is eyeing further top-level success with Highfield Princess after confirming his superstar sprinting mare will stay in training this year.
The seven-year-old memorably completed a Group One hat-trick in 2022 with wins in the Prix Maurice de Gheest, Nunthorpe and Flying Five Stakes before rounding off her campaign with a fourth-placed finish at the Breeders’ Cup.
Owner John Fairley sportingly elected to bring his pride and joy back for another season last year and was duly rewarded, as Highfield Princess was placed twice at Royal Ascot and blitzed her rivals at Goodwood before bagging a fourth Group One success in the Prix de l’Abbaye at ParisLongchamp.
She could only finish sixth on her most recent outing in Hong Kong, but while connections could quite easily have retired the daughter of Night Of Thunder for breeding purposes in 2024, Quinn is delighted to report her racing career will continue.
“Highfield Princess is going to stay in training this year and I’m delighted,” he told the PA news agency on Tuesday morning.
“She retained her enthusiasm all year (last year) and keeps doing it. She won another Group One, was placed in three Group Ones and won a Group Two, so it’s not as if she had one outstanding run and four or five runs below par.
“She had one disappointing run in the Curragh when she slipped, apart from that she was second in the Duke of York, placed twice at Royal Ascot, fantastic at Glorious Goodwood, second in the Nunthorpe and put up a tremendous performance in the Abbaye.
“She ran creditably in Hong Kong from a wide draw and the owners have decided they’d like to race her again this year, which is great.”
While Highfield Princess is currently enjoying a well-earned break, Quinn has already started to formulate plans for her comeback.
He added: “She’s having a break now and will be back in (training) on February 1.
“I think she’ll kick off in the Duke of York again. It might be cold and snowy this morning, but it will soon come round, and then we’ll aim for Royal Ascot.”