McEntee aims to topple blue bloods with £400 filly

Baytown Kestrel + owner and trainer

Baytown Kestrel + owner and trainer

A first time out 2yo horse winning at 50/1 last week was more than enough for Newmarket trainer Phil McEntee to recoup the £400 she cost him and to earn a place in the Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot next Wednesday.

McEntee bought Baytown Kestrel, a daughter of Captain Gerrard, at Ascot Sales a couple of months ago. She worked well enough with another trainer’s juveniles for McEntee to put her into a race at Lingfield, where she bolted up four lengths ahead of 1/4 favourite Finflash. The trainer told At The Races, “I did fancy her. We backed her at big enough prices, 33s and 40s, and then at the off someone rang me and said, ‘Do you know she’s 66/1’ so I went and backed her again.”

Now he says he is debt free for the first time in 15 years, and looking forward to a big day out. He said, “If Richard Hannon trained her and she had cost 70,000 guineas she would be red-hot favourite for the Queen Mary. But her win was no fluke and she goes there with a real chance. Adam Kirby retains the ride and he is very excited about her.”

A win next week might make her worth close on 70,000 guineas, and there is just the possibility that Baytown Kestrel could be sold before then. McEntee said his phone had not stopped ringing, adding “There has been a lot of interest not just from here, but also from Ireland, Singapore, France, all over the place. But I am in no rush now. We can sit back and look at the offers without any pressure.”

Whether he hangs on to the filly or not, she’s shown herself worthy of a place amongst the blue bloods and big names. I don't think he'll sell her yet, so best of luck next Wednesday to McEntee and his wife, in whose colours Baytown Kestrel runs.

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