My Astra impresses Haggas with ‘startling’ Ayr verdict

William Haggas will consider an immediate step up to Group One level with My Astra after a “startling victory” in the Tennent’s Lager British Stallion Studs EBF Rothesay Stakes at Ayr.

A dual winner last summer and placed twice in Listed company since, the four-year-old half-sister to the high-class My Oberon was the 13-8 favourite to open her Stakes race account in Scotland.

After moving smoothly into contention, the daughter of Lope De Vega engaged overdrive once popped the question by Tom Marquand – sprinting 12 lengths clear without being fully extended.

Haggas, saddling his 17th winner in the last fortnight, said: “She won really nicely, enjoyed the step up in trip and possibly the ease in the ground too.

“I thought it looked a better race than last year, but she did really well.

“I was really impressed with her today. She travelled well and when he (Marquand) said ‘go’, she went.

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“It was a startling victory”

William Haggas has his string in fantastic form
William Haggas has his string in fantastic form (Mike Egerton/Jockey Club)

My Astra holds a top-level entry in the Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh on June 26 and Haggas admits he will now have to give a trip to Ireland serious thought.

“My original plan was to miss Royal Ascot and go to the Hoppings Stakes at Newcastle, but it just looked there like the all-weather at Kempton (when third) last time was not for her,” the Newmarket handler added.

“She’ll go either to the Hoppings or the Pretty Polly and we’ll decide which nearer the time.”

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