Parent’s Prayer records smooth Princess Elizabeth victory

Parent’s Prayer led her rivals a merry dance in the Cazoo-sponsored Princess Elizabeth Stakes at Epsom.

A dual winner during her debut season as a three-year-old last term, Archie Watson’s filly had run two sound races in defeat so far this year – finishing second in the Park Express Stakes in Ireland and fourth in the Chartwell Fillies’ Stakes at Lingfield.

Ridden by champion jockey Oisin Murphy for the first time, the daughter of Kingman was sent straight to the lead and appeared to have matters under control throughout.

If anything the 4-1 winner extended her lead racing inside the final two furlongs and passed the post with just over two lengths in hand over Nazuna, with 7-4 favourite Statement only third.

Murphy said: “She’s a lovely filly – a great, athletic type. She handled the track really well.

“Her owner is watching at home in Saudi Arabia and he will be over the moon. He jumped in the Olympics in 2012 in London and he knows horses very well, so I’m pleased he’s got a top-class filly.

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“We weren’t absolutely sure as to how we were going to ride her – it was an open plan. But she jumped very well and she was very relaxed going to post, so once she pricked her ears in the race and was in a good rhythm, she was always going to run well.”

Watson said: “She is a strong-travelling filly and I always felt she would handle the track.

“Both Oisin and I were keen to go forwards with her and let her get into a rhythm and it has worked out well. I’d say the rain they had yesterday has helped a bit as well, as she has done most of her winning on heavy ground – but saying that she seems quite versatile and I would have no issues on quicker ground.

“She is a Listed winner and she is dual Group Three-placed and is now a Group Three winner – she is now a very valuable filly. It was very important to get a win into her first, then a stakes win and then this Group win. It makes my life a little easier as a trainer as we can now run her in the top races.

“I think we will stay at a mile for now though I do think she would get further under the right circumstances, but there is such a good fillies’ programme over a mile that I don’t think we need to look beyond that at the moment.

“I know it is only 10 days or so to Royal Ascot, but the Duke of Cambridge would be the first option and then on to the Falmouth at Newmarket. If she misses Ascot we would go straight to the Falmouth.

“Later on in the season we can then look at races like the Sun Chariot, Matron and other races in France.”

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