Quinn eyeing international campaign for Highfield Princess

International ventures are being pencilled in for Highfield Princess in the second half of the season with the Prix Maurice de Gheest, Prix de l’Abbaye and a trip to the Breeders’ Cup all possibilities for John Quinn’s high-class filly.

A nine-time winner in her career, the five-year-old was given an all-weather campaign in the early part of the year which culminated in a win over seven furlongs at Newcastle in the All-Weather Fillies’ And Mares’ Championships Conditions Stakes on Good Friday.

She then dropped back to six furlongs to produce a blistering display on the Knavesmire and claim the Group Two Duke of York Stakes, a performance which meant she headed to Royal Ascot for the Platinum Jubilee Stakes with realistic claims of getting in the mix.

Sent off at 7-1 for the final-day feature, Highfield Princess proved she was well worth her place at the top table when finishing a gallant sixth, which has allowed Quinn to map out an ambitious programme for the second half of the season.

She was initially in contention for the July Cup, but having already raced six times in 2022, her handler decided to skip the competitive Newmarket event to instead concentrate on other targets later in the year, starting with a trip to Deauville next month.

“We were very pleased with her and she’s come out of Ascot very well,” said Quinn.

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“We skipped the July Cup as we thought we would give her a bit of a chance to get over Ascot as I got her ready early for the all-weather final which she won and then the Duke of York and then she ran great at Ascot. So it’s a little mid-term break and her next target will be the Prix Maurice de Gheest (August 7) at Deauville.

“She’s also in the Nunthorpe and then in September there is the Flying Five at the Curragh and the Haydock sprint (Sprint Cup) – she might run in one of those and depending what route she takes us, the Abbaye is also a possibility and we’re working back from the Breeders’ Cup really.

“There’s a five-and-a-half-furlong championship race on the turf, but there is also a seven-furlong fillies’ only race on the artificial surface. She’s very good round the bends as she’s shown when winning at Chelmsford and she doesn’t mind the all-weather as also shown at Newcastle. She’s very versatile.”

Mr Wagyu, here winning the JRA Tokyo Trophy Handicap on Derby Day at Epsom, could line-up at the Curragh for his next outing
Mr Wagyu, here winning the JRA Tokyo Trophy Handicap on Derby Day at Epsom, could line-up at the Curragh for his next outing (David Davies/PA)

Quinn also revealed the plan for Wokingham Stakes fourth Mr Wagyu, who is now rated 100 following two fine efforts of late and will be targeted at all the big sprinting handicaps in both the UK and Ireland for the rest of the campaign.

He said: “He’s come out of Ascot really well and he’s going to go to the Curragh for the Scurry Handicap before the Stewards’ Cup at Goodwood and possibly onto Ayr for the Ayr Gold Cup.”

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