Tag Archive for: Absolutelyflawless

Absolutelyflawless firmly in trophy hunt at Beverley

Absolutelyflawless will bid to maintain her undefeated record when she lines up for the Hilary Needler Trophy at Beverley on Saturday.

The David Loughnane-trained Ribchester filly won on racecourse debut over five furlongs at Southwell in April and then took a significant step forward to land the Lily Agnes Stakes over the same trip at Chester last month.

Laura Pearson was in the saddle on both of those occasions but misses out this time due to suspension, with William Buick deputising in a race connections hope could act as a stepping stone to the Royal meeting.

“She’s been very consistent so far this year and she’s two from two,” Loughnane said.

“She was very good in the Lily Agnes. It probably isn’t the most competitive renewal of the race, but there are still some nice fillies in there.

“She has to handle the track, she’s been on Southwell and Chester, two very flat tracks. It requires a little bit more of them, Beverley, with the undulations.

Absolutelyflawless on her way to success in the Lily Agnes Stakes
Absolutelyflawless on her way to success in the Lily Agnes Stakes (Tim Goode/PA)

“I’d like to hope her class will see her through and if she were to go and win she’d certainly put herself in line for something at Royal Ascot.

“I think she’ll be versatile enough in terms of ground, a good horse will go on any ground.”

Robert Cowell’s Miss Mai Tai has been sixth in both of her two runs to date and was last seen finishing behind Ramazan in a novice at Beverley in May.

“It’s quite a tough race, but we’ve won it a couple of times in the past and I think getting a good break is important,” the Newmarket trainer said.

“This filly has a couple of races under her belt and didn’t get beat far last time with probably not the smoothest of runs.

“We’re hoping she’ll be there with a furlong to go, whether she’s good enough we’ll see.”

Nigel Tinkler’s Parr Fire took a Doncaster novice at 20-1 in May and is likely to head to post on the Westwood at a significantly smaller price as a result.

Charlie and Mark Johnston’s Fragrance was also a winner last time out when successful at Catterick, prior to which she was placed in two competitive juvenile races.

Darryll Holland and Amo Racing’s Primrose Ridge was a mightily impressive winner when taking a Beverley novice by seven lengths in April and returns to the same track after finishing sixth in the Listed Marygate Fillies’ Stakes at York.

Richard Hannon’s Distinguished Lady is a second runner for the Amo Racing team, Brian Ellison’s Breath Catcher will make her third Beverley appearance while David O’Meara has both Star of Lady M and debutant Your Spirit.

On the same card is another five-furlong contest open only to juveniles, the bet365 Two Year Old Trophy Conditions Stakes for colts and geldings.

Eve Johnson Houghton’s Whistle And Flute heads the market, a Dandy Man colt run in the same silks as the trainer’s Windsor Castle hero Chipotle.

The bay was a winner on his first racecourse outing when prevailing in a Bath novice and then went on to finish second to Andrew Balding’s Balkeel in the Royal Ascot Two-Year-Old Trial Conditions Stakes.

“He’s been in very good form, he’s run two very nice races so far and we’re hoping he can step up,” Johnson Houghton said.

Whistle and Flute (right) in the Royal Ascot Two-Year-Old Trial Conditions Stakes
Whistle and Flute (right) in the Royal Ascot Two-Year-Old Trial Conditions Stakes (John Walton/PA)

Tom Clover’s Rogue Spirit was victorious by three-quarters of a length when beginning his career in a Beverley novice in early May, but the Dark Angel youngster was so unruly prior to the race that he has since been gelded.

“He behaved appallingly when he won there, he was so coltish and a real handful,” said the trainer.

“He was very free to post, very hot, I think he’s a natural free sweater anyway, but we had to cut him.

“He’s gelded now and he’s still a bit of a free sweater but he looks to have settled down plenty.

“He breezed so nicely on Wednesday morning and did a very nice bit of work on Saturday. I think he deserves to take his chance.

“He’s by a great sire and he’s a strong two-year-old, if we could pick up a conditions race along our way it would be fantastic.”

Cowell is also represented in the race and will saddle Corporate Raider, fourth in a Catterick maiden on May 20 when beaten four and a quarter lengths.

“He ran a really promising race the other day at Catterick. He was all at sea and then the penny dropped in the last half a furlong and he made up probably five or six places,” the trainer said.

“Beverley will suit him and if that race has blown away the cobwebs and he’s learnt a bit, he should run quite a nice race.”

Balding has entered Havana Gold colt Chateau, John Quinn’s Jm Jungle looks to back up a win at Hamilton and Richard Fahey’s The Ridler also comes into the race in winning form after taking a Ripon novice when last seen.

Adrian Keatley’s Honour Your Dreams runs for the first time since being gelded and Ellison’s Chattel Village completes the field of eight.

Retirement beckons for Lola Showgirl following Group Three strike

Lola Showgirl is set to be retired following her Group Three success at Lingfield on Saturday.

Winner of the Kensington Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot last summer, the five-year-old recorded her first victory at Pattern level when making all the running in the Chartwell Fillies’ Stakes.

A possible defence of her Royal Ascot crown was mooted as a potential swansong, but following a hefty rise in the ratings, trainer Dave Loughnane feels now is the time to draw stumps.

He said: “She’s gone up 19lb for winning on Saturday, so she is now rated 105 and I think that’s her now – she’ll probably retire.

“She’s in foal to Oasis Dream and it’s very much job done with her.”

While Lola Showgirl will not be on his team, the Shropshire-based trainer is still likely to be well represented at next month’s showpiece meeting in Berkshire.

Go Bears Go is a leading contender for the Commonwealth Cup, while in the last week Absolutelyflawless and Omniqueen have looked potential contenders for the Royal Ascot two-year-old races with victories at Chester and Ascot respectively.

Absolutelyflawless in the clear at Chester
Absolutelyflawless in the clear at Chester (Tim Goode/PA)

Loughnane, though, plans to make a final decision on their participation closer to the time.

He added: “I don’t want to go to Royal Ascot for a day out – I’d have to feel that they’re both capable of winning.

“Especially with Omniqueen, Amo Racing (owners) could have a lot of two-year-olds going to Royal Ascot and we don’t want to be running four or five of them against each other.

“There are plenty of other Group races around the same time. There’s a few races in Ireland and a few other options, so we’re leaving everything on the table at the moment.

“When it comes to making entries, we’ll sit down and go through everything and see who is the most suited to go there and who is the most suited to go elsewhere.”

Absolutelyflawless maintains perfect record at Chester

David Loughnane is gaining a reputation as a very good trainer of juveniles and looks to have another decent type on his hands after Absolutelyflawless maintained her unbeaten record with a stylish display in the ICM Stellar Sports Lily Agnes Conditions Stakes at Chester.

Go Bears Go carried the flag for the Shropshire handler last year and having won at Southwell on her debut, Absolutelyflawless took a big step forward to beat some potentially smart fillies under Laura Pearson.

Sent off at 6-1, she was relatively slowly away but Pearson was content to sit off the hot early pace set by the odds-on favourite Star Of Lady M, who failed to handle the bend and carried most of the field into the centre of the track.

That left a a huge gap up the rail which Pearson gleefully accepted, coming home a length and a half clear of Ocean Cloud.

Loughnane said: “That was just what we wanted to see. We knew she’d be slowly away and Laura thought there’d be loads of pace on and she was right.

“She’s quite a smart filly, when the gap opened up she was going well enough to take it.

“I wasn’t sure about the ground but she’s a tough filly and obviously handled it.

“Today was the plan. We can have a think about Ascot and everything. A stiff five furlongs at Ascot, I wouldn’t be afraid of it.”

Gay Kelleway said of Ocean Cloud: “We were beaten by the ground, she wants it quick. She’ll still go to Ascot before she goes to America.”

Live In The Dream was on the mark again at Chester
Live In The Dream was on the mark again at Chester (Tim Goode/PA)

Epsom trainer Adam West has to weigh up the pros and cons of running a three-year-old against his elders in the Dash at Epsom having seen Live In The Dream make all in the Tote-sponsored five-furlong handicap.

Having won at Sandown 12 days ago, he was racing off a mark of 92 but Ryan Moore was able to grab the rail from stall two.

Moore sensibly waited until pressing the button and the 11-8 favourite went away to win by two and a quarter lengths from Nymphadora.

West said: “He was very game. I was concerned about going around a bend today as I wasn’t sure if he could hit top speed early enough, as his early pace is his strongest weapon.

“When he goes up in grade, I’d like to think we might have a little bit more to play with. I was losing sleep over the rain but we got away with it on fresh ground – a couple of races later and we might not have.

“Steve and Jolene (De’Lemos, owners) are keen to see him in the Dash. I’m not so keen to take on older horses with a three-year-old, but being on home turf and that being such a prestigious race as an Epsom trainer, we’ll see. His brother will go there (Live In The Moment) and I wouldn’t like to split them.”

Secret State (white cap) confirmed his debut promise
Secret State (white cap) confirmed his debut promise (Tim Goode/PA)

William Buick might have been out of luck in the feature race of the day when New London was well beaten in the Chester Vase, but he did manage to win the last two races.

Firstly, Secret State confirmed the potential he had shown on his debut when second in the Wood Ditton at Newmarket.

Sent off the 13-8 favourite, the son of Jacqueline Quest pulled almost four lengths clear of Honiton in the Edinburgh Gin Maiden Stakes.

Buick then needed all his strength to get Ffion up in the shadows of the post in the Stephen Wade Handicap.

Paws For Thought appeared to have slipped the field on his first start for Donald McCain but the 5-2 favourite was gaining with every stride and got home by a short head to provide Loughnane with a double.