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Flotus team considering Group-race options after Ripon success

A choice of Group One and Group Three targets is on the minds of joint trainers Simon and Ed Crisford for their impressive Listed winner Flotus.

The juvenile filly bounced back to form on Monday when she dominated what had looked a competitive field for the British Stallion Studs EBF Ripon Champion Two Yrs Old Trophy Stakes – making all to win by four and a half lengths.

That performance immediately attracted the attention of the bookmakers for future targets, as her ante-post odds for this month’s Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket were halved into 8-1.

Ed Crisford was hugely heartened by the performance as Flotus continued her 100 per cent record in partnership with Silvestre De Sousa, who was back on board for the first time since her debut win at Goodwood in May.

Three disappointments followed in Pattern company at Royal Ascot, Newmarket and Newbury.

Crisford said: “Obviously she won extremely well, bounced back to form after her maiden win at Goodwood when we thought she was a very nice filly.

“It had just slightly gone wrong the last few races (before Ripon).

“But Silvestre gave her a very positive ride, and she came right back to form.”

Both the Cheveley Park (September 25) and Ayr’s Firth of Clyde Stakes (September 18), over the same six-furlong trip, are under consideration next.

“I don’t think we’ve got any (definite) plans as of yet,” her joint trainer added.

“We’ll just see how she is in the next few weeks. She’s in the Cheveley Park, (and) she’s in the Firth of Clyde up at Ayr.

“But she’s come out of the race great, and we’re very pleased with her.

“She shortened up in the betting – but the Cheveley Park is a tall order, going up against all the very good fillies.

“So I don’t know where we’re going to go yet.”

Whichever option is taken, Flotus has demonstrated emphatically that she must be taken seriously by all opponents.

“When she won her maiden, we thought she was nice, and that was why we went straight to (Royal) Ascot,” said Crisford.

“She was favourite that day in the Albany, but it just didn’t really go right for her in those races – whether it was the ground, or she was a bit keen at Newmarket (in the Duchess of Cambridge Stakes).

“Then over five (furlongs, in Newbury’s St Hugh’s Stakes), she settled better – but I think she had just slightly lost her confidence.

“The way she then did it (at Ripon) was very impressive, but we need to speak to the owners whether we go Group Three or Group One.”

A more definite schedule is in place for another of the Newmarket yard’s very promising juveniles, with Daneh on course for the Group Two Rockfel Stakes this month after she finished a close second to Mise En Scene at Goodwood last weekend.

Crisford said “She ran a really, really good race – I think they were two nice fillies, first and second.

“She’s still learning, running up to a very high level, and she’s come out of it really well.

“We’ll just see how she is the next few weeks, but I think we’ll probably be aiming her at the Rockfel.”

Big day in store for Boughey in France

George Boughey is confident of prominent performances from both Oscula and Hellomydarlin in Deauville’s Prix Six Perfections – but cannot predict which of his two fillies will come out on top.

Boughey’s juveniles are owned by a division of Nick Bradley Racing – as is Mystery Angel, also part of the yard’s Tuesday team in France in a second Group Three on a classy card, the Prix de Psyche.

The Newmarket trainer expects all of them to cope in varying degrees with the forecast good to soft conditions, having proved adaptable on that score to date.

Oscula was significantly Hellomydarlin’s superior when they were respectively third and 12th in the Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot.

But there is only 2lb between them on official ratings, and Boughey corroborates that they have been each other’s equal on his gallops as they prepare to take on a field containing one other British challenger – Simon and Ed Crisford’s Daneh – and a home contingent headed by Andre Fabre’s unbeaten course-and-distance winner Zellie.

Oscula, winner of the Woodcote Stakes at Epsom in June, has followed her Royal Ascot effort with a very respectable fourth in the Group Two Duchess of Cambridge Stakes.

Boughey said: “The ground was too quick for her at Newmarket last time. It looks like there’s a bit of ease out there this time, which should suit her.

“She was third in the Albany on heavy, and then it was very soft ground on Oaks day when she won the Woodcote.

“She’s rated 100, goes there in good shape, so I think she has a good chance.”

Both fillies move up slightly in trip, having raced exclusively over six furlongs so far.

Boughey added: “Hellomydarlin steps up to seven, after her third in the Prix Robert Papin.

“Jockey reports and everything I’ve seen have always suggested she’d get seven.

“She’s a big, strong filly and goes there with a decent chance as well.

“The form of Hellomydarlin’s maiden actually got a massive boost the other day, with Ismael Mohammed’s (Zain Claudette) winning a Group Three.

“It didn’t work out for her at Ascot. We wanted her to come stands side, and she never got over to get in the race, and the ground was way too soft for her.

“I think you can put a complete line through that.”

She has twice run with credit since, notably in the Group Two Robert Papin at Chantilly last time.

“Her form at Pontefract was pretty good, and then she backed it up when she went to France the other day,” said Boughey.

“So personally, I couldn’t split them. They worked together the other day, and they worked as well as each other.

“Obviously one will beat the other – but where they finish, I’m not sure.”

Joint-trainer Ed Crisford admits Daneh – a beautifully-bred daughter of dual Group One-winning mare Rizeena – faces a testing assignment after just her impressive all-weather debut success over this trip in June.

He said: “She won very well at Kempton, and we thought she deserved a chance in a stakes race.

“She’s obviously very well-bred as well, a homebred of Sheikh Rashid’s (Dalmook Al Maktoum).

“We were going to run her in a Listed race at Sandown the other day. But it was very firm ground, and she wouldn’t want that.

“So the ground looks suitable. It still looks a very punchy affair out there – but she’s in good form, and I think she’s come on again from her first run, so we’re expecting a good run from her.

“I think she deserves to be going in a stakes race, so we’ll see how she gets on and where we stand.”

Boughey, meanwhile, hopes his highly-consistent Oaks runner-up Mystery Angel can gain deserved Group Three success later on the card.

“She’s flown the flag this year for us,” he said.

Mystery Angel has been a star for her connections this season
Mystery Angel has been a star for her connections this season (Mike Egerton/PA)

“She won the Pretty Polly well (at Newmarket in May) on decent ground. She’s not actually run again on it, and she’d never run before on it, and I’ve always been of the view that she will be better on better ground.

“If it was only good to soft, that would be fine.

“It seems everywhere she goes the rain follows her. She’s in very good form – she’s been busy, but she takes her racing incredibly well.”

Mystery Angel drops to 10 furlongs, having sat out a possible Group Two alternative up at one mile six on Saturday at Goodwood.

“She’s not bred to get a mile and a quarter, a mile and a half – but I think because she’s so relaxed she’s able to,” said Boughey.

“She was in the Lillie Langtry, but I didn’t see any reason to take on David Menuisier’s horse (Wonderful Tonight) on soft ground.

“I think she’s pretty versatile trip-wise. We’ll probably look to make plenty of use of her and get on the front. James Doyle will know that she stays a mile and a half well, and (can) be pretty positive on her.

“It felt like she deserved a Listed win, and she got that, so if we can go one step better that’d be great.”

Among her seven opponents are Irish challenger The Blue Brilliant, who moves up in class in search of her hat-trick for Jessica Harrington.

Flotus pencilled in for either Newmarket or Ascot

Flotus could bid to bounce back from Royal Ascot disappointment at either Newmarket or Ascot.

The Starspangledbanner filly made a big impression on her racecourse debut at Goodwood in May and was sent off clear favourite for the Albany Stakes as a result under Frankie Dettori.

However, Flotus trailed home 13th of 15 runners, with joint-trainer Ed Crisford putting the below-par performance down to the prevailing testing conditions on the penultimate afternoon of the Royal meeting.

“That ground was just too heavy for her,” he said.

“We’ll either go to Newmarket for the Duchess of Cambridge or wait for the Group Three at Ascot (Princess Margaret Stakes), depending on how she is.

“She seems fine, but Ascot was a bit of a disaster with the ground. I know she handled soft ground at Goodwood, but it was an early race and almost good to soft that day, whereas at Ascot it was proper heavy, brutal ground.

“Frankie looked after her, which is the main thing, so hopefully we’ve got a filly to go to war with later on in the season.”

Daneh looks another exciting juvenile filly for the Crisford team judged on her impressive debut at Kempton last week.

The daughter of Dubawi is out of Clive Brittain’s dual Group One-winning mare Rizeena and is likely to test the water in stakes company later in the summer.

Crisford added: “You never quite know what they’re going to do on the racetrack, but she did it well. She’s obviously very well bred and a nice filly

“At the moment we haven’t made any firm plans. There are Listed races or she might go for another novice – we haven’t quite decided yet.

“She’s come out of it great and we’re talking to the owner about where we go from here.”