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British Horseracing Authority amends Fillies’ Mile result

The result of the Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket has been amended in the wake of the confusion surrounding Aidan O’Brien’s runners in the Newmarket Group One on October 9.

O’Brien’s Snowfall was named as the third-placed finisher on the day, when it was in fact her stable companion Mother Earth.

A field of 10 runners went to post on the Rowley Mile, with victory going to 5-2 favourite Pretty Gorgeous, trained by Aidan’s son Joseph O’Brien, by half a length from John Gosden’s Indigo Girl.

It was initially thought 50-1 shot Snowfall had finished a further half-length away in third in the hands of James Doyle, with Mother Earth back in eighth under William Buick.

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However, posts on social media soon questioned the outcome – and it subsequently became evident the horse that had passed the post in third was in fact 18-1 chance Mother Earth, the darker of the two fillies, with the lighter Snowfall back in the field.

While Doyle was correctly sporting the pink cap and the number nine saddle cloth assigned to Snowfall, he was in fact riding Mother Earth.

O’Brien was not at Newmarket – and on viewing a recording of the race at home, he quickly contacted the British Horseracing Authority to alert them to the mistake and that his on-course staff, based in Britain as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, had saddled the horses incorrectly.

The BHA has now confirmed it has used its powers under Rule (G)7 of the rules of racing to amend the result, with Mother Earth placed third and Snowfall eighth.

The BHA said in a statement that the result had been amended rather than the horses disqualified because “the grounds for potential disqualification are set out in the rules of racing, are specific and do not include horses starting from the wrong starting stalls or carrying the wrong jockey.

“Because the horses that ran in the race were duly entered and carried the correct weight, the only possible disqualification ground would be if the horses were the subject of fraudulent practice. Therefore the rules provide no grounds for disqualifying the horses, pending the result of the ongoing investigation.

“However, as a result of this case the rules will now be reassessed to determine whether there should be additional grounds for disqualification.”

The statement added: “The saddling of the correct horses for a race is the responsibility of the trainer. An investigation remains ongoing in relation to the incorrect saddling of the horses, and as such the BHA will make no further comment at this time. Any updates will be communicated in line with usual procedures for disciplinary matters.”

The BHA also said that it is considering the implications of the incident to assess whether further changes to the relevant raceday procedures may be brought in, utilising the new raceday officiating structure, as an additional safeguard against trainer error and to minimise the risk of such an event recurring.

Shane Crosse thrilled to get Group One on the board with Pretty Gorgeous

Feelings of frustration turned to ones of joy for jockey Shane Crosse, who celebrated the first Group One success of his career aboard Pretty Gorgeous in the bet365 Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket.

Having been forced to miss the winning ride on Galileo Chrome in last month’s St Leger following a positive test for Covid-19 before travelling from Ireland, the 19-year-old enjoyed a deserved change of fortune thanks to the Joseph O’Brien-trained daughter of Lawman.

Though Crosse will now be dreaming of glory in next year’s 1000 Guineas back over course and distance aboard Pretty Gorgeous, he admits that watching Galileo Chrome triumph on Town Moor from the comfort of his own home was tough to take.

Crosse said: “Of course it hurt and I had a great partnership with the horse. To be sat at home on your own watching it on the television with no one around you was a bit of a head wrecker.

“I’m delighted the horse won though and for Tom (Marquand) who is a lovely guy. Hopefully I can look forward to him next year.

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“This takes a lot of the edge off what happened. I suppose no one would wish it on their worst enemy, but I was the unfortunate one.

“Luckily there wasn’t a hair turned on me which was probably the main thing, but I missed out on the Leger. Hopefully there are more big days ahead and this has topped things off.

“She has loads of speed and I wouldn’t be going past the mile so hopefully that (1000 Guineas) is the aim.”

While the winning margin may have only been half a length, Crosse was confident that Pretty Gorgeous was always doing enough, despite not being totally at ease on the track.

He added: “Coming down the hill she probably didn’t handle it as well as most fillies do, but she is just so big and plenty green still.

“I found myself in a pocket between Ryan (Moore), but once I got down out of the dip and met the rising ground she just levelled off and she was very game. I think the best filly won.

“I felt I was there plenty soon and it is a lonely half-furlong there, but I felt if I wasn’t going to go when I did something might have flashed by. She had her ears back though and she was all over them.”

With racing continuing to take place behind closed doors, being greeted by near empty grandstands following such victories is now accepted as normal – but the moment was not lost on Crosse.

He said: “It’s unbelievable, it has just flashed by there. I can’t believe it has just happened.

“There is no crowd or atmosphere, but that doesn’t make a difference once you are on the horse’s back. I’m going to take it in like a normal day.”

To succeed at the highest level requires backing from the best, and Crosse is thankful to have exactly that from former Classic-winning rider turned trainer O’Brien.

He said: “Without Joseph and the team of horses we have I couldn’t do it. Especially this filly today as she has already given me a few great days and she has now just made this the biggest one of my life.

“She will be a three-year-old and her best days are ahead of her, I hope.”

Pretty Gorgeous sitting pretty in Fillies’ Mile

Pretty Gorgeous toughed it out at Newmarket to give Joseph O’Brien his second victory in the bet365 Fillies’ Mile as a trainer.

Ridden by Shane Crosse – who should have been aboard the yard’s St Leger winner Galileo Chrome last month, only to miss the ride after a positive test for Covid-19 – the Lawman filly got the better of Indigo Girl by half a length.

Pretty Gorgeous had missed her own intended target last weekend, as she was caught up in the contaminated feed issue that led to the O’Brien family runners being withdrawn at ParisLongchamp on Sunday.

The chief threat came from John Gosden’s Indigo Girl, winner of both her previous outings including an impressive success in the May Hill Stakes at Doncaster.

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Indigo Girl made ground seamlessly from the rear – but Pretty Gorgeous, who had been closer to the pace, then quickened away.

It was to Indigo Girl’s credit that she made a second challenge, but she could only get to within half a length of the 5-2 favourite, with 50-1 chance Snowfall in third.

O’Brien had previously taken the race in 2018 with Iridessa.

He said: “It’s fantastic and I thought Shane gave the filly a great ride.

“He was patient on her and committed when he had to. Shane is a young man, but he is a very good rider – strong and cool in a finish, and he doesn’t panic. She was fighting them off at the line.

“She has got a great constitution. She went to France last weekend and came back. The lad that rides her out at home said she had taken the journey well and was in good shape, and all credit goes to them as they said she would come here with every chance.

“I was quite worried myself and I had a good conversation with Mr (John) Oxley during the week and he was keen enough that if she was in good shape that we would take the chance and let her run.

“The way it worked out the French race looked a tough race and the ground was nicer here. She has won her Group One and whether that was here or France, I wouldn’t be fussy. It has worked out well in the end.”

Pretty Gorgeous (second left) saw off all-comers at Newmarket
Pretty Gorgeous (second left) saw off all-comers at Newmarket (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

He went on: “She is an exciting filly going forwards. I would think (the 1000 Guineas) is the obvious target now. She has the options of the Breeders’ Cup, but we will probably decide to put her away for the season.

“She is a Lawman, so she would not be bred to go very far. I think Lawman’s can get 10 furlongs and I see her more as an eight to 10-furlong filly rather than an Oaks-type filly at this stage.”

Of Indigo Girl, Gosden said: “It was a great run and I’m very happy with her.

“Her mother won the French St Leger and her sister won a Group One over a mile and a half. She will be trained more for a mile and a quarter and middle-distance races. She won’t be trained as a Guineas filly.”

Shale and Pretty Gorgeous face off again at Newmarket

Donnacha and Joseph O’Brien are both looking forward to a fourth clash between Shale and Pretty Gorgeous in the bet365 Fillies’ Mile.

Shale gave younger brother Donnacha the bragging rights when showing Pretty Gorgeous the way home in the Silver Flash at Leopardstown in early August, before the latter comprehensively gained her revenge in the Debutante Stakes at the Curragh a couple of weeks later.

Shale came out on top by three-quarters of a length when the pair met for the trilogy in last month’s Moyglare Stud Stakes, and her trainer is hoping she can double her Group One tally at Newmarket on Friday.

He said: “The ground is probably going to be a bit softer than ideal, but she’s in good form and we’re hoping for a big run.

“There’s not a lot between our filly and Joseph’s, obviously. I think the step up in trip is going to suit my one, so it will be good fun watching them run against each other and I’m sure it will be another good race.

“There’s some other smart fillies in the race and it will be interesting to see how the Irish and English form lines stack up.”

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Pretty Gorgeous had been due to contest the Prix Marcel Boussac at ParisLongchamp, but was declared a non-runner after all horses trained by the O’Brien family were withdrawn from their races on Arc day due to issues surrounding contaminated feed.

Pretty Gorgeous wins the Debutante Stakes
Pretty Gorgeous wins the Debutante Stakes (Niall Carson/PA)

Her trainer said: “She’s in good shape. It looks a very good race and we’re looking forward to seeing her run.

“We’re obviously meeting Donnacha’s filly again and it will be interesting to see how it goes.

“It’s probably not the ideal preparation after last weekend, but we’re hoping for a good run.

“She has handled a bit of juice in the ground.”

Aidan O’Brien saddles a couple of outsiders in Mother Earth and Snowfall, while the home team is headed by the unbeaten Indigo Girl, who bids to provide John Gosden with a fifth Fillies’ Mile success.

Impressive on her racecourse debut at Yarmouth, Indigo Girl successfully graduated to Group Two class less than a fortnight later in the May Hill Stakes at Doncaster.

Indigo Girl is reopposed by the second, third and fourth from the May Hill in Dubai Fountain (Mark Johnston), Zabeel Queen (Roger Varian) and Lilac Road (William Haggas).

Isabella Giles has won four of her five starts for Clive Cox and earned her step up to the Group One level by winning the Group Two Rockfel Stakes at Newmarket a fortnight ago.

Isabella Giles represents Clive Cox
Isabella Giles represents Clive Cox (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

“She’s been a very pleasing filly and has enjoyed easy ground, which she’s likely to get on Friday,” said Cox.

“We’re obviously stepping up to a mile, but she’s come out of the Rockfel so well and we’re pleased she’s taking this step.

“It’s a strong race, but we’re looking forward to it.”

Seattle Rock (Sylvester Kirk) and Star Of Emaraaty (Kevin Ryan) complete the 11-strong field.

Isabella Giles may return to Newmarket for Fillies’ Mile

Rockfel Stakes winner Isabella Giles is among 16 two-year-old fillies left in at the confirmation stage for the Group One bet365 Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket.

Clive Cox’s talented youngster took the Group Two Rockfel in good style by two lengths from Nazuna, following a seven-length romp in the Group Three Prestige Stakes at Goodwood on her first try at seven furlongs.

John Gosden has left in Indigo Girl, who took her unbeaten record to two with an emphatic victory in the May Hill Stakes at Doncaster. The Newmarket trainer also has Newmarket novice scorer Monsoon Moon in the mix on Friday.

Shale, winner of the Moyglare Stud Stakes, has stood her ground. Donnacha O’Brien’s charge has won two of her three meetings with his brother Joseph’s Pretty Gorgeous. She also remains but is declared for the Prix Marcel Boussac at ParisLongchamp on Sunday.

Their father Aidan has Divinely, High Heels, Monday, Mother Earth, Santa Barbara and Snowfall.

David Loughnane has supplemented Tranchee in the Godolphin Stud & Stable Staff Awards Challenge Stakes, for which there were 16 acceptors following the confirmation stage.

The four-year-old gelding would be taking a hike up in grade, after winning a handicap at Doncaster on his latest start.

Limato could bid to win the Group Two for a third time after being successful in 2017 and 2018. Henry Candy’s evergreen eight-year-old was runner-up 12months ago.

Other possibles include D’bai, Duke Of Hazzard, Glorious Journey, Molatham, Foxtrot Lady and Daahyeh.

Fev Rover has choice of Group One targets

Syndicate manager Nick Bradley has a step up to Group One company planned for the Richard Fahey-trained filly Fev Rover.

The two-year-old is pencilled in for either the bet365 Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket or the Prix Marcel Boussac at ParisLongchamp.

Fev Rover has enjoyed a fruitful season so far, finishing second to subsequent Listed winner Method on her racecourse debut and then producing a valiant effort in the Group Two Duchess Of Cambridge Stakes at Newmarket, where she lost out by just a head to Dandalla – also owned by Nick Bradley Racing.

Her maiden status was then lost when she triumphed in the Listed Irish Stallion Farms EBF Star Stakes at Sandown, before she won the Group Two Shadwell Prix du Calvados at Deauville.

Bradley is hoping she can continue that progression in one of her two possible Group One contests next month.

“She’ll either run in the Fillies’ Mile or the Prix Marcel Boussac, I’m not quite sure which yet,” he said.

“She’ll be kept in both races, and a decision will be made pretty late, probably the first couple of days in October.”

Ground conditions may play their part, and Bradley added: “Going-wise, she wants good ground – it’s just a case of choosing the best race for her.

“In terms of opposition, she’s in great form, so we’ll just let them have a go.”