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Weather key to Just Beautiful’s Sun Chariot challenge

Just Beautiful’s participation in the Kingdom Of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket on October 2 depends entirely on the weather.

The filly took her record to five wins from seven outings in the Sceptre Stakes at Doncaster last week, with her only defeats coming over a mile.

With a lack of suitable options over seven furlongs for the rest of this season, trainer Ivan Furtado feels it is the Sun Chariot or nothing – and then she may be heading to the sales.

“We’re still planning to go to Newmarket, but we’ve got an open mind about the ground,” said Furtado.

“She’s come out of the race well and if the weather holds on until then we’ll run, but if the ground is not right and it’s gone soft, we won’t. The possibilities are slim but that’s what we’re planning.

“It’s unfortunate that she’s probably the best seven-furlong filly in Europe but there’s no race for her, but that’s the way the calendar is – it’s very short of seven-furlong Group races.

“We didn’t put her in the Prix de la Foret, there is a possibility of supplementing, but then it could be soft ground there which is why we didn’t put her in in the first place.

“She probably just about stays a mile, but seven furlongs is her trip. She’s been beaten twice over a mile and that is because you have to ride her to get the trip, but over seven you can be a lot more positive which is what she likes.”

As for next year, Furtado said: “We’re keen to keep her in training, but at the same time she’ll probably have an entry in the broodmare sale and we’ll see what sort of figure she makes.

“If she makes the right money from the owner’s point of view then she’ll probably have to go, but if she doesn’t she’ll be back with us. We’re not in a rush to sell and there’s some nice races next year if she stays in training.

“I understand, though, that if she makes the right money she’ll probably have to go and then the challenge is to find the next one – it will be difficult as she only cost 8,000 guineas!”

Just Beautiful lives up to her name for Ivan Furtado

Just Beautiful provided Ivan Furtado with the biggest win of his career to date when running out a game victor of the Japan Racing Association Sceptre Fillies’ Stakes at Doncaster.

Already a Listed winner at Musselburgh in June, she defied market expectations to finish a close sixth to Snow Lantern in the Falmouth Stakes.

Beaten in France last time out, she was sent off the 11-4 favourite in the Group Three contest with the assistance of former champion jockey Silvestre de Sousa.

De Sousa was keen not to allow Highfield Princess an easy lead and after a couple of furlongs held a clear advantage.

By halfway De Sousa decided it was time to kick on and went a couple of lengths clear, seeing off Highfield Princess but with Double Or Bubble closing.

The younger filly just had enough in reserve to see off the attentions of Double Or Bubble, though, winning by a head with Loch Lein running on for third, sparking great celebrations for her locally-based owners.

Furtado, who is based not too far from Town Moor down the A1 at Newark, said: “That was unbelievable. She’s some filly to do what she has – she’s won five out of seven, and second in a Group Three.

“She’s straightforward, and it’s great for the owners and staff at home. It’s fantastic for a small yard like ours.

“She was always a great mover, and we always liked her. But she had the handbrake on (at home) for quite a long time – she started to properly come to herself about September time (last year).

“We didn’t rush her. We always knew that she had something there – then from September time, we thought we had something special, and fortunately we did!

“She’s in at Newmarket for the Sun Chariot. But she’s done unbelievably well, and we’ll just see about the ground from now on.”

He added: “Whether she stays in training next year or goes to the broodmare sales is a question mark.

“But if the ground stays right, we will probably go to Newmarket – if not she’s probably done her job now.

“To have a filly like her is great, and it will probably be hard to find another one like her.

“I just hope it helps the team, and proves if we’ve got the right tools we can do the job.”

Of his background in the sport, Furtado said: “My grandparents and parents are cattle farmers in Brazil. I grew up riding horses, and very much as an amateur when I was about 14.

“But I was going to be too big to be a jockey. My granddad owned a few racehorses, and I went to do a business degree, had another job and didn’t enjoy it.

“I came to England for a bit of adventure, and my first trainer was Jim Old – he gave me a job, and I went from there.

“I was bitten by the bug, and I love it. Days like today make it all pay off.

“We’ve done unbelievably well, for (just) six years. We started with six horses – and we’ve got about 60 in the yard now.

“We have everything (we need at the yard). We just need the right horse, and we can deliver.

“I grew up as a farmer outside, and I can’t go inside (to work) any more now.”

Goodwood an option for Just Beautiful after fine Falmouth effort

Just Beautiful will continue her quest for a Group-race victory after her gallant sixth-placed performance in the Tattersalls Falmouth Stakes.

A Group One race run over a mile, this year’s renewal of the fillies-only Falmouth was incredibly competitive both on paper and in practice.

Just Beautiful went into the Newmarket showpiece unbeaten, having won four races including the Listed Maggie Dickson Stakes at Musselburgh in June, but was still a 40-1 shot as she crossed paths with some of the highest-quality fillies in training.

Saturday’s race therefore represented a significant step up in grade, but Ivan Furtado’s three-year-old was far from outclassed as she led at a fair pace and was eventually beaten by two lengths and a quarter on the line.

“I was delighted with her run, she did run a blinder really,” he said.

“To compete at that level against the best fillies in Europe, the best milers, she proved she can cope in there.

“She didn’t have it easy from the front, they went a good pace and she probably didn’t start from the right side of the track with the way the race developed.

“It was her first time stepping up to a mile so to be beaten by two lengths and a quarter in the Falmouth is unbelievable, a great run.”

Snow Lantern was triumphant, with Guineas winner Mother Earth in second in front of Alcohol Free, who took the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot.

“There were some very good fillies behind her,” Furtado said.

“And the ones in front of her were the Guineas winner and the Coronation Stakes winner and runner-up, they are top fillies.

“To be competing with fillies 10lb higher-rated and run a race like that, it’s a phenomenal performance.”

Goodwood’s Group Three Oak Tree Stakes is now under consideration as Furtado plots a further bid for Pattern success.

“We’ll see how she comes out of and think about it,” he said.

“There is the option to go to Goodwood for the Oak Tree Stakes, but it might come too soon.

“We’re keen to keep her with the fillies because she’s not the biggest horse, we’re going to campaign her wisely and try to get a Group race.

“Going on that performance there, if that race, the Falmouth, was like previous years then she would have been unlucky not to get placed or even won.

“It just happened to be one of the best Falmouths ever, the time is telling us that anyway, and we still think she can win a Group race.”

Just Beautiful sitting pretty for Falmouth bid

Ivan Furtado has an eye on the Tattersalls Falmouth Stakes for his unbeaten filly Just Beautiful.

The three-year-old has won all four of her racecourse appearances to date, culminating in a Listed success in the Maggie Dickson Stakes at Musselburgh on June 5.

Prior to that the daughter of Pride Of Dubai was successful in three all-weather contests in a flawless run that started with her racecourse debut in October.

Furtado is now considering a significant step up in class, with the Group One at Newmarket’s July Meeting currently pencilled in.

“We were really happy with her performance and at this stage she’s in for the Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket, the Group One,” he said.

“We’re not sure if we’re going to go there yet, it depends how tough the race is going to be, but it’s a possibility and if not she could go to Goodwood for the fillies’ race at the end of the month (the Oak Tree Stakes).”

“She’s come out of her race really well and I think she’s still progressing, so it’s very exciting times really.”

Just Beautiful’s performance at Musselburgh was her first run on turf and her trainer was bolstered by how well she seemed to cope with the surface when prevailing by a length and a half ahead of proven Listed performer Jouska.

“It was her first run on the turf and Musselburgh is a sharp enough track really, and she handled it very well,” he said.

“We’re stepping her up to a mile at Newmarket which I think won’t be a problem, she wasn’t stopping at the line when she won at Musselburgh and when she ran at Chelmsford before she needed another furlong to get on top, so I think a mile shouldn’t be an issue really.

“She handled the turf well and we’re quite excited about her, she’s doing everything that we ask of her.”

Furtado also provided an update on plans for Ascot Victoria Cup runner-up Eagleway, who was last seen finishing third at Newcastle last week.

The gelding finished three-quarters of a length behind Richard Fahey’s Hartswood and will now target either the Moet & Chandon International Stakes at Ascot or the Unibet Golden Mile Handicap in July, with a visit to York also a possible stepping stone.

“We were happy with the way he ran at Newcastle, he didn’t disgrace himself, it’s just the race didn’t run to suit him,” Furtado said.

“The race didn’t work out perfectly because of the pace, he needs a bit more pace, but he still ran well.

“He is in at Goodwood for the Goodwood Mile, we’re also targeting a race at York next week (the John Smith’s Racing Handicap Stakes), after that he’ll either go back to Ascot on the 24th or he’ll go to Goodwood.

“We’re pretty happy with him, he could do with a bit of juice in the ground but I’m not sure if he’s going to get it.

“He suits the big fields because they go a cavalry charge pace and he just gallops at very high cruising speed and he keeps galloping.”