Trillium came with a tremendous burst up the stands side under Pat Dobbs to take the Markel Molecomb Stakes at Goodwood.
It looked a bold move by trainer Richard Hannon to drop the No Nay Never filly back to five furlongs for the first time on a sharp track for just her third start, yet the 7-1 shot handled both the trip and the step up to Group Three company with aplomb, looking like she had just joined in when producing her finishing kick.
Though she had plenty to do with two furlongs to race, with Eddie’s Boy and Rocket Rodney setting the pace, Dobbs bided his time and Trillium’s acceleration was instant, as she powered home to score by a length and a quarter from even-money favourite Rocket Rodney, with Walbank half a length further back in third.
“She has always been a lovely filly and I was amazed she did not win here first time, she probably did not know enough and was a bit keen,” said Hannon.
“She won her maiden very nicely at Newbury. She’s always been a very nice filly and she’s starting to look like a strong two-year-old. She came in pretty late, but she’s a credit to Rockliffe Stud, they bred her and she’s a very good filly. We’ll look at something like the Morny.
“Ed Sackville (racing manager) mentioned the Breeders’ Cup, he always mentions things like that but I’d like to think he’s right! I didn’t put her in the Lowther as she wasn’t showing this sort of speed then.
“We’ve been very lucky in these colours with Sky Lantern and Snow Lantern, it’s lovely and she’s a homebred so it means that much more. She’s raised and grazed by them.
“She’s not silly in terms of she doesn’t have to sprint, six furlongs won’t be a problem. She looks like a very tall, strong two-year-old. She’s kind of in the Happy Romance mould, she’s not as long as Happy Romance but I’d love to think she’s a filly for next year, she’s a Group winner now.”
Of Rocket Rodney, trainer George Scott said: “We just got beat fair and square. We were beaten by a better horse on the day. She (Trillium) was the fly in the ointment really for me going into the run – a well-bred filly from a good operation, who was impressive last time out. She was always the one I was worried about.
“We are working back from the Breeders’ Cup. The Flying Childers is a good break now, so we will probably just give him a couple of easy weeks and then work towards the Flying Childers. Then he will run once more depending on the ground, and we want to end up at Keeneland for the two-year-old five-furlong race on the Friday. It’s a newish race. It will be perfect for him.”