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Boughey eyes sustained progress after flying start to campaign

George Boughey has enjoyed a memorable year so far and is intent on sustaining his progress throughout the summer.

The trainer’s Newmarket base at Saffron House Stables is currently operating at a 26 per cent strike – with last year’s total of 26 winners already comfortably surpassed.

Mystery Angel provided Boughey, previously assistant to Hugo Palmer, with his first Stakes success this month when taking the Listed Pretty Polly at Newmarket’s Guineas meeting.

The filly is set for Wednesday’s Group Three Musidora Stakes at York, in which Roger Varian’s Teona is expected to head the market.

Mystery Angel, ridden by Ben Curtis, wins the Betfair Pretty Polly Stakes during 1000 Guineas Day
Mystery Angel, ridden by Ben Curtis, wins the Betfair Pretty Polly Stakes (Mike Egerton/PA)

Boughey said: “She was impressive at Newmarket, and I don’t see why she shouldn’t have a very good chance on Wednesday.

“Obviously Roger Varian’s horse will go in as favourite and will probably be hard to beat, but she’s a filly who is progressing and she can make a very good account of herself.

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“She was placed at Newmarket as a two-year-old over 10 furlongs (in the Group Three Zetland Stakes), and I’m sure she’s up to this class.”

Also flying the flag for the stable is the promising juvenile Navello, who completed his hat-trick when winning the Lily Agnes Stakes at Chester by six lengths last week.

The colt’s next target is the Listed National Stakes at Sandown.

“He’ll head to the National Stakes,” said Boughey.

Navello, ridden by Nicola Currie, on his way to winning the ICM Stellar Sports Lily Agnes Conditions Stakes during City Day of the Boodles May Festival 2021 at Chester Racecourse
Navello won the ICM Stellar Sports Lily Agnes Conditions Stakes at Chester (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

“He’s bounced out of his run and he’s improving pretty quickly at the moment.

“He’s a versatile horse ground-wise, so I wouldn’t really be worried about what the ground is – we’ll just crack on.

“He’s a two-year-old who takes his racing incredibly well. I could run him again this week if I wanted to, and he just bounces out of each run – he is a joy to train really.”

The successes of both Mystery Angel and Navello have helped Boughey to 30 winners this term, with both of his pre-season goals already accomplished.

“We’ve had 30 winners already, and my target was to have more winners than we had last year – so we’re well through that already,” he said.

“We’ve had a Stakes winner, which was my only other target, so we’ve just got to keep trying to get the best out of the horses we’ve got.

“We’ve been well supported over the winter. We had plenty of winners last year, but they weren’t superstars, so it’s really nice to have some horses that are winning on ITV and in the bigger types of races.”

Boughey is also keen to see those supporters able to return to the racecourse as coronavirus restrictions begin to ease.

“That’s the next step – we need to get the owners back,” he said.

“They are back, but only in a certain form. We see them over the rail – but they are putting a lot of money into this sport, and we need to see them rewarded for that.”

Fev Rover camp eye choice of Group One targets

Fev Rover has either the Irish 1,000 Guineas or the Prix Saint-Alary on her agenda after her big run at Newmarket.

Richard Fahey’s filly outran odds of 22-1 to be beaten only a length and a quarter into third by Mother Earth in Sunday’s 1000 Guineas.

Taking a keen hold from the stalls, Fev Rover disputed the lead for the first five furlongs before crossing the line a neck behind runner-up Saffron Beach.

Nick Bradley’s racing partnership owns the horse, and he was in attendance alongside a clutch of fellow shareholders.

“Fev Rover ran a great race,” he said.

“We decided we wanted to be handy, because there didn’t look to be much pace in the race.

“She was a little keen early doors, but we had her where we wanted her.

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“She looked like she was going to drop away, but then she picked up out of the dip and ran really well.”

The daughter of Gutaifan had previously enjoyed both Group and Listed successes, having gained black type form in Sandown’s Star Stakes last season before taking the Prix du Calvados at Deauville.

Bradley has another tilt at Group One glory pencilled in this month, with both the Irish Classic at the Curragh and ParisLongchamp’s Prix Saint-Alary under consideration.

“I haven’t spoken to Richard (Fahey) this morning,” he said.

“But we’ll probably go for the Irish Guineas or the Alary next.”

Should the latter race be targeted, Bradley’s filly is likely to cross paths with another who did his silks proud at Newmarket on Sunday.

Mystery Angel gave rookie trainer George Boughey his highest-profile winner to date when taking the Listed Pretty Polly Stakes under Ben Curtis.

The length-and-three-quarters victory signified a change in fortunes for the daughter of Kodi Bear, who has been narrowly beaten three times in Listed contests.

Her efforts in the Silver Tankard Stakes at Pontefract, the Montrose Stakes at Newmarket and the Prix Rose de Mai all fell just short of the mark, with her subsequent run in the Prix Francois Mathet at Saint-Cloud ending in a fifth-placed finish.

“She’s been really unlucky,” said Bradley.

“From when Frankie (Dettori) rode her at Newmarket onwards, she probably should have won all those races.

Mystery Angel ridden by Ben Curtis wins the Betfair Pretty Polly Stakes during 1000 Guineas Day, part of the QIPCO Guineas Festival at Newmarket Racecourse
Mystery Angel and Ben Curtis won the Betfair Pretty Polly Stakes at Newmarket (Mike Egerton/PA)

“Things didn’t quite go our way in each circumstance for different reasons, but yesterday she showed everybody how good she was.

“We knew she was that good, but the last one kind of knocked our confidence a little bit.

“She’s obviously a very good filly, and Ben (Curtis) gave her a great ride – the tactics were to take to the front and make it a stamina test.”

Next week’s Musidora Stakes at York is a possibility, but Bradley is more inclined to target the Prix Saint-Alary and a possible clash with Fev Rover.

“She (Mystery Angel) ran a great race and she will probably go for the Alary next,” he said.

“We’ll look at the Musidora, but it’ll probably be the Group One Alary in France.”

Mystery Angel has the answers in Pretty Polly

Mystery Angel made her race fitness count as she took the Listed spoils in the Betfair Pretty Polly Stakes at Newmarket.

The daughter of Kodi Bear, having her fourth race of the year, defeated several highly-regarded rivals to enhance her own reputation.

Owned by the Nick Bradley Racing syndicate – who afforded her the loudest cheer of the weekend – she also put her rookie trainer George Boughey in the spotlight, giving the Newmarket-based handler the biggest success of his career to date.

Ridden by Ben Curtis, who was completing a double after winning the previous race with Zabeel Champion, Mystery Angel was always in the front rank.

Forever Grateful led in the early stages until Mystery Angel (13-2) set sail for home some way out.

Sea Karats was the only threat, but she was always playing second fiddle and went down by a length and three quarters.

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The first two pulled three and a quarter lengths clear of Taslima in third, while A’Shaari, the 6-4 favourite, was the disappointing horse in the race, finishing fifth.

Bradley said: “I’m a bit lost for words, to be honest.

“When she ran here at the backend of last year she did that (won well) and then we kind of got it wrong.

“Today was on better ground and it was great to see her do that in front of all the owners here on such a big day as we’ve always felt she was a top-class filly.

“You’re only allowed six owners here, but there’s 20-odd owners in this horse.

Mystery Angel has some big-race options now
Mystery Angel has some big-race options now (Mike Egerton/PA)

“I bought her at the breeze-ups here for 22,000 guineas and drove the horsebox home with her in it. By the time I got home, I only owned four per cent of her!

“She’ll probably go for the Group One Prix Saint-Alary, or perhaps the Musidora at York. We’ll have a think.

“She isn’t in the Oaks. We thought 10 furlongs would be her maximum trip as she’s by a sprinter, but we might be wrong.”

Boughey said: “It was a shame not to win in France six weeks ago, but she’s a very tough filly who obviously loves it here at Newmarket.

“I actually worked her on the Summer Gallop about a week ago on what was very fast ground and she worked very well.

“She’s an improving filly who handled the soft and heavy ground last year, but her work had suggested she was actually going to be better on faster ground.

Ben Curtis gave Mystery Angel a fine front-running ride
Ben Curtis gave Mystery Angel a fine front-running ride (David Davies/Jockey Club)

“She’s a filly with a pretty upward profile now. She’s in the Prix Saint-Alary, which she could go for, but the Musidora is another option.

“She’s not in the Oaks, but she’s putting a bit of prize-money in the pot now and it might be something we consider (supplementing). There’s a few nice decisions to make.

“She’s not bred to stay a mile, let alone a mile and a quarter. But the way she won there – galloping through the line – I certainly wouldn’t be against trying her over a mile and a half.”