Weekend winners: Six horses who impressed
There was a huge weekend of action across Britain and Ireland, with Classic fare at Doncaster and a plethora of Group Ones up for grabs across the two days of Irish Champions Weekend at Leopardstown and the Curragh.
Arc Trials Day at ParisLongchamp perhaps offered less in the way of pointers but we nevertheless pick out six horses who burnished their reputations ahead of some big future targets.
Arguably the performance of the entire weekend, Highfield Princess comprehensively dispatched a high-class field in winning the Flying Five Stakes at the Curragh.
John Quinn’s runner was completing a hat-trick of Group One wins, following on from the Prix Maurice de Gheest and Nunthorpe, barely coming off the bridle to triumph by three and a quarter lengths.
🏆 G1 Flying Five Stakes
🏆 G1 Nunthorpe Stakes
🏆 G1 Prix Maurice De Gheest pic.twitter.com/JFniv09ynU
— Racing TV (@RacingTV) September 11, 2022
Her trainer now has his sights set on the Breeders’ Cup meeting and a clash with Golden Pal.
He is confident Highfield Princess will relish the bends at Keeneland and a Turf Sprint win would cap her fairytale rise.
Tahiyra propelled herself to the head of the ante-post lists for next year’s Classics after displaying a stunning turn of foot to lift the Group One Moyglare Stud Stakes at the Curragh.
Winner of a Galway maiden on her only previous start, she claimed the scalp of multiple Group-winning filly Meditate in some style, with the pair well clear of the rest.
Trained by Dermot Weld and a half-sister to former star Tarnawa, there is is every reason to think Tahiyra will be even better at three.
It has been a frustrating campaign for Aidan O’Brien’s one-time Derby favourite, with injury keeping him on the sidelines through the high summer months but he finally got another shot at Group One glory in the Irish Champion Stakes.
If you take Baaeed out of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe reckoning, with the fact he needs conditions in his favour to run next month, Luxembourg leads the way in the ParisLongchamp betting and Arc glory would be fine compensation for the 2000 Guineas third.
Aidan O’Brien also added something of a curveball to the Arc equation when he did not completely rule out a French challenge for staying king Kyprios.
The colt extended his unbeaten run to five in the Irish St Leger, adding to this Ascot Gold Cup and Goodwood Cup strikes, with O’Brien indicating that if conditions in Paris were to suit, the son of Galileo could yet drop back in trip.
While Kyprios was enjoying his Curragh coronation, Eldar Eldarov staked his claim to be seen as a potential challenger to the staying heavyweight in 2023.
Roger Varian’s runner got the best of what was a rough and messy race at Doncaster in the Cazoo St Leger, coming home a clear winner over Haskoy.
Varian indicated it will be all eyes on next year for the Dubawi colt, with a long-distance campaign very much the thinking.
The Australian superstar does not look quite the same horse in Europe, but there was encouragement to be taken from her third place in the Prix Foy at ParisLongchamp.
She looked a possible winner until the final furlong, when both Iresine and Arc-bound Bubble Gift swept by her, but it was a definite improvement on her Deauville debut last month.
Trainer Francis-Henri Graffard said the Arc option was not totally ruled out in the aftermath but his mention of the Prix de Royallieu could be telling, with the 14-furlong trip no issue for a previous Melbourne Cup winner.
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