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Ebor Festival winners: 5 top performances at York

| 22.08.2022

All the chat ahead of the Ebor Festival surrounded Baaeed and his ability to step up in distance in the 10-furlong Juddmonte International Stakes, the headline event of the four-day Yorkshire highlight.

William Haggas’ charge answered every call and emerged as the star of the week, at what appeared on reflection to be generous odds of 2/5.

We pick out our favourite five performances from the Ebor Festival winners over four excellent days on the Knavesmire.

Baaeed (Juddmonte International)

Already the world’s top-ranked horse by virtue of nine unbeaten runs over a mile, Baaeed faced the acid test of longer trip as he switched up to 10 furlongs in Wednesday’s feature.

His supporters never had a moment of worry as he breezed home by six and a half lengths, prompting a 7lb hike in his rating to 135 – a mark surpassed by only his sire Sea The Stars and Frankel since the system was introduced in 2004.

The biggest dilemma for his connections now is how to finish off his superlative career, with the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe not completely ruled out.

Deauville Legend (Great Voltigeur Stakes)

His gelded status precludes Deauville Legend from a St Leger challenge but his impressive triumph in one of the better trials for that Classic shows just why he has been earmarked as an ideal Melbourne Cup contender.

Connections have long held Australian aspirations for the son of Sea The Stars and he heads the betting for the Flemington contest, with weights for the race revealed next month.

Alpinista (Yorkshire Oaks)

With four European Group Ones already on her CV, Sir Mark Prescott’s charge graduated to that class on home soil for the first time in the Thursday highlight.

Top-level successes in Germany are sometimes dismissed but the fact she beat Arc hero Torquator Tasso last year could not be ignored and Alpinista demonstrated her plentiful ability with a length defeat of Classic winner Tuesday.

All roads lead to ParisLongchamp now and another clash with the defending champion.

Quickthorn (Lonsdale Cup)

You don’t get many 14-length winners of a Group Two race but Quickthorn galloped his rivals into submission in Friday’s Lonsdale Cup.

Tom Marquand executed a perfect piece of front-running riding on Hughie Morrison’s charge, proving he definitely handles quick ground in the process.

The absences of Stradivarius and Trueshan, due to a bruised foot and the ground respectively, obviously helped, but it is debatable how the race would have played out even if they had been in the line-up.

Highfield Princess (Nunthorpe Stakes)

From an Ayr handicap win off a mark of 58 in September 2020 to back-to-back Group One wins this summer, it has been some journey for Highfield Princess.

With all the chat around Royal Aclaim and eventual second The Platinum Queen ahead of the race, John Quinn’s Prix Maurice de Gheest winner slightly slipped under the radar but she certainly made her presence felt on the track.

All credit to the juvenile runner-up but Highfield Princess absolutely bossed the race to set up a big autumn, which is due to culminate at the Breeders’ Cup meeting in November.

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Stuart Walker