Star filly Flirtini looks set to add further star power to the Belmont Guineas, following her win in the Joseph O’Dea 60th Birthday Handicap (1200m) at Belmont this afternoon.
After an impressive return at Ascot a fortnight ago, Flirtini enhanced her reputation even further today in the one length win.
Jockey Chloe Azzopardi had to work hard on the filly to find the front as the David Harrison-trained Don’s Legacy showed good early speed.
The well-fancied City Circle was able to get a lovely trail into the race behind the leaders and shaped as the big threat to Flirtini on straightening.
Flirtini was able to find another gear in the last 100m and hold off City Circle, while Lordhelpmerun produced an improved performance in third.
Trainer Simon Miller said the Artie Schiller filly was a horse better suited to settling off the speed.
“It didn’t matter what they were doing early on,” he said.
“Once we got to the front, I thought this will be interesting.
“I knew she’d win, but it would be plain, she needs a bunny.”
Flirtini is now set to head to the Listed feature in three weeks, where she’s likely to face a hot field, including The Velvet King.
Miller said he would give the filly one more start prior to the Guineas and said he wasn’t deterred by The Velvet King’s likely presence in that race.
“We will back her up next week over 1300,” he said.
“Then it will be a fortnight into the Guineas.
“She beat him home in the Guineas last spring, so as long as she’s got a bunny you’ll see the best of her.”
Meanwhile, in-form stayer Come Play With Me will be given a chance in the Group 3 Strickland Stakes (2000m), following his win in the Peninsula Dining Room Handicap (2200m).
The four-year-old settled on the speed with Noir De Rue in the staying event and was too strong over the closing stages.
Trainer Adam Durrant indicated he would look to drop Come Play With Me back in distance in a fortnight in similar company, before taking the step up to Weight-For-Age in the Strickland on June 29.
In the two-year-old event of the day, the Neville Parnham-trained Miss Tycoon made it two wins in a row, narrowly holding out Gotta Motor.