What a way to launch the Ascot Pinnacles Carnival for Lucy Warwick! The top jockey produced two gem rides on Admiration Express and This’ll Testya to score a G3 feature race-to-race double in the Champion Fillies Stakes (1600m) and Colonel Reeves Stakes (1100m) respectively. She had both horses exactly where you wanted them to be on a day that gave the back markers a difficult time to make an impact.
Jason Miller had a throw at the stamps in the Champion Fillies Stakes and it paid off in spectacular fashion when Admiration Express made the huge jump from a maiden filly to Group 3 champion. Her maiden status probably undeserved after a luckless defeat at Ascot prior when she was blocked for a run. With the likes of Laced Up Heels and Vampi At Play she went around largely unnoticed, but no one would have begrudged Miller, one of the good guys of racing, the victory after an emotional week.
From the moment Searchin’ Roc’s landed at Jim Taylor’s Bullsbrook stable he made the four-year-old his pet project and left no stone unturned to improve her barrier manners. The quality mare was just one trial away from being retired, but is now a week away from taking her place in Saturday’s G1 Railway Stakes.
To fill three of the four placings in a hot edition of the Placid Ark Stakes is testament to Dion Luciani’s training operation. Of even great focus is the win of his filly My Bella Mae. The Deep Field three-year-old is unbeaten, possesses a devastating turn of foot and is showing the hall marks of developing into an above average horse. The late scratching of Baby Paris was unfortunate, but it shouldn’t take away from My Bella Mae’s win.
Mitchell Pateman’s dream of following in the footsteps of his father, Michael and winning a G1 race is a reality following the win of This’ll Testya in the Colonel Reeves Stakes. There is a fair amount of racing pedigree behind Pateman, but what this former jockey, just 18-months into his training tenure, has been able to achieve with this mare cannot be underestimated. Once a firebrand as a youngster, she’s in the zone with two feature wins and as many seconds from her past five appearances. Pateman has a couple of weeks to think about the Winterbottom Stakes.
Like Lennon and McCartney, Jordan and Nike and Martin and Lewis, Kyra Yuill and Searchin’ Roc’s are the perfect partners. One is less efficient without the other. Their collaboration has been successful in six of seven wins. They combine in search of their biggest quest in next Saturday’s Railway Stakes.
Buster Bash, somewhat surprisingly, is in the Railway after his all-the-way win in the inaugural running of the Listed Luckygray Stakes. Trainer David Harrison concedes the five-year-old faces a big task, but if the Ascot track plays anything like it did yesterday (Sunday) then his on pace style will have him there for a fair while.