Under The Stars makes most of drop in grade to claim Listed honours at Haydock

Thu 25 Jun 2020

Watch a full replay of the Haydock feature on Thursday plus reaction from winning-rider P J McDonald.

Under The Stars made her class tell as she overcame a bad draw to take the Listed EBF Eternal Fillies’ Stakes at Haydock.

The daughter of Night Of Thunder was a Group Three winner last year and finished a creditable sixth in the 1000 Guineas on her seasonal debut.

The drop back down to seven furlongs was no handicap to the James Tate-trained filly as she came with a strong run to land the spoils in a time just outside the track record.

Jockey PJ McDonald dropped her in from her outside stall, and she trailed the field as Dancing Feet and Boomer made the running.

Once they straightened up, McDonald eased Under The Stars (11-2) towards the centre of the field to make her challenge.

She quickened up nicely and knuckled down to score by a neck from Jovial, with Althiqa half-a-length away third.

“I thought she had a lot of things against her really,” said Tate.

“I think ideally she likes a bit more cut underfoot – although she does go on any ground – and that draw made it difficult, but I think class possibly told. She was the best filly in the race, and that told, which is great.

“She is a filly that needs a bit of daylight. She either needs to be up there with daylight, or right out the back.

“PJ and I had a conversation where we basically decided we were going to drop out the back and hope for the best. Fortunately, it was one of our better plans.”

Under The Stars could stick to Group Three level for the Oak Tree Stakes at Glorious Goodwood for her next start, before she tries her hand back up in grade later in the season.

“She is a Listed and a Group Three winner, so we want to go up in grade. She has been fourth in a Group Two and fifth, beaten two lengths, in a Group One,” said the Newmarket trainer.

“It’s so hard to plan at the moment. I’m not sure where we can go abroad until the programme in fully sorted out.

“In England we could go for the Summer Stakes at York, but more likely the seven-furlong Group Three Oak Tree for fillies and mares at Goodwood.

“We’ll probably use that as a stepping stone to having a crack at a Group One or Group Two later.”

McDonald completed a double when making a similar move down the centre of the course on the Alistair Whillans-trained Corked (12-1) to take the Visit Handicap by two lengths from the 15-8 favourite Competition.

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