Nayef: Highgarden digs deep to reward Frankie Dettori on Magnificent Seven anniversary

Fri 28 Sep 2018

Watch the closing stages of the Princess Royal Nayef Stakes at Newmarket on Friday and read our report from the Rowley Mile.

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By staff

Frankie Dettori celebrated the anniversry of his Magnificent Seven in style when Highgarden secured a hard-fought victory in the Princess Royal Nayef Stakes at Newmarket.

The daughter of Nathaniel looked a potential Classic contender after winning her only juvenile start at Newbury, but those dreams were dashed when she suffered an odds-on reverse on her reappearance at Sandown and then finished fourth in the Musidora at York.

John Gosden’s filly had since run in the Ribblesdale at Royal Ascot and successive Listed events on the July Course, and she was a 12-1 shot stepped up to Group Three level in the hands of the Italian rider.

Highgarden was asked to throw down her challenge racing inside the final two furlongs – and while she responded admirably, she looked booked for minor honours when Mrs Sippy loomed up ominously.

However, she did not pick up sufficiently late on, and Highgarden knuckled down to see her off by a head.

Crimson Rosette was a neck further away in third.

The narrow success continued Gosden's excellent recent record in the prestigious contest for fillies and, for the winning rider, it was a fitting way to celebrate the 22nd birthday of when he rode all seven winners at Ascot in 1996.

“We are over the moon to win a Group Three race with her," Goden said.

“She's grown quite a lot recently, she's been through an awkward phase, as we all do, but she's really starting to come to herself now. She's by Nathaniel who improved with age, he won an Eclipse as a four-year-old, so she's exciting for next season.

“We would be carrying a Group Three penalty now so I'll have to see but there is a really good programme for fillies in the spring and races like the Lancashire Oaks will have to be on the agenda now; I'm pretty sure she'll stay in training."

Jamie Spencer and Mrs Sippy came off second best and the jockey believed her antics before the race may have cost her at the finish.

“She travelled well and the race went perfectly, other than the result," Spencer said. "She was a little bit lively before the race and got warm, and you can’t waste energy at any stage in a race, so maybe that cost me.

“I hit the front and had I had waited longer and produced her on the line, I would have won.”

Her trainer, David Simcock, feels Mrs Sippy will likely head to Dubai over the winter and was far from disappointed that she had been touched off by the Frankie Dettori-ridden winner.

“She is not complicated. She was very straightforward the last twice in France and is a big frame of a horse, so that old adage, and I know it is a cliché but it applies: you can’t believe she would not be better next year," Simcock said.

“In truth, Newmarket probably is not the right place for her because of the scenario that it is a long way to the start and she has that chance to just get a little overheated. But she is a filly who is going forward and running very well, and we got beaten a head at the end of the day. Jamie timed it perfectly, but unfortunately, she was probably empty in the last half-furlong.

“No damage done. That will be her for the season.”

Charlie Fellowes is mulling over a tentative plan to send Crimson Rosette to America after she finished a neck further back in third in the 1m4f event.

He said: “She ran really well and just didn’t get the cleanest run though. She is so tough. She went through a small gap and I think she hit the front and has just been headed on the line.

“I don’t know whether that will be her done in England. She likes quick ground and we are not going to get any quick ground here now.

“She will be covered next year. The only real option is a race at Keeneland in three weeks, but she has had a long season. We will see. That might be her done. I will have to speak to (owner) Mr.Oppenheimer and see what he says.”

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