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A future star? Enable's half-sister Portrush gets off the mark at Yarmouth

Wed 15 Jul 2020

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Portrush took the first small step towards emulating her close relation Enable after striking gold at the second time of asking at Yarmouth.

Having finished second on her debut at Newbury last month, the John Gosden-trained daughter of Frankel, who shares the same dam as the dual Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner, went one better in the Download The At The Races App Maiden Stakes.

Racing in midfield for much of the mile-and-a-quarter contest, the 11-10 favourite steadily worked her way into contention before being pushed out under hands and heels by Robert Havlin to get up in the closing strides and prevail by a neck from White Mountain.

Portrush is a half-sister to ten-time Group One winner Enable
Portrush is a half-sister to ten-time Group One winner Enable

Thady Gosden, assistant to his father, said: “She ran very well at Newbury and has come on nicely for the run. There was a bit more pressure today. She tightened up in the finish, but she seemed like she would have been there if he had asked for her.

“Rab gave her a lovely hands and heels ride and he didn’t rush into it. He didn’t go for her at all, which was good to see.

“She will probably be a mile-and-a-half filly in time, but we will see if we leave her at that trip for one more start. I don’t think we will be chucking her into stiffer competition yet. She is probably one to take time with a little bit and build her up gently.

“She has done nothing wrong so far, but it might be a bit unfair to start comparing her to Enable at this point. She is very genuine and very honest and always wants to try for you.”

The City’s Phantom showed why trainer Richard Spencer was so keen to keep him in the yard when making his return to action a triumphant one by a length and a quarter in the Sky Sports Racing HD Virgin 535 Maiden Handicap.

Spencer said of the 13-2 chance: “He was actually owned by an owner for me last year, Ahmad Al Shaikh, and he was very kind to let us buy him at the sales. Phil Cunningham bought half of him and Ed Babington did and it is his first horse with us, which is great.

“He is friends with Phil and me so it is great to get a win for him.”

He added: “He was always going to be a nice three-year-old because of his size and physique and he has grown into himself over the winter. He is better than his mark and he could be a nice horse for some of those handicaps through the summer.”

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