All eyes on Commissioning as exciting filly takes Group One test
Commissioning puts her unbeaten record and tall reputation on the line in the bet365 Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket on Friday.
Impressive on her July course debut during the summer, John and Thady Gosden’s Kingman filly successfully stepped up to Group Two class in the Rockfel Stakes on the Rowley Mile two weeks ago.
With the season drawing to a close, she is back just a fortnight later as connections see if they can make her a Group One winner as a juvenile.
“It’s obviously exactly two weeks since the Rockfel. It’s a quick turnaround, but she handled the track well that day and has done well for the experience,” said Thady Gosden.
“The Rockfel was only the second run of her life. It looks a very competitive race on Friday – there’s only eight runners, but it’s an elite field.
“We’ve been happy with her since her last run. She stayed the seven furlongs well in the Rockfel and all being well she should see out the mile.”
Inspiral landed the May Hill Stakes at Doncaster en route to claiming Fillies’ Mile glory last season for the Gosden team, a double the soon-to-retire Harry Dunlop hopes to repeat with the rapidly-improving Polly Pott.
The daughter of Muhaarar may have been beaten in her first two career starts, but she was completing a four-timer when causing a 40-1 upset on Town Moor last month.
She was supplemented for the Fillies’ Mile at a cost of £35,000 on Monday, and Dunlop – whose only previous top-level success was provided by Robin Of Navan in the 2015 Criterium de Saint-Cloud – would dearly love to add a second Group One win to his CV before calling it a day.
He said: “Obviously it’s a tougher race, being a Group One. Fingers crossed she runs well.
“She won the May Hill and the obvious next step is a Group One and it would certainly be very nice for the yard if she could win it.
“It’s the Horses in Training Sale at the end of the month so I think we’ll have our last runners before then. We have a few more to run, but that is basically the plan.”
Novakai was runner-up to Polly Pott at Doncaster and renews rivalry as one of two runners for trainer Karl Burke along with Bright Diamond, who was last seen finishing third in Goodwood’s Prestige Stakes.
Burke said: “Novakai is a mile-and-a-half filly for next year really and over a mile the ground might be plenty quick enough for her, but she should run well and hopefully she can get a place.
“Bright Diamond would have a bit more of a turn of foot. She didn’t get the run of the race at Goodwood as we were a bit slowly away, the first two were always the first two and we were the only horse to make ground up on them. I think if she’d jumped better she’d have probably beaten them.
“We were always targeting her at this race. They’re two nice fillies, it’s just that one would be a lot more stoutly-bred than the other.”
She'll run a big race and any rain will help
Richard Hughes has high hopes for Sparkling Beauty – a winner in maiden company at Glorious Goodwood before filling the runner-up spot in a French Group Two.
“We took her to Deauville for the Prix du Calvados and we’ve given her plenty of time to get over that,” said the Lambourn handler.
“We always had this race in mind since. We were going to go to the Moyglare, but we dodged it and went to France, so we’ve given her every chance to be true and get stronger.
“She’ll run a big race and any rain will help. She was always going to be more of a three-year-old. She’s a 10-furlong filly for next year and she’ll give a good account of herself.”
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