19 August 2021

Zain Claudette floors Sandrine in Lowther

19 August 2021

Zain Claudette emerged as a 1000 Guineas contender as she gave Ray Dawson his biggest career success in the Sky Bet Lowther Stakes at York

Dawson stood up in the irons to celebrate as he crossed the line, accounting for the previously unbeaten Sandrine in the Group Two over six furlongs on the Knavesmire.

The Ismail Mohammed-trained filly had given Dawson his first Group-race winner in the Princess Margaret Stakes at Ascot last month, and the 6-1 shot proved a length too good for Sandrine, the 6-5 favourite, to land the spoils.

Racing under a penalty for her win in the Duchess of Cambridge Stakes at Newmarket, Sandrine was slowly away as her Andrew Balding-trained stablemate Nymphadora made the running with Outside World, Zain Claudette and Nazanin prominent.

Zain Claudette was well positioned and quickened in the closing stages to score from the staying-on Sandrine. Desert Dreamer was third.

Mohammed said: “At Ascot she was in stall seven and was number 11 and today the same – these are my lucky numbers!

“After how she worked last Sunday, I was more than happy and came here confident.

“She is the best I have trained up to now.”

The trainer confirmed the Juddmonte Cheveley Park Stakes as the next port of call for his stable star and feels she has the potential to make up into a 1000 Guineas contender next season.

He added: “We will go to Newmarket now. She has won three times now over six furlongs, but I don’t think she is only a sprinter.

“I asked the jockey if she could stay further and he said ‘no problem’, so next year, we will go for the 1000 Guineas.”

A jubilant Dawson – who lost his claim just a week ago and last year spoke candidly about his battles with addiction – said: “She’s improved with every run and she deserved to win that on her performance.

“Going forwards, Group One is definitely not out of the equation, she’s just so straightforward and you can see she’s so relaxed.

“It’s just an absolute pleasure to be a part of it.”

Anna Lisa Balding, assistant to her husband, said of Sandrine: “We knew it would be difficult under a penalty, but she was only beaten three-quarters of a length.

“She slightly stumbled coming out of the stalls, but you can’t take anything away from the winner who has done it well.

“We’ll stick to Plan A and head to the Cheveley Park next. The only reason we came here with the penalty was because we felt it was just too long between races, we had to do something.

“She’ll have a little bit of a freshen up now. David (Probert) said she ran really well it was just the penalty that beat her. She was also having to come widest of all.

“She’s done little wrong, is a lovely filly and while it is always sad when you lose an unbeaten record, they have to be beaten sometimes.”

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