Horse Racing

Highfield Princess Takes Prix Maurice de Gheest


Victory in the Arc Prix Maurice de Gheest (G1) on 7 August was ensured by the outstanding execution of not one but two plans.

The first visionary piece for coach John Quinn launched Highfield Princess a short break after an excellent Friday run in the Platinum Jubilee Stakes (G1) at Royal Ascot, fixing Deauville in early August was the main goal.

As runner Jason Hart said after Sunday’s race: “When bosses aim for a race, they usually never disappoint.”

Quinn’s son and assistant, Sean, also watches an emerging straight Deauville course over the weekend and walks twice. At the mile handicap before the big round, the team ran miles further than the near side at half-way and finished mostly high-drawn horses. Not good for Hart and Highfield Princess in stall 4.

“I was very nervous,” Sean Quinn said. “I looked at the final handicap yesterday and they went right to the far side so it doesn’t look like she was ideally drawn.

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“I walked the track yesterday and this morning again, and it’s pretty close to the stands so you can see why they went where they went. But we had a plan. plan the game to step onto the new pitch. I believe any part in between is OK and so it’s proven.”

For a pitch that has consistently surpassed its weight at major flat festivals, the Quinns only scored their second Group 1 success, eight years later. Wow signal Burned out on the Deauville grass in the 2014 Darley Prix Morny (G1). That guarantees Sunday’s winner a special place in the Hall of Fame at Highfield Stables.

Highfield Princess (J. Hart) wins ARC Prix Maurice de Gheest Gr.1 in Deauville, August 7, 2022, photo: Zuzanna Lupa
Photo: Zuzanna Lupa Photography

Princess Highfield and her connections in the victor’s siege

“She’s the best, isn’t she?” Sean Quinn said. “She was a winner in group 1. Wow Signals won group 1 here and she’s done it now. She’s so good and constantly improving, it’s a merit to her .

“We’ve got good horses, but you need one a year to show up and raise the flag. She did it.

“We retired a couple of delicious fillings last year and you always wonder, does it leave you a little bit naked. But she really stepped on the plate.”

Quinn added: “It’s amazing because (her owner) John Fairley is our host at Highfield Stables and he bred her. It’s huge.”

After such skilful short- and medium-term planning had been spectacularly successful, Quinns had “half an idea” of where his daughter would be. Thunder Night can be end; kind of “idea” could mean the plane ticket was booked.

Sean Quinn said: “She’s going to be in Nunthorpe in 12 days, that might come too soon. I wouldn’t mind going back on the trip when you see how fast she is.

“I think she’s going to win anywhere from five to seven (bonus). You’ve got the Sprint Cup at Haydock, the Flying Five at the Curragh, and Dad’s always thinking about the Breeders’ Cup in five and a half -half around a bend in Keeneland. Their purpose is nice. “

Several stable team near misses at the 1st level since The Wow Signal have appeared on Hart’s standout reel and he is clearly delighted to have scored the first top level success. first word not many opportunities.

“These are races that everyone wants to participate in and I had a few near misses El Astronaute in 2019 (Longines Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp) and Safe trip in (Qatar Prix de la) 2020 (G1), but it’s nice to come here and get a group of 1,” Hart said. That’s what we all work for.

“We weren’t going fast, which I think helped us because we were in the right place to attack when we wanted to.

“She was a bit skewed both ways, hence the (manager’s) investigation, but she ended up winning the game. She came out on top in the end.”

They all ran in a group, there were some stories of chance behind the winners, but Owen Burrows had nothing to complain about. Minzaal better of a tight battle for the second, beyond Garrus and Rohaan with head and nose.

Burrows said: “I am very pleased with the run and he is a horse that always turns. “Hopefully he’ll take the lead one day. He’s in group 1, ranked 2nd, 3rd and 4th. It’s the fastest pitch he’s been in, faster than Newbury surprises me. He’s going to Haydock now the Sprint Cup and hopefully he’ll get some more juice there.

Winner Royal Ascot Navy crown looked ready to run a big race, but he was only able to take fifth place, two places better than one. Perfect power .

Naval Crown rider James Doyle said: “It was a bit of a lackluster run. We had a good position behind the Japanese horse and were the winner in the outer lap, but when I pressed the button nothing happened. out.”



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