Speciosa proves just that for Sly

SPECIOSA staged a popular revolution at Newmarket yesterday when making all to claim a fairytale Classic victory for Pam Sly in the Stan James 1000 Guineas.

Ignoring her success in one of the race’s key trials last month, bookmakers sent her off at 10-1, no doubt influenced by her unfashionable jockey and small-scale trainer.

But the decision to turn down offers of more than £1m for the filly over the winter paid handsome dividends on the Rowley Mile as Micky Fenton’s mount battled her way to a famous success.

Fenton was smartly away and immediately went to the front aboard the winner.

As he started to wind up the pace from the front, the filly did her usual trick of diving to the left to the stands rail but Fenton was ready for it and lost no momentum in the process.

Indeed she was still swinging along in front as her rivals began to toil after the two-furlong marker and although Confidential Lady (12-1) tried to make a race of it, Speciosa powered out of the Dip to win by two and a half lengths.

Confidential Lady held Nasheej (16-1) by a length for the runner-up spot.

The crowd surrounding the winner’s enclosure after the race was swelled by two coachloads of supporters from Sly’s local area around the Cambridgeshire village of Thorney.

“It’s fantastic for racing,” smiled the winning trainer. “It just shows that a small band of people like us – my girls, the jockey, everybody...it’s good for them.

“Anybody can dip in their pocket and go to the breeze-ups and buy a horse and win a Classic. It can be done.

“We’ll have to discuss what we’ll do next. She’s not in the Oaks. The Irish Guineas? I’m not sure she would handle the Curragh.

“I just don’t know where we are going to go from here.

“In my heart I thought we would be in the first four so I can’t say that I am surprised but at the same time it is still hard to believe.

“She spread a plate before she was loaded on to the lorry this morning and there were a few frantic phone calls being made.

“We’ve had so much support today from everyone and I must say thank you. I believe they can’t see the meat in the butcher’s window at Crowland because of all the posters. People who have never had a bet before have been ringing to say that they’ve backed her.

“I’m just so happy today, so happy for her owners and happy for the filly.”

Sly looked back to the financial offers which she advised her fellow owners to accept after Speciosa’s victory in last season’s Rockfel Stakes.

“When the offers started to come in for her I was the first to tell the other owners that they ought to sell but isn’t it great that they didn’t listen to me,” she said.

“They said they wanted to live the dream and here we are.

“We were offered £1.1m which really is an obscene amount for a horse.

“We will probably end up selling her at the end of the season but we are going to have a lot of fun first.”

Fenton – “a nice chap and a great jockey” according to Sly – said: “Going into the Dip today I was surprised – I just didn’t feel like I was in any danger of getting beat.

“The plan was always to race handy. It’s what she does and you don’t want to argue with her. “She went through the ground easy. She’s just very good – you’ve got a few gears under you. She’s very special.”

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