Queen Catrine ends a two-year losing streak

Queen Catrine, who was just touched off in the Sandringham Handicap a Royal Ascot last summer, ended a two-year losing streak in the At The Races Sky 415 Fillies’ Conditions Stakes at Leicester yesterday.

Placed in the Group One Prix Marcel Boussac and winner only once previously, the Charlie Hills-trained filly gained a confidence-boosting success as she benefited from a big drop in grade.

Taking on four younger fillies, the 9-4 chance showed her class as she swept past the pacesetting Risen Sun in the final furlong under Oisin Murphy to oblige by a length and three-quarters.

“She’s Group One-placed and this was a big step down in class, so it’s nice for her to get her head in front,” said Murphy. “We didn’t go a great gallop. Martin Lane rode a nice race (on Risen Sun) and got an easy lead and as a result I had to take cover. When she switched out she showed she was a bit better than them.

“She thought about it going past, but it will do her the world of good as she hadn’t won in a long time. Hopefully, that’s got her back on the right track.”

Berland (10-1) turned in a solid performance to take what looked a competitive race for the At The Races Virgin 534 Handicap.

The Michael Bell-trained three-year-old had finished third over an extended mile on this course two weeks ago and relished the extra two furlongs to run out a ready winner.

Always travelling well for Tom Queally, the Cape Cross colt asserted at the business end to score by two lengths from the staying-on 2-1 favourite Laurence.

Queally said: “There were unexposed types and potential improvers in there and he’s fended those off. He can take another step forward, hopefully.”

Stun Gun (16-1) shocked the opposition but not trainer Derek Shaw when putting his best foot forward to win the Follow AtTheRaces On Twitter Handicap (Division One).

George Chaloner delivered the five-year-old to lead a furlong out and score by two lengths from Mops Angel.

“I knew he had the ability if he put his mind to it. After 100 yards I thought he’d win,” said Shaw.

Division two went to Half Way (5-1) who was registering his second course and distance success as he just held New Rich by a short head under 5lb claimer Kieran Shoemark.

“We fancied him at Lingfield but we put blinkers on him and he got lit up and lost the plot,” said trainer Lee Carter.

“We thought we’d freshen him up, take the blinkers off and bring him here where he’d won before. It didn’t look a good race and taking 5lb off made the difference.”

Quick Defence (8-13 favourite) gave his supporters no cause for alarm as the Michael Stoute-trained colt bounded four and a half lengths clear under Ryan Moore in the attheraces.com Breeders Backing Racing EBF Maiden Stakes.

  • John Gosden will drop Jellicle Ball down in trip after hinting the Sandringham Handicap at Royal Ascot could be her next target.

The Newmarket trainer believes the three-year-old failed to see out the mile-and-a-quarter trip in the Listed Height of Fashion Stakes at Goodwood earlier this month after finishing more than seven lengths behind the winner, Lady Of Dubai.

Gosden is now leaning towards dropping the first-time-out Kempton maiden winner, who beat just one horse home in the 1000 Guineas, back down to a mile to contest the Listed handicap on June 17.

The Clarehaven handler said: “We are going to drop her back in trip as she didn’t stay at Goodwood.

“She had a Guineas preparation so she didn’t really switch off.

“We will probably look towards a race like the Sandringham for her.”

More in this section


Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox