Whilst all eyes were understandably on the Ballydoyle stable of Aidan O’Brien, after he sent out the winner and third, Homecoming Queen and Maybe, in Sunday’s thrilling Qipco 1000 Guineas at Newmarket, the fine achievement of John Gosden in saddling the runner-up, Starscope, and the fourth-placed, The Fugue, should not be overlooked, writes Elliot Slater.
The Fugue ran on well from a long way back to grab fourth place on only her second racecourse appearance, a performance that strongly hinted that she might prove even better when faced with more of a stamina test, and the Investec Oaks entry looks one to keep very much on the right side for middle-distance contests, throughout this season.
Starscope, owned and bred by the Cheveley Park Stud, and running with the aid of a hood, found only the runaway winner too good for her; she must have delighted connections, in grabbing second place, and hinting that she could be very smart, as the term progresses. Find out if she is already a fixture of the horse racing betting tips, online.
The daughter of Moon Goddess, a half-sister to the outstanding miler, Medicean, had only one outing as a juvenile, when winning a Newmarket maiden over a mile, last October.
After running a respectable race on her seasonal reappearance back at HQ, to be beaten by just a length into fourth place, in the Group 3 Nell Gwyn Stakes, the Selkirk filly had clearly improved for the outing, and stayed on strongly in the final quarter mile, to come home best of the rest behind the breathtaking winner.
Clearly coping well with the testing ground, and running as though she will be equally capable at eight or ten furlongs, Gosden appears to have plenty of options with the still unexposed Starscope.
With an entry in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot, it seems natural that the stiff mile at the Berkshire might play to the strengths of a horse who could well get much closer to her Newmarket conqueror next time, Homecoming Queen being unlikely to be given quite so much rope in future contests.
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