Friday 15 December 2017

Jewel's Flying form puts her in Group frame

ARTISTIC JEWEL could be bound for a Group race in the Curragh if conditions suit after she defied a 4lb Listed penalty in style in the EBF Highfield Farm Flying Fillies' Stakes at Pontefract yesterday.

Third in the event 12 months ago, Ed McMahon's filly made no mistake this time around, running out a decisive winner.

Showing good early pace for Graham Lee, she got a good position near the rail from her stall-seven draw as Pearl Sea set the pace.

Artistic Jewel (8/1) stamped her authority in the final furlong to win by a length and a quarter from Minalisa, with Enrol two and three-quarter lengths away in third.

The winner's only previous run this season came 71 days earlier when she landed the Cecil Frail Stakes at Haydock.

"She did it well and Graham gave her a great ride," said McMahon. "David Brown's horse (Pearl Sea) has helped us as it set the race up and set a good pace early and then we had the one of Rae Guest's (Minalisa) just to give us a bit of a fright.

"She did it very well, it's just a shame we didn't get her to the Summer Stakes (at York last month). In September (14) there's a Group Three at the Curragh (the Renaissance Stakes). I'd like to think she could run well in that.

"It's an all-sex Group Three, but now she's a four-year-old she's strengthened up that bit more. I'd only go if the ground was right. I wouldn't go if it was soft."

Fennell Bay put up a typically game front-running display to win the totepool Home Of King Size Pools Handicap.

Joe Fanning dictated affairs in the five-runner contest on the Mark Johnston-trained four-year-old, who usually faces tougher opposition.

Calaf put in a bid in the straight but the 11/10 favourite was still three-quarters of a length to the good at the line.

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