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Article 19th April 2023 Newmarket

By Graham Clark

Football super-agent Kia Joorabchian saw his dreams of owning a Classic winner move a significant step closer after Mammas Girl demonstrated her star potential when leaving her rivals trailing in the feature Landwades Stud Nell Gwyn Stakes at Newmarket on day two of the bet365 Craven Meeting today.    

With just a sole course and distance victory to her name the Richard Hannon-trained daughter of Havana Grey thrust into contention for the QIPCO 1000 Guineas on Sunday 7th May with a power-packed performance in the Group Three prize.

Entering the final quarter of a mile of the race a whole host of runners appeared to hold some kind of chance, before the Charlie Appleby-trained Fairy Cross forged on into what looked like a race winning lead. 

However, Fairy Cross could do nothing about the finishing kick of Mammas Girl who found an extra gear inside the final furlong under Sean Levey before clearing right away to score by two and three quarter lengths. 

Joorabchian said of his 16-1 winner: “It is amazing. I can’t hold my excitement to be honest. It is very exciting being here. We have competed the last few years and we have not managed to get through the line. She was fantastic.

“She gave a cracking performance on her debut and we’ve always loved her. Going into it I said to Richard I can’t understand why she is 28-1. I don’t see her getting beat. I think the ground also helped as it dried up a bit. It definitely made it better for her. We are very excited.”

While Joorabchian insists he will leave a decision over Mammas Girl’s participation in the QIPCO 1000 Guineas, which she was trimmed into 6-1 by Paddy Power to Hannon, he admits he might have a difficult decision as to his own attendance that weekend.

He added: “That (decision over the 1000 Guineas), I’m going to leave to Richard, which I don’t normally do but I’m going to this time as he has got it right so far with her.

“I’ve got a really big weekend (first weekend in May) as Affirmative Lady is in the Kentucky Oaks. She won the Gulfstream Oaks quite convincingly and she is second highest rated so I’ve got to decide whether I will be here or there. It is a good decision. You would rather be having these decisions.”

Equally delighted with the performance was Classic-winning trainer Hannon, who was surprised she was overlooked by so many having won at the track on her only previous start. 

Hannon said: “I can’t believe she was 28-1 (early on) as she won very well here first time. I was slightly worried about the track, even though she had won here. She is very straightforward, but she missed the gate today which I’m surprised at.

“She has won extremely well. Emma, my head girl at the yard down at Everleigh, has done a lot of work with her. She has worked very well all spring. I thought she would run very well today, but she has surprised me slightly with the way she has won.

“She has always been a lovely filly and we had to back off her a bit last summer and we only ran her in the autumn. She is looks a very good filly.

While both his previous 1000 Guineas winners Sky Lantern and Billesdon Brook, plus his 2000 Guineas winner Night Of Thunder, all met defeat in their respective trials, Hannon hopes that Mammas Girl can address that fact.

He continued: “What I like about her is she was slightly under the radar but we have always liked her at home.

“All of my Guineas winners have been beaten in their trials. Sky Lantern, Night Of Thunder and Billesdon Brook.

“Hopefully she bucks the trend but she will be coming back here for that race for sure.”

As for the runner-up Fairy Cross her trainer Charlie Appleby hinted that an outing in the French 1000 Guineas could be next on the agenda.

He said: “I was pleased with the run of Fairy Cross there and the likelihood is that we will now head to France for the French 1000 Guineas.”

A good afternoon turned into an even better one for Joorabchian, who watched on as Persian Dreamer carried his Amo Racing Limited silks to glory on her debut in the bet365 British EBF Maiden Fillies Stakes to move closer to an appearance at Royal Ascot.

Showing a smart turn of foot the 11-4 chance proved three and a quarter lengths too strong for runner up, and 85-40 favourite Dorothy Lawrence, to complete a 36.5-1 double on the card for Lambourn-trainer Dominic ffrench Davis.

The winning trainer said: “She is a nice quality filly and she has always shown a bit of class at home. Kevin (Stott) came down and rode her in a bit of work and loved her.

“She is an exciting one for the future. That (Royal Ascot) would always be the target. She is has got that bit of class. She is not an out-and-out early five furlong two year old.

“She is well up (in my pecking order). Certainly of the fillies she is the best. It is exciting for Kia as he has just won a Guineas trial and hopefully he has another that could be here next year.”


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