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Article 1st July 2023 Newmarket

By Graham Clark

Star Of Mystery looked a potential Group race performer in the making after leaving her rivals toiling with an emphatic success in the Maureen Britain Memorial Empress Fillies’ Stakes at Newmarket today.     

After bolting up by 11 lengths on her last start at Haydock Park, the daughter of Kodiac backed that up with another visually impressive performance on her first start at Listed level to give Charlie Appleby his second victory in today’s six-furlong race. 

Racing up with the pace close to the stands side rail throughout in the hands of champion jockey William Buick the 4-5 favourite soon put daylight between herself and the rest of the field approaching the final furlong before scoring by four lengths. 

Appleby, who won the 2019 renewal with Summer Romance, said: “It was pleasing. Pedigree-wise, she is from a speed-on-speed family. We came here today confident that she would come forward for that run at Haydock. 

“I know at the time when she got beat the winner was well fancied that day and it was a big ask for that horse to go to Ascot and it didn’t materialise unfortunately. 

“We then went to Haydock and we probably felt we hadn’t beaten a great deal but when you win by 11 lengths it is still a very impressive performance. 

“Physically she has done well since then. Is she a Guineas filly? No, unless they shorten it by a couple of furlongs. I feel it would be wrong to train her like that. 

“She is a set little model and we will crack on as we are. She is doing well and we will be positive with her this year.”

As for future targets Appleby earmarked the Group One Juddmonte Cheveley Park Stakes on the Rowley Mile in October as a long-term aim.

He added: “The natural route would be to work back from a Cheveley Park realistically. I’m not going to say where we will go next but that is the target.

“If she can do what we hope she can achieve in the Cheveley Park we will be delighted.”

While former trainer Clive Brittain, whose late wife the race was run in memory of failed to pick out the winner, he admitted he was pleased to see such a dominant winner in a race he saddled subsequent Fillies’ Mile winner Ivanka to glory in 1992 and Jira in 2009. 

Brittain said: “I went for Indispensable just because the way she looked and the groom had turned her out well. 

“It was nice to see a good winner and hopefully this is something we will continue to sponsor for years to come. I love this course. 

“Ivanka was a good filly and we came here very confident that day and her highlight was the win in the Fillies’ Mile.”


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