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Article 17th April 2024 Newmarket

Pretty Crystal got the better of 10-11 Favourite Dance Sequence to cause an 18-1 upset in today’s Group Three Lanwades Stud Nell Gwyn Stakes, the highlight of day two of the bet365 Craven Meeting at Newmarket.   

Partnered by Oisin Orr, the daughter of Dubawi took the lead from Kathmandu (40-1) entering the final furlong and kept on well to hold off the subsequent challenge of market leader Dance Sequence by a neck.

It was trainer Richard Fahey’s third win in the seven-furlong contest following Barefoot Lady (2011) and Sandiva (2014).

Traditionally seen as a trial for the QIPCO 1000 Guineas, Pretty Crystal is not currently entered in the mile fillies’ Classic at Newmarket on Sunday 5th May but Fahey left open the possibility of supplementing her.

The North Yorkshire-based handler said: “It was a good, hardy and tough performance. She arrived here fit and well and we were pleased with her.

“She had to step up to win today and she has done. She has stuck her head down and won. We are delighted. We were expecting a good performance today and although I thought she might struggle to beat the favourite I thought she had a good each-way chance.

“We didn’t put her in the Guineas as we ran her in Pattern company last year and she was found wanting.

“We will speak to Sheikh Rashid (Dalmook Al Maktoum, owner) and his team to talk about supplementing her for the Guineas and work our way from there. I am a little bit shocked she won today so we will get her home and see.

“The Nell Gwyn has been a very lucky race for us and this is the third time we’ve won it. It is quite a prestigious race and gives you black type.”

Earlier in the day Fallen Angel, who is vying for favouritism for the QIPCO 1000 Guineas, had a racecourse gallop alongside stable companion Lethal Levi.

Successful on three of her four starts in 2023, including the Group One Moyglare Stud Stakes at the Curragh, her trainer Karl Burke was delighted with what he saw from the grey daughter of Too Darn Hot.

Burke said: “I was very happy with that and Danny (Tudhope, jockey) was delighted.

“She isn’t a filly that is explosive in her work and needs some encouragement to put her into gear but we weren’t going to do that today. I am very happy.

“We have got two and a half weeks and she has time for another good piece of work at home.

“After today and what she did last year, I’d say she has a great chance of at least staying a mile and a quarter. She is in the Oaks but we don’t need to worry about that just now and will concentrate on the Guineas. It’s a fantastic position to be in.

“She was a good Group One winner last year and doesn’t have many miles on the clock. She is unlucky not to be unbeaten – she ran on very soft ground at Sandown and Danny was kicking himself afterwards. She is not a lazy filly but saves her best until she is really asked as you could see in the Moyglare last year.

“We’ve got some cracking horses and all the balloons are still full at the moment. It’s very exciting.”

Godolphin’s Ottoman Fleet (7-4 Favourite) won the Group Three bet365 Earl of Sefton Stakes (1m 1f) for the second year in succession. The five-year-old Sea The Stars gelding was delivered with his challenge entering the final furlong by jockey William Buick and went on to score comfortably by a length from Astro King (15-2).

Winning trainer Charlie Appleby said: “He just took a bit of a tug but I thought there was going to be more pace on to be honest.

“He’s been a very consistent horse and has run well in Dubai. Unfortunately, his last race was a bit disappointing but I think he was just getting the hang of Meydan again.

“Kieren Fallon rides him at home and said he is as well as I’ve ever felt him, so we came knowing that he was in good order and we know the track suits him.

“Now he has a penalty it makes him harder to place and we have a team in America, so there is a possibility he could go out there and join them.”     


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