x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Lyric of Light presses case for Breeders Cup shot

Lyric of Light came fast and late under Frankie Dettori to collar Samitar at the line and win the Fillies' Mile at Newmarket. Question now is whether Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid will send the filly to Churchill Downs in November.

Frankie Dettori leaps off Lyric Of Light as he celebrates winning The Shadwell Fillies' Mile at Newmarket yesterday.
Frankie Dettori leaps off Lyric Of Light as he celebrates winning The Shadwell Fillies' Mile at Newmarket yesterday.

Newmarket // Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, must decide whether Lyric Of Light goes to the Breeders Cup in November after the Godolphin juvenile won the Fillies' Mile on Friday.

The Group 1 contest is one of 68 qualifying races around the world that automatically gives winners a berth in the corresponding race at America's most prestigious meeting, held this year on November 4 and 5 at Churchill Downs.

Lyric Of Light came fast and late under Frankie Dettori to collar Samitar, the long-time leader.

Firdaws, owned by Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid, was third.

"The options are open for this filly. I cannot say whether we will see her again [this season], but it is up to His Highness," said Mahmood Al Zarooni, the winning trainer.

Godolphin have an embarrassment of riches in the juvenile fillies department, with Discourse also in line for next year's English 1,000 Guineas.

The suspicion is that Lyric Of Light will be put away for the winter, much like White Moonstone, who won the Fillies' Mile last season for the Dubai-based operation when the race was staged at Ascot.

Dettori's ride caused raised eyebrows as he got his mount going only when the pair had reached the stiff Newmarket incline coming out of The Dip a furlong from home. He made a similar error when he gave Poet's Voice too much to do in the Nayef Joel Stakes, won by Ransom Note.

"Sure, he left it late, but this is how the race was, it was a slow pace," Al Zarooni said. "We set our watch by Frankie."

Earlier in the day, Sir Henry Cecil sent out a warning signal to his rivals that Frankel was better than ever ahead of his engagement in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes next month at Ascot's inaugural British Champions Day.

Frankel is now rated as the best horse on the planet by the World Thoroughbred Rankings after his victory in the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood in July. The three-year-old colt, owned by Prince Khalid Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, worked impressively with stablemates Bullet Train and Handheld, and his trainer pronounced that Frankel was on course to maintain his unbeaten record in three week's time.

"We gave him a rest after Goodwood," said Cecil. "I have started on him a bit early in order to bring him back in good time. I'd rather be ahead of time to catch a train and prefer to be ahead and be able to pull him back to keep him fresh."

Frankel worked just under a mile on the Watered Gallop and finished four lengths clear under regular race rider, Tom Queally, and after four Group 1 successes this season Cecil said that Frankel is getting better with age.

"He's a stronger horse now and he's growing up mentally," said the trainer. "He used to pull a bit and is far more relaxed and is subsequently easier to train.

"I find him much more helpful."

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