Al Basti Equiworld, Dubai Flying Five Stakes (Group 1)

IF there was any doubt beforehand there is now none as John Quinn’s brilliant and unstoppable mare Highfield Princess cemented her status as Europe’s outstanding sprinter of the season with another all-star display.

An initial Group 1 success in the Prix Maurice de Gheest was superb, her Nunthorpe Stakes triumph at York was brilliant and this latest success was the crowning glory of a Group 1-winning spree which marks her out as a sprinter of rare quality.

In terms of 2022, Highfield Princess is out on her own in Europe but the manner in which she amassed such an impressive Group 1 haul would suggest she is one of the great sprinting mares of recent decades.

The daughter of Night Of Thunder, who was incredibly rated 57 this time two years ago, was returned the 5/4 favourite and deservedly so with her recent form suggesting that she held an overwhelming edge over this field.

In truth, Highfield Princess and Jason Hart had even more to spare than the betting indicated.

Ireland’s only Group 1 sprint couldn’t have gone any smoother for the favourite who was absolutely tanking along from an early stage.

By the time she reached halfway, Highfield Princess already looked to have most of the field covered and then from over a furlong out, the result did look inevitable.

Once she got across to the stand’s side rail in the closing stages, the favourite got even stronger and she finished out her race with great determination to come home just over three lengths ahead of Erosandpsyche with Flotus securing third.

“She’s a phenomenal mare. She’s by a very, very good sire and is out of a Danehill mare with a good back pedigree and I think maybe not racing her at two probably helped her and the rest is down to my wonderful staff and the mare herself,” remarked John Quinn.

“She’s one of the best sprinting fillies in the world you’d have to say. What she has done to win three Group 1s in France, England and Ireland is unbelievable and it’s great to come back here to Ireland and win a Group 1.

“In the spring I said to my son Sean that if she improves I’d love to see her go around Keeneland and as long as she’s ok after this she will head next for the Breeders’ Cup Sprint.”