THE industrious Highfield Princess wasted little time supplementing her first Group 1 success in France with a top-level victory on home turf in the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes.
Making her 25th start in little more than two years, John Quinn’s redoubtable mare led home a Yorkshire-trained one-two-three when trouncing her 12 rivals by upwards of two and a half lengths in a furlong-per-furlong figure just short of her best.
Her ability to lie up behind the blistering early fractions set by two-year-old pacesetter The Platinum Queen was the bedrock of the victory as there were going to be few of the field which would see out the final furlong as strongly as Highfield Princess.
A final furlong of 11.96 endorsed that point and a three-furlong closing split of 33.27secs was more than a second or roughly six lengths quicker than the taking Gimcrack Stakes winner Noble Style (34.34secs).
Highfield Princess will now head to France on Arc weekend for either the Foret or Abbaye before being dispatched to America to tackle the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Keeneland.
Given she is in the form of her life this season, it is difficult not to see her proving highly competitive wherever she ends up, especially as she has proven her versatility, both trip and ground-wise.
Victory in the Gimcrack for Noble Style was vindication for trainer Charlie Appleby who has always held the Kingman colt in high esteem but was forced to miss Ascot when his exciting youngster suffered a setback.
This victory represented a career-best performance on the clock for Noble Style who quickened smartly to overhaul wide-margined Thirsk winner Marshman and score going away. A speed figure marginally superior to his opening salvo at Ascot on his debut was heartening to see and the Middle Park Stakes (currently a 2/1 chance with some firms) at Newmarket in late September looks an obvious target.