Star mare Highfield Princess won a second group one with a stunning sprint display to win the Coolmore Wootton Bassett Nunthorpe Stakes in York for Jason Hart and John Quinn.
The five-year-old won at the highest level for the first time earlier this month in the Prix Maurice De Gheest in Deauville over the 1,500m distance.
But any pre-race concerns that she wouldn’t be able to keep pace with the five furlong speedsters were quickly put to bed, as she traveled heavily for Hart behind two-year-old filly The Platinum Queen and Hollie Doyle who started the race.
And as Doyle’s mount was just beginning to wander the track, Hart called on his mount for maximum effort and it picked up in fine fashion, accelerating straight away from all rivals for a stunning two-and-a-half-length success. , giving Yorkshire manager John Quinn a famous local win.
The Platinum Queen and Doyle hung on to take a solid second for the Middleham Park side, with Emaraaty Ana recording a season best to finish third for Kevin Stott and Kevin Ryan.
Khaadem was fourth for Ryan Moore, with favorite Royal Aclaim a disappointing sixth for James Tate’s side, who are still looking for a first Group 1 win.
Speaking after the race, delighted trainer Quinn said: “She didn’t race when she was two and it took her a while to learn her craft. She won three races when she was three years, then last year she won at Royal Ascot and she was placed in several group races.
“This year she won the All-Weather Final at Newcastle and then we said we would run in the Duke of York and she went wild.
“She raced very well at Royal Ascot, then she won well in France 12 days ago. She came back and won very well here.
“We’ve placed her in the Forest and the Abbey, so it’s going well two more races – Forest or Abbey, and the Breeders’ Cup. I’m delighted to have her.”
The winning rider couldn’t hide her emotion after the race, admitting victory over the Knavesmire was even more special than her first Group One prize in France earlier this month.
He said: “She gave me my first Group One winner a few weeks ago and it probably means more today to do it on home soil. She deserved it.
“I was really confident the two-year-old was towing us well and I thought I could get her back when I really wanted to.
“I thought if I could just hold her together for the middle part of the race, she’d finish her race. She’s definitely getting faster.”