There were upsets in the two Group 1 juvenile events at Newmarket yesterday with Brave Anna winning the Cheveley Park Stakes and The Last Lion capturing the Middle Park Stakes on the Rowley Mile.
Royal Ascot winner Lady Aurelia looked in control in the former event passing the two furlongs marker but she paid for racing too freely during the first half of the race as she was reeled in by Aidan O'Brien's pair. Wesley Ward's filly looks an out and out five furlong horse but her trainer is reportedly keen to aim her at the Commonwealth Cup at the Royal meeting next June. It will be interesting to see whether she trains on and how she performs during her three year old career. As regards the winner, she appreciated the fast ground and the return to a strongly run six furlongs having disappointed twice over further on her two most recent starts. The disappointment of the race was the Lowther Stakes winner Queen Kindly who produced a laboured effort in fourth. Jamie Spencer's mount never travelled with his usual fluency and looked in trouble at halfway. It is worth noting a few Richard Fahey's horses have been underperforming in recent weeks and there is every possibility she wasn't 100%. She remains a bright prospect for sprinting next year and looks a realistic contender for the aforementioned Commonwealth Cup.
The Last Lion has proved to be a remarkable two year old for Mark Johnston. The son of Choisir was having his tenth race of the campaign with his debut coming in the Brocklesby at Doncaster on the 2nd April. He was winning for the fourth time and has been placed at Royal Ascot, Glorious Goodwood and York's Ebor fixture. There was no fluke about the performance either as he turned the tables on Blue Point who had beaten him in the Gimcrack Stakes on the Knavesmire.
I am afraid the selections in the Autumn Update in the Cambridgeshire were disappointing and never looked like winning. Celestial Path ran creditably on the stands side finishing sixth but it is possible the ninth furlong stretched his stamina.
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