Supplemented 2-Year-Old The Platinum Queen To Face Elders In Nunthorpe - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report
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Supplemented 2-Year-Old The Platinum Queen To Face Elders In Nunthorpe

The Platinum Queen in the lead as she heads toward a course-record setting win in Goodwood’s EBF Alice Keppel Fillies’ Conditions Stakes

The most recent 2-year-old winner of York's Coolmore Wootton Bassett Nunthorpe Stakes (Group 1, carded for 2-year-olds and up) was 15 long years ago, but memories of Kingsgate Native's win in 2007, and of Lyric Fantasy's success 15 years before that, are hard to shake off and the market suggests we could be due another one.

The Platinum Queen, supplemented at a cost of £40,000 on behalf of 20 members of Middleham Park Racing XV, is second only to Royal Aclaim in betting on the race, and in a bizarre quirk of this most open of Nunthorpes she is the more experienced of the pair, even though she first saw a racecourse less than three months ago.

The Nunthorpe, which is part of the sprint category of the QIPCO British Champions Series as well as a “Win and You're In” race for the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint, is a very attractive option for The Platinum Queen, with last month's all-the-way York and Goodwood winner receiving upwards of 22lb from her rivals. And while this year's race is undoubtedly competitive, with the first three home in 2021 among the 15 runners and main market rival Royal Aclaim looking highly progressive, there is no Battaash or Dayjur in the line-up.

The syndicate took little persuading that it was well worth coughing up for the supplementary entry, as syndicate manager Tom Palin explained.

Palin said: “I can't recall many instances where we've supplemented, so we gathered all of the information we could gather, from the trainer Richard Fahey, and from the track and the weather forecasters and so on, then we waited as long as we could before taking an informal vote among the members. Everybody, to a person, came back with 'Let's do this, we really want to have a go'.”

He added: “This is what racehorse ownership is all about. We've got the second favourite for a Group 1, she's already won only a little less than the supplementary fee, and the vast majority of the syndicate live in Yorkshire, so there's an added attraction.

“If she finishes in the first three she gets her supplementary fee back and she gets black type, and if the market has it right we'll get both. I know it's not that simple, but we think it's a sensible roll of the dice.

“Looking at previous runnings, whenever a fancied 2-year-old has run – let's say a 10-1 chance or shorter – they've nearly always finished in a position where they would have got their money back at least had they been supplemented, and Soldier's Call was 20-1 when second three years ago.”

Black type would also increase The Platinum Queen's resale value significantly, and Palin is well aware that the 2017 Nunthorpe winner Marsha fetched an eye-watering 6,000,000 guineas at the end of her career.

Palin said: “The Platinum Queen hasn't got as deep a pedigree as Marsha, who proved herself for longer, but if she were to place the money she won would almost be irrelevant compared to the increase in her value, so that's quite an exciting aspect too.”

Looking at The Platinum Queen's strengths, and at the field as a whole, he said: “She's just a very speedy and enthusiastic filly, and the weight she receives through the weight for age scale looks massive, although it's there for a reason and in theory it's about right. And at the weight – or indeed any weight – we couldn't ask for a better rider than Hollie Doyle.

“It looks quite an open race, and her 106 ought to put her in the shake up even if she didn't improve as I think the favourite is only 108. Having two such lightly raced unexposed fillies at the top of a market which lacks a stand-out is an exciting dynamic.”

James Tate has had the highest of hopes for Royal Aclaim almost from day one, and the filly has delivered in style on all of her three starts, the latest of them a Listed race over the Nunthorpe course and distance last month. He is pleased to see plenty of pace in the race and expects Royal Aclaim to be coming home well.

Tate, brought up in a racing family in nearby Tadcaster and seeking a career-first Group 1 win, said: “We've had a really good prep and she's been training well. She's improved with every start and she hasn't missed any work. I've got every confidence in her and in her ability, but at the end of the day she's an animal and she's got to have some luck in running.”

He added: “She's the least experienced runner in the field, and that includes the two-year-old, but she's like nothing we've ever had through our stable gates before – she's completely different. In three runs she's achieved a rating of 108 and beaten two Group 1 winners. Yet, to be quite honest with you, she's never been fully fit, as she is now.

“I expected her to win at York but I didn't know she'd win quite as easily as that, given that she wasn't 100 per cent fit. It was obvious after a furlong or two that she would win. For a filly to win a Nunthorpe she probably needs to be something like 114, and the 6lb she needs to improve on the York form is just two lengths. Can she improve two lengths? I really think and hope so.”

Winter Power beat Emaraaty Ana and Dragon Symbol here 12 months ago, but she has not been in the same sort of form this year. Emaraaty Ana went on to win the Haydock Sprint but has also been somewhat out of form since. Dragon Symbol, however, returned to form and struck for the first time for his new trainer Roger Varian when an easy winner of a conditions race at Hamilton.

Highfield Princess won her first Group 1 over 6.5 furlongs in the Prix Maurice De Gheest at Deauville last time. She is in splendid form but was beaten in much lesser company on her only previous run over this minimum trip. The Platinum Jubilee third Flotus, a Group 3 winner over the same distance at York last time, is another who is unproven at five furlongs.

Khaadem, from the Battaash stable of Charlie Hills, and Raasel, a winner eight times in the last 12 months, were separated by only a neck when first and second over this trip in Goodwood's King George Stakes, where Lazuli, Clarendon House and Acklam Express were among those behind.

The field is completed by the Aidan O'Brien outsider New York City and Hugo Palmer's recent Chester winner Ebro River.

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