Horses To Follow » Gifted Girl

Gifted Girl

Gifted Girl was hugely impressive in winning a fillies’ handicap at Ascot off a mark of 92 on her seasonal reappearance, and she built on that when stepped up in grade in the Group 3 Princess Elizabeth Stakes at Epsom on Friday in finishing second behind Thistle Bird.

The winner is high-class and had the run of the race behind the leader, whereas Gifted Girl was well back in a well strung-out field from her outside draw – nine of nine – off what appeared to be a relatively sedate pace. The outsider, Making Eyes, who was left alone in front, kicked clear around Tattenham Corner and went for home early, and it seemed to be difficult for horses to come from the rear. Thistle Bird was in the perfect place throughout, just behind the pace.

Gifted Girl did move up threateningly a furlong and a half out, but she kept wanting to roll down the camber to her left, and Tom Queally had a job to keep her straight. She did get after Thistle Bird through the final furlong but the winner pulled out more.

Even so, Gifted Girl was only beaten by three quarters of a length, had she run as straight as the winner she would have got closer, and this was another career-best on the back of her big improvement at Ascot.

She should be better back on a more conventional track. While this run proved that she could operate away from Ascot, she will obviously be of interest if she runs at Royal Ascot or whenever she returns to the Berkshire track, given how impressive she was on her previous run. She is really progressive now.

Paul Cole’s horses have yet to hit form this term, so there should be even more to come from her. The Grade 1 Beverly D Stakes at Arlington is apparently a potential target for her now, which shows the regard in which she is held, but she will be of interest wherever she runs next.

31st May 2013