Horses To Follow » Blond Me

Blond Me

Blond Me did well to win the Group 2 Middleton Stakes at York on Thursday, and she may not get the credit that she is due, as often happens when the outsider of three or four springs a surprise.

The race lost a lot of its lustre through the defection of So Mi Dar, but it was still a good race, even if it was lacking in numbers. Last year’s Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf winner, and Nassau Stakes runner-up, Queen’s Trust, and last month’s Group 3 Prix Allez France winner The Black Princess between them set a good standard.

Indeed, it looked as if that pair would fight out the finish when Queen’s Trust moved up on the inside to join the early pace-setter The Black Princess at the two-furlong pole. At that point, Blond Me had come under pressure and didn’t appear to be gaining any ground as she raced in behind the leading pair. Andrew Balding’s filly had raced a little keenly down the back straight, and it appeared as if those exertions would take their toll in the closing stages.

On the contrary, however, when Oisin Murphy moved her to her right towards the outside, she started to make inroads towards the two leaders. Murphy switched his whip, and his filly ran on really strongly, hitting the front with no more than 75 yards to run, and going on to win by just over a length.

It was a big run by Barbara Keller’s filly. It was her seasonal debut, she hadn’t run since last October, and she was weak in the market beforehand. Queen’s Trust was also making her seasonal debut, but she was relatively strong in the market, and The Black Princess had had a run. Also, Blond Me was not helped by racing freely down the back straight, nor by the fact that her rider dropped a rein inside the final furlong, but she kept on willingly all the way to the line.

This was just her second attempt at 10 furlongs, her only previous run over the distance was in the Group 1 Premio Lydia Tesio at Capannelle last October, when she finished second last of the 11 runners. She had been progressive over a mile before that, however. She won a listed fillies’ race over a mile at Goodwood last April, she was second in the Atalanta Stakes at Sandown in August, and she won the valuable Group 2 Topkapi Trophy at Veliefendi in Turkey in early September over that trip.

The fact that she saw out the trip as well as she did – she probably improved for it – opens up more options. She should come on for this run too, and there could be more to come from her.

18th May 2017