Next Lightening Strike

By Sean Cronin

The momentum behind Frankel (GB) shows no sign of stopping and 24 hours after the G3 Tattersalls S. win of his son Elarqam (GB) it is the turn of his daughter Lightening Quick (GB) to further enhance his endlessly expanding galactic reputation in Friday’s G2 Shadwell Rockfel S. at Newmarket. Supplemented by Ger Lyons after her battling debut win in the maiden over this trip that opened the Irish Champions Day card Sept. 9, Qatar Racing’s daughter of the same stable’s 2011 G1 Cheveley Park S. winner Lightening Pearl (Ire) (Marju {Ire}) is here on racecourse evidence only as she shows little in the mornings. “It’s very hard to gauge where you are with Lightening Quick, as her work has always been average–she only ever does the bare minimum at home,” he said. “It’s a little quirk of the family–her mother was much the same, but it didn’t stop her from winning a group one. I saw something early on with Lightening Quick to suggest that she was good, but she’s such an intelligent filly and maybe she’s clever enough to know that there is no prize money on offer on the gallops at home. She was working just the same before her maiden win, when she produced a devastating run to shoot down the much more experienced Bye Bye Baby, a filly I know the Coolmore team likes. If she performs like that again or improves on Friday, the Rockfel will be the right spot for her.”

Aidan O’Brien has whittled down his team to just Butterscotch (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}), who chased home her subsequent G2 Duchess of Cambridge S.-winning stablemate Clemmie (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) when second in the six-furlong G3 Grangecon Stud S. at The Curragh when last seen July 2. Khalid Abdullah’s Gavota (GB) (Bated Breath {GB}) has scored over six furlongs on the July Course here Aug. 11 and over this trip at Lingfield last time Aug. 30, with the latter performance particularly impressive as she defied a penalty to win by six lengths. “She’s been pretty straightforward all round. She’s won both her races pretty nicely,” the owner-breeder’s racing manager Teddy Grimthorpe said. “Obviously this is a big step up for her and it looks a very competitive field.” They all have to reach the standard set by one of the season’s juvenile benchmarks Nyaleti (Ire) (Arch), who drops back from a mile after finishing a half-length third in the G2 May Hill S. at Doncaster Sept. 14. The impressive July 29 G3 Princess Margaret S. winner is at an intermediate trip that could be ideal and jockey James Doyle thinks so. “I put the race to bed [at Doncaster], but the extra furlong did eke out her stamina a little bit so coming back a furlong will definitely suit her,” he said. “I was mindful of the headwind at Doncaster. I didn’t want to ask her when everyone was on top of me. I thought it would be getting her racing before they got to me. She ran a tough race.”

 

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