Highfield Princess looking to fly high in Curragh defence

Highfield Princess is firmly on course to defend her crown the Flying Five Stakes in Ireland next weekend, having come close in her bid for back-to-back wins in the Nunthorpe at York.

John Quinn’s superstar sprinting mare completed a hat-trick of Group One wins last season, with her Nunthorpe and Flying Five victories following success in the Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville.

Having opened her account for the current campaign in dominant style at Goodwood, the six-year-old was a hot favourite to win her second Nunthorpe on the Knavesmire, but had to settle for the runner-up spot behind the front-running Live In The Dream.

Highfield Princess produced arguably her most impressive performance to date in the Flying Five 12 months ago, and Quinn is looking forward to seeing her return to the Curragh on September 10 for day two of the Irish Champions Festival.

“She’s come out of York well, touch wood she seems fine,” said the Malton-based trainer.

“We’re just ticking her over and all being well we’ll head to Ireland a week on Sunday. There’s no reason to change the plan just because she got beaten.”

Following her Flying Five triumph last season Highfield Princess was saved for a trip to the Breeders’ Cup, where she performed admirably in defeat in finishing fourth.

But whether she returns to America this year is open to question, with Quinn eyeing an appearance on Arc weekend in Paris on October 1.

He added: “All being well, if she comes out of the Curragh well, we’d like to run her in the Abbaye and we’ll see from there.”

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