Highfield Princess raring to go in Abbaye bid, despite wide draw

Highfield Princess will look to overcome a wide draw as she aims for 14th career success in the Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp on Sunday.

The sprinting star came within touching distance of a series of big races in the early part of the season before winning for the first time this year in the King George at Goodwood in early August.

From there she was was second when defending her Nunthorpe title at York before a luckless run saw her come home fifth in the Flying Five on the Curragh.

Trainer John Quinn reports she has been in good form since the Ireland trip as she looks to put that run behind her on Parisian turf.

He said: “She’s doing fine and has been well since the Curragh.

“I’ve been happy with her the last 10 days. She did a little bit of work on Tuesday morning and moved well and Jason (Hart, jockey) was happy with her.

“She looks well, it didn’t work out at the Curragh but Sunday is a different day.

“We’re looking forward to it and let’s hope she bounces back.”

Of Highfield Princess’s draw in stall 14, Quinn added: “She’s got a bit of room out there…

“She missed the break at the Curragh and slipped coming out and at least in 14 she has a bit of space where she can manoeuvre. I was hoping to get somewhere in the middle, like 10 or 12, so I’m not going to cry over 14.

“This is a nice flat track, she has good form on flat tracks and we’re looking forward to Sunday.”

Ken Condon’s Moss Tucker took the Flying Five by half a length and returns to action to try and put the seal on a consistent and progressive campaign.

“He’s come out of the win at the Curragh in really good form. He left pretty early because of the weather potentially making it tricky, but he seems to have landed there well and everything is good,” Condon said.

“He’s drawn in the middle and we can’t do anything about that, but the horse is well and we just have to see how we get on.

“It will be a very competitive race, but he has form on all types of ground. He’s obviously better with some cut in the ground and he won’t have that Sunday, but he always turns up and tries. He’s in good form and we hope he runs a big race.

“Prior to his Group One he was impressive in the Group Three and I do think he’s a horse at the peak of his powers. He’s a horse on the upgrade and improving and he was really tough when he needed to be last time, he really battled and was always getting there.

“He’s a tough, solid horse who you can always rely on to do his best. He’s taken his form to a different level this year and won a Group One his 30th start.”

Clive Cox has a pair of runners in the five-furlong event in Get Ahead, second to Moss Tucker in the Flying Five, and Kerdos, winner of the Beverley Bullet.

Of the former, he said: “She ran an absolute blinder at the Curragh and I really felt she confirmed the belief we had in her that she could compete at the highest level.

“I’m really happy she has a nice draw in nine, which is pleasing, and hopefully she can back up that wonderful Irish performance.”

Kerdos is drawn in stall four and Cox said of the colt: “He was very polished in his Beverley Bullet success and has come out of the race really well.

“We have a low draw in four with him and I couldn’t be more pleased. He’s a horse with a lot to look forward to and I just hope we get a bit of luck in running.”

Charlie Hills is another trainer set to saddle two runners in Equilateral and Equality, ridden by Jamie Spencer and Daniel Muscutt respectively.

Equilateral won a good sprint handicap at York last time and has prior Group form from earlier in the season when he was second in the Temple Stakes and fifth in the King’s Stand.

Hills said of the gelding: “Equilateral did well to win last time and I hope that will give him confidence going into this race.”

Equality finished third in the Flying Five when last seen and is drawn competitively in stall eight.

“He ran a cracker last time to finish third in the Flying Five at the Curragh, which proved he’s up to this level,” said Hills.

“With it being a dry forecast in Paris, the ground should be ideal for him. He’s shown he can run well on anything, but drying conditions certainly wouldn’t worry him like it might some of the others.

“There’s probably not a lot between these sprinters and they seem to take their turn.”

Rogue Lightning is drawn widest of all as he looks to extend the three-race winning streak he has enjoyed since being gelded in May.

“Rogue Lightning has been drawn in (stall) 19, which is a bit of a graveyard draw but he’s in really good form,” said trainer Tom Clover.

“I appreciate they’re calling it soft, but that could equate to our good to soft ground and I feel like with no rain for the last few weeks we should have some decent ground which hopefully might level it up a bit.

“We’re not drawn too far from Highfield Princess so hopefully that gives us some pace and he can run a really nice race.

Elsewhere in the race is Tim Easterby’s Art Power, a likeable grey who is regular in major sprint events, and the Karl Burke-trained duo of Dramatised and White Lavender.

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