Highfield Princess to be aimed at Abbaye after unfortunate Curragh outing

Highfield Princess could bid to get back on track in the Prix de l’Abbaye providing she is fine following her below-par performance at the Curragh.

John Quinn’s star mare was tasked with defending her Flying Five Stakes crown on day two of the Irish Champions Festival, but nothing went to plan for the evens favourite who finished midway down the field in fifth as Ken Condon’s Moss Tucker landed a surprise victory.

Slipping on exiting the stalls, Jason Hart’s mount was immediately on the back foot, and although she quickly made up ground and was still giving her all at the finish, was never able to land a telling blow in a race she won with supreme style 12 months prior.

It was a rare disappointment from the ultra-consistent six-year-old who has been a real force on the sprinting scene over the past two seasons and, although reported to be coughing and showing signs of being in season by the vet post-race, Quinn believes Highfield Princess’ troubles at the start played a key role in her bad day at the office.

“She was scoped afterwards and was absolutely fine so the coughing was just mud that was kicked back because she got behind early on so she was fine on that front,” explained Quinn.

“Missing the break did not help her. Jason said she lost her hind legs when she came out and with the first stride she took her hind legs went. She was on the back foot straight away and did well to finish where she did in the end. It’s just one of those things and these things can happen.”

She will now be given a thorough check by the team at Quinn’s Highfield Stables, with a run at ParisLongchamp on October 1 pencilled in for her next start.

Quinn added: “She’s fine this morning. We’ll have a good look at her and if she is OK we will run her in the Abbaye.”

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