Infinite Possibilities On The Knavesmire

   Sir Michael Stoute unveiled his 2022 Epsom Classic winner at York’s three-day Dante meeting and bids to repeat that trick on Wednesday as he puts TDN Rising Star Infinite Cosmos (Ire) (Sea The Stars {Ire}) to the test in the G3 Tattersalls Musidora S. over an extended 10 furlongs. Following the astronomic performance of Savethelastdance  (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) at Chester last week, the Oaks appears cut and dried as long as the Ballydoyle starlet stays on track but that is not a certainty during this volatile time of year, especially for the fillies. Infinite Cosmos did more to impress in defeat on debut than when breaking her maiden at Newmarket 12 days ago and Stoute himself described that as workmanlike, so it may be that the Rothschild homebred reaches her obvious potential later than June as was the case with her Sea The Stars-sired relative Crystal Ocean (GB).

Making The Great Leap Forward

Following the Cheshire Oaks, the story of this year’s Epsom Classic is the race just to stay in the relative vicinity of the newest and potentially greatest middle-distance filly Rosegreen has produced in the Aidan O’Brien era. Her incredible closing sectionals, fascinatingly compared with Shergar’s in Simon Rowlands Sectional Spotlight blog on the At The Races site, mean that all remaining trials for Epsom will have to pass the clock’s inspection. One who has the potential to put up a big figure in that respect is another who recently received the TDN Rising Star honour in Linda Shanahan and Emily Magnier’s 9 1/2-length Newbury maiden winner Gather Ye Rosebuds (GB) (Zoffany {Ire}).

“It was a great result first time and she put in what looks like an outstanding performance,” trainer Jack Channon said. “I feel like, mentally and physically, she’s improved from that run. She’s a big filly that’s maturing day in, day out. She hadn’t quite lost her coat at Newbury, but she’s really shining now. She’s started to flourish in the last three weeks and I couldn’t be happier with the way all her work and everything like that’s gone.”

The Yardsticks

Every Classic trial worth its salt needs proven performers and the Musidora has those thanks to the presence of Roisin Henry’s G3 Oh So Sharp S. winner and GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf fourth Midnight Mile (Ire) (No Nay Never), Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum’s G1 Fillies’ Mile runner-up Novakai (GB) (Lope De Vega {Ire}) and Weldspec Glasgow Limited’s G3 Prix Penelope runner-up Sea Of Roses (GB) (Sea The Moon {Ger}), with the latter having beaten Infinite Cosmos last term. Richard Fahey is happy that Midnight Mile, a relative of Sadler’s Wells’s Oaks winner Quarter Moon (Ire) and runner-up Yesterday (Ire), will be more at home racing further than a mile for the first time.

“She has wintered extremely well and we are very happy with her,” he said. “She has filled out and I should imagine this trip will probably suit her well, but this is a good Musidora, a very good race and it will be a good filly who wins it. She started late last year and she took a little time to come to herself, so I haven’t rushed her this year. She got some nice experience last year and we’ve always felt she would make a better 3-year-old, so fingers crossed.”

 Welcome Back, Princess

In the day’s feature G2 1895 Duke Of York Clipper S., Highfield Princess (Ire) (Night Of Thunder {Ire}) makes her keenly-anticipated return to action in the race that saw her reputation take off towards the stratosphere 12 months ago. Those expecting a repeat would be well-advised to remember that the G1 Nunthorpe S., G1 Prix Maurice de Gheest and G1 Flying Five heroine came into the 2022 renewal on the back of an all-weather campaign consisting of four races and is under a Group 1 penalty this time. That may tell with the likes of Bennett Racing’s improving G1 Al Quoz Sprint runner-up The Astrologist (Aus) (Zoustar {Aus}) and Nick Bradley Racing’s high-class 3-year-old Marshman (GB) (Harry Angel {Ire}) in attendance and race-sharpened.

John Quinn is aware of the different task this time. “She had a break after America, but she’s been back in a while,” he explained. “We’re pleased how she’s training, but all of her life she’s been getting the mares’ allowance and now, with her Group 1 penalty, obviously she’s giving weight to colts which won’t be easy.”

Marshman took part in just about the best 2-year-old race over this six-furlong trip in 2022 when second to Noble Style (GB) (Kingman {GB}) in the G2 Gimcrack S. at this track’s flagship Ebor Festival and will be primed after his return win in Chantilly’s G3 Prix Sigy last month. “If you look at the horses behind him in the Gimcrack, Cold Case was four lengths behind him and Royal Scotsman was six lengths behind,” Nick Bradley said. “I think that was a really, really good race. What I was impressed about at Chantilly was the way he accelerated away from the field. We expected him to get tired and he did, but he’s come out of the race really well and it should put him spot-on for this.”

A Star At Vichy

Meanwhile in France, Vichy stages its first Flat meeting of the season and plays host to Europe’s second juvenile black-type contest of the year. The Auvergne track’s highlight is the five-furlong Listed Haras de Beaumont-Prix des Reves d’Or-Jacques Bouchara, which has attracted seven fillies and features Craig Bernick and Haras d’Etreham’s TDN Rising Star Les Pavots (Ire) (No Nay Never). Out again quickly for Francis-Henri Graffard following her deeply impressive debut effort over six furlongs at Chantilly earlier in the month, the half-sister to the dual Group 1 hero Sir Dragonet (Ire) (Camelot {GB}) descends from the great Urban Sea (Miswaki) so this drop back in trip is revealing. She encounters Amo Racing’s similarly unbeaten Redcar novice winner Komat (GB) (Cable Bay {Ire}), more of a died-in-the-wool sprinting type from the Dominic Ffrench Davis stable.

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