John Quinn has not ruled out running gutsy mare Highfield Princess in the July Cup at Newmarket, following her two placed efforts in Group One sprints at Royal Ascot last week.
A triple Group One winner last season, the six-year-old was beaten a length when runner-up to Bradsell in the King’s Stand last Tuesday and was narrowly denied again when third to Khaadem in Saturday’s Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes.
“We’re as pleased as we could be. We’d like to have won one of them, but anyway, there we are,” said Quinn. “She has come out of Saturday’s race really well, which is the important thing. She’s a great mare.”
Highfield Princess’s fairytale rise through the ranks, from winning off a mark of 58 at Ayr in September 2020 to triple Group One scorer last term, has made her one of the most popular horses in training,
The North Yorkshire trainer says she will follow a similar path to last season, which included victories in the Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville, Nunthorpe at York and Flying Five at the Curragh, before she finished a close-up fourth to Caravel in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Keeneland.
However, he is mulling over an additional run in Newmarket’s Group One feature on July 15, for which she is a general 5-1 chance.
“She is in the July Cup in three weeks’ time and we’ll consider that, but if we don’t, we’ll just wait for a little bit,” said Quinn.
“I do think she’s a Breeders’ Cup horse. We’ll go down the same route. All being well, we’ll run her in the Coolmore Nunthorpe, the Flying Five and see how we go.
“The July Cup is a question mark, though possibly Goodwood for her, possibly. That would give her a nice break.”
Quinn had two other runners at the Royal meeting, with Breege beaten a length second to Coppice in the 29-runner Sandringham and Mr Wagu downed by two and three-quarter lengths when seventh to Saint Lawrence in the 27-runner Wokingham.
“It was a fantastic meeting. We thoroughly enjoyed it. We don’t cry,” said Quinn. “We ran four horses, three of them were placed and Mr Wagyu was just out of the money, beaten a short head out of sixth place in the Wokingham, so they have all run really well.”
He added: “We will have a think about where we go with Breege. Mr Wagyu might go back to Ireland for the race he won there last year (Paddy Power Scurry Handicap, Curragh, July 22) then onto the Stewards’ Cup (Goodwood, August 5) – that’s the way we are thinking with them.”