Marquand shines on Mystic Pearl

Tom Marquand was seen to very good effect as Mystic Pearl came with a withering late run to claim the Coral Distaff at Sandown.

It looked an ambitious entry from the usually shrewd William Haggas to run a 78-rated filly in a Listed race, but as ever the Summerville Lodge handler knew exactly what he had on his hands.

German Guineas runner-up Stenton Glider made a bold bid from the front but with just over a furlong to run, Magical Sunset and Bridestones arrived on the scene clearly going the better.

By then Marquand had made his way up to fourth on Mystic Pearl (22-1), but she was building up a good head of steam.

However, she was not making life easy for her pilot by hanging slightly to her right.

She really found her stride in the closing stages, though, and was well on top at the line, beating Stenton Glider, who battled back for second, by three-quarters of a length.

Haggas said: “She is in the July Sale on Thursday, but I guess she’ll be out of that. She ran very well last time and was unfortunate, she probably should have won – I know it was low-grade – but I didn’t think, bar the favourite, Hugo’s horse (Stenton Glider), I didn’t think they were a great bunch – a disappointing bunch of fillies, so I thought it was worth a shot.

“Then we got the outside draw, which wasn’t perfect, but we had a good jockey!

“We quite liked her today, funnily enough. I know it sounds strange (off a mark of) 78, when fillies are in form, as I say she ran well last time and she looks well, she won the best-turned-out and there’s plenty of her, so you hope. You can’t win a Listed race if you don’t run in one, can you?

“We haven’t done a lot with her since she ran, but I like the way she looks. She’s been looking really good and holding her condition well and eating well, and all those sort of things add up.

“I’ve no idea what we will do now. It is sort of job done. I guess we will try again in a mile Group Three, I suppose – we’ve nothing to lose.

“She wouldn’t be quick enough for the Oak Tree and the hurly-burly of it. He gave her a beautiful ride, because he didn’t go too early. He nursed her into the race and used that little bit of a turn of foot when they were slowing down. I would think a mile, maybe France, but a Group Three somewhere.”

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