Relief Rally rewards favourite-backers in Lowther

Relief Rally flew up the stands side rail to land the Sky Bet Lowther Stakes at York.

William Haggas’ filly was a three-time winner coming into the Group Two contest and started as the 2-1 favourite under Tom Marquand after victory in the Super Sprint at Newbury.

Ridden patiently on her first try at six furlongs, the Simon Munir and Isaac Souede-owned bay began to make headway in the final furlong and pulled away as the line approached to prevail ahead of Aidan O’Brien’s Cherry Blossom.

Haggas said: “You don’t get much time in a six-furlong race to worry, but I was thinking ‘crikey, she’s got a bit to do here’ – I was really impressed with the way she picked up.

“I think she’s a pure two-year-old, I’ve had a few fillies, one called Besharah won this race, and she didn’t go on. I think it’s really hard, especially when they are small, we don’t want to get wrapped up in them being a fantastic three-year-old, this may well be her year in which case we want to capitalise.

“She’s pretty good and she’s good in her head, although she dances a bit in the paddock. She’s easy to train.

“I haven’t had chance to talk to Tom, as this is Simon (Munir’s) day, it’s his first ever trip to York.”

Coral make the winner a 5-1 chance for the Prix de l’Abbaye, while Betfair are 5-2 from 9-2 for the Cheveley Park Stakes.

Haggas added on plans: “Whether we have one before her last run, I don’t know. If we do it will be the Flying Childers with a Group Two penalty, that’s 50-50, then it will be the Cheveley Park or the Prix de l’Abbaye.”

Marquand said: “We hoped stepping up to six would work in her favour and I was looking forward to it as just over five she’d hit a little flat spot before finishing really strongly.

“Over six that just didn’t happen today. She had plenty to pass a furlong out, but they were all within a length. To be honest she never had me worried and she hit the line hard.

“William has done a remarkable job to get her to win the pot she did after Royal Ascot (runner-up in the Queen Mary Stakes) and coming here now.

“I hope it’s the Cheveley Park selfishly as if she goes for the Abbaye I won’t be able to ride her (due to her low weight as a two-year-old), but William will make the right decision.”

Of Cherry Blossom, O’Brien said: “She ran a very good race. She’s still a little bit green and babyish, but we’re very happy.”

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