Running Lion aiming to regain winning thread at Salisbury

Running Lion will be bidding to serve a reminder of her quality when she lines up in the British EBF 40th Anniversary Upavon Fillies’ Stakes at Salisbury on Wednesday.

John and Thady Gosden’s three-year-old was well-fancied for the Oaks earlier this year having racked up an impressive four-race winning sequence, but her Epsom dreams were dashed when she was withdrawn at the start having got upset in the stalls.

Given the chance to gain Classic compensation she headed to Chantilly for the Prix de Diane, but struggled to make a telling impact from an unhelpful draw and was eased down in the closing stages by regular partner Oisin Murphy.

Running Lion is one of 13 fillies who head to post in the Listed heat, with Roger Varian’s Ameynah tackling 10 furlongs for the first time having blown away the cobwebs with a respectable return from a long absence in the Valiant Stakes at Ascot.

The daughter of Exceed And Excel had not been seen since finishing sixth to Cachet in last year’s 1000 Guineas and with only four career starts to her name, she could have plenty more to give.

“We were pleased with her comeback run at Ascot and we have a lot of belief she is a nice filly,” said Varian.

“She looks to have come forward nicely from that run and we’ve always thought 10 furlongs would be within her compass, so we’re looking forward to running her.”

Another filly returning from a break is Sparkling Beauty, who placed in the Group Two Prix du Calvados when trained by Richard Hughes last term and has been sighted just the once this campaign.

She is now trained by Dominic Ffrench Davis and the handler is confident of a bold showing from the Amo Racing-owned filly on her stable bow.

“She came to us earlier in the year and Richard Hughes did a very good job with her,” said Ffrench Davis.

“She won a nice maiden at Goodwood, the same one we won with Ornellaia the other week and she was then Group Two placed and I just think she disappointed a little bit earlier on in the year and could do with a break.

“She’s done nothing wrong with us and is coming to the boil nicely and I think she will run a big race.”

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