Running Lion Powers To Impressive Pretty Polly Triumph

Running Lion (GB) (Roaring Lion–Bella Nouf {GB}, by Dansili {GB}) improved off a debut fourth at Newmarket’s July venue with wide-margin wins in one-mile heats at Lingfield and Chelmsford last term and opened this campaign with a decisive score on sophomore return at Kempton last month. Back on the turf for the first time since that first-up effort, she rewarded the race sponsor David Howden with a first win of the Guineas meet and provided the Gosden stable with a seventh triumph in this usually informative G1 Oaks pointer.

The 10-3 chance settled into a comfortable rhythm and raced in a midfield fifth through halfway. Powering forward to loom large on the bridle passing the quarter-mile marker, she was soon in splendid isolation and surged clear of toiling rivals on the final ascent to easily outclass the hitherto undefeated Sumo Sam (GB) (Nathaniel {Ire}) by 4 1/2 lengths.

Running Lion becomes the second black-type scorer for Bella Nouf (GB) (Dansili {GB}), whose first is G3 Sweet Solera S. victrix Majestic Glory (GB) (Frankel {GB}). Bella Nouf is a dual-winning half-sister to three black-type performers headed by Listed Lyric S. victrix Nouriya (GB) (Danehill Dancer {Ire}), herself the dam of G2 Duke of Cambride S. heroine Aljazzi (GB) (Shamardal) and Listed John Musker Fillies’ S. winner Majestic Noor (GB)  (Frankel {GB}). Running Lion’s third dam Shy Danceuse (Groom Dancer) is responsible for Listed Prix Occitanie winner Sweet Story (Ire) (Green Tune) and Listed Oppenheim-Rennen first Shy Lady (Fr) (Kaldoun {Fr}), the latter being the dam of five stakes scorers headed by G1 St. James’s Palace S. hero and G1 2000 Guineas runner-up Zafeen (Fr) (Zafonic). Hailing from the family of GI Breeders’ Cup Mile-winning sire Opening Verse (The Minstrel), the February-foaled grey is kin to the unraced 2-year-old colt Star Runner (GB) (Zoustar {Aus}) and a yearling colt by Kameko.

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