Soprano to step up after Albany effort

Soprano could be set for a step up in trip after her fine third to Porta Fortuna in the Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot.

The George Boughey-trained filly was well supported in the six-furlong Group Three contest following her smart debut win over the minimum trip at Newmarket.

However, she did not have the ideal draw and despite staying on nicely under William Buick, the daughter of Starspangledbanner could not reduce a diminishing two-length deficit at the line.

Harry Herbert, managing director for owners Highclere Thoroughbred Racing, believes she will develop into another top-class prospect.

“We were really excited by that,” he said. “She looked like a really good filly. She had run and won on debut like a very good filly, and she’d done well physically entering the Royal meeting.

“As William Buick said afterwards, if she’d have just broken a bit better and been drawn a bit better, she would definitely have tickled them up.

“She is a beautiful filly and she’s got size and scope. She needs to go further. We haven’t decided where to go, but we will plot a course.

“It is very exciting, because it looks like she deserves to play at the top table. We’ve been fortunate to have some wonderful fillies in recent years, and she looks like being another one.”

Highclere appear to have another smart filly on their hands in the shape of Truthful.

Trained by William Haggas, the three-year-old by Sea The Stars made a winning debut at Salisbury last month, taking 10-furlong fillies’ novice race and followed up over an extended 11 furlongs at Haydock 12 days ago.

Herbert believes she will step up in class now. He said: “She is lovely filly. She is two for two and we’ll probably step up to black type next time.

“She looks like she could be very special. There is lots to look forward to.

“I don’t know where she goes next. It is hard to know, when you are rated like she is, whether you still stick in a valuable handicap or whether you move to Listed company.

“She was being considered by William for the Ribblesdale after one run, so I’d like to think she’ll be heading to a black type race next time.”

Herbert is the son of the late Queen’s legendary racing manager Lord Porchester and his brother-in-law John Warren currently fills that role.

The King and Queen, attending their first Royal Ascot since the coronation, saw their colours carried to victory by Desert Hero in the King George V Stakes, which Herbert felt was a major shot in the arm for British racing.

“It was an absolutely fantastic Royal Ascot in regards to the overall event,” he added.

“I thought it was extraordinary and of course it was a sort of turning of the page from the late Queen, and the King and Queen so obviously enjoying it and having a winner was wonderful.

“That winner was quite simply one of the greatest things that could possibly have ever happened, great for British racing and the whole event.

“It was remarkable. They enjoyed every bit of it, right through the five days and having a winner, and we all know how hard that is – there are so few races and they’re such competitive races – that to hit the back of the net at Royal Ascot is incredibly difficult.

“It is hugely important that the King and Queen have invested in the sport, absolutely vital. We all know how international Royal Ascot is, the Australians are over here, the Americans are over here, some Japanese are over here.

“Everywhere I have ever gone, racing the world, it is the one place everyone wants to go to, and to ideally have a runner and, if at all possible, a winner.

“It was a fantastic event and I thought it was great that it went off so brilliantly all round.”

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