Ylang Ylang grabs Group One gold at Newmarket

Ylang Ylang stayed on to land the bet365 Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket.

The Aidan O’Brien-trained bay was not prominent under Ryan Moore and was handled patiently after starting at odds of 9-2 in the one-mile Group One.

On soft ground the race became more of a test of stamina and in the latter stages of the contest she was able to edge past the 3-1 favourite Shuwari to prevail.

Ylang Ylang was an early favourite for next year’s 1000 Guineas after winning her first two starts, triumphing in a Curragh maiden in June before claiming the Group Three Silver Flash Stakes the following month.

The daughter of Frankel was then off the track until September, when she trailed home last of nine runners upped to the highest level in the Moyglare Stud Stakes at the Curragh.

She the finished third in the Rockfel at Newmarket last month, beaten two and a half lengths by the second-placed Shuwari as Carla’s Way proved too good for both.

However, trying a mile for the first time in this contest, Ylang Ylang turned around the form with Shuwari in style.

It briefly looked as though See The Fire was going to take home the honours as she went for home well over a furlong out, but Shuwari was poised to challenge on the stands side and inched in front with the winning post in sight.

Ylang Ylang was just hitting top gear on down the middle of the track though and she kept on gamely to come home half a length in front, with three-quarters of a length splitting the placed pair.

O’Brien felt her Moyglare run, when she tried to make all, was best forgotten and admitted he did not think the filly was at her best even in victory.

He said: “Obviously the Moyglare went wrong – she ran a bit keen because she’d made the running the first twice, but when her chance was gone Ryan looked after her.

“She came here for a lovely, educational run the last day. Ryan was beautiful on her and said we should come back for this race.

“Because her season got interrupted a bit she wouldn’t have been at her 100 per cent best today. We were kind of coming here more for education for next year than today being the be-all and end-all, but I thought Ryan was really incredible on her.

“She’s classy and very brave and a very exciting filly for next year. She’s done for this season and looking at her today, she’d have no problem starting in a Guineas and could get the Oaks trip.”

Paddy Power cut Ylang Ylang to 10-1 from 33-1 for both the 1000 Guineas and the Oaks.

Her stablemate Opera Singer – a five-length winner of the Prix Marcel Boussac – is the 5-1 favourite for the former and the 8-1 market leader for the latter.

Of Opera Singer, O’Brien added: “We saw what she did the last day (in the Boussac) and they’re both very smart fillies.

“Opera Singer is by Justify and when Justifys go past the furlong marker, when they go seven furlongs or a mile, they just take off.”

Ollie Sangster, trainer of runner-up Shuwari, said of her performance: “I was very happy and she ran a great race. She saw out the trip well, I think we just got outstayed in the last 50 yards by Ryan and obviously that is a very good filly. I think she liked the ground as it wasn’t that soft. Everything went well apart from the fact we didn’t win.

“That will be her for the season and I suppose we will work back from the 1000 Guineas. I wouldn’t be afraid of pitching straight up into a 1000 Guineas as she is a straightforward filly to train. The dream is still alive. It is frustrating to come so close, but equally we are delighted to be here in the first place.

“If someone had asked me at the start of the year if we would have had a runner in a Group One, I would have been thrilled. I hope she will get her day as she is a hard-working filly.”

Andrew Balding trained the third-placed See The Fire and he too has an eye on the 1000 Guineas for his filly.

He said: “She travelled strongly, but she got there sooner than Oisin (Murphy) wanted to. She just tired late on but she is an exciting filly, and we are looking forward to next year.

“I think we will look towards the 1000 Guineas with her.”

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