2023 Fillies Mile Stakes & More Newmarket Recaps

Friday saw the kick-off of the Dewhurst Stakes and Cesarewitch Handicap meet at Newmarket on Friday, and with rain falling heavily before the start, we saw a raft of non-runners pulled out because of the very soft turf conditions.

Breeders Cup Odds

That did not dampen the atmosphere or the quality of racing as we saw a mix of the gritty and spectacular, with none more so than Matilda Picotte in the 2023 Oh So Sharp Stakes which was whittled down to just four starters as we hit post time.

The two-year-old sprinters were on show as Inquisitively proved himself a colt out of the top drawer with a display of pure speed, going gate to wire to win the 2023 Cornwallis Stakes.

Fillies Mile Stakes

Grade 1 – Purse $596,500 – 1 mile – Turf – 2-Year-Olds – Fillies

Ylang Ylang overcomes traffic problems and closes late to widen just under the wire to take her first Grade 1 stakes victory!

Aidan O’Brien always has to be feared in these two-year-old graded stakes races, and so it proved once more.

Ylang Ylang who is part of the powerful Coolmore owners group had already shown plenty of ability before this assignment having broken the maiden tag the first time and then followed up for a first graded stakes victory on her second try.

Subsequent runs have seen her beaten in this spot three back but she was a solid show placing in the 2023 Grade 2 Rockfel Stakes before this assignment and it was clear the stretch-out in distance has unlocked more, as she closed and widened late to win by half a length.

She is a very big filly and it’s doubtful this will be one of the Ballydoyle horses traveling to Santa Anita (a track that will not suit) as she is being targeted for a tilt at the 2024 1000 Guineas Stakes and the 2024 Oaks Stakes at Epsom.

She met some traffic problems here when Shuwari crossed lanes a furlong from the wire but Ryan Moore steadied his mount and produced a sustained close to lead right under the wire. Shuwari held well for second with See The Fire in the third spot and Classical Song a late closer in fourth.

2023 Fillies Mile Stakes Race Payouts

1. Ylang Ylang$5.50$1.90
2. Shuwari $1.60
3. See The Fire $1.80

WINNING TIME: 1 min 38.08 secs

Challenge Stakes

Grade 2 – Purse $151,500 – 7 furlongs – Turf – 3-Year-Olds and Up

Matilda Picotte blasts from the gate and goes gate to wire to win easily and secure back-to-back graded stakes wins!

The heavy rain before racing saw a raft of non-runners and we were left with four going to post.

Matilda Picotte sprung to prominence when finishing third of twenty runners in the 2023 1000 Guineas Stakes here on the Rowley Mile course back in May but has found it tough to make the breakthrough against graded stakes foes in three subsequent starts.

However, the key has been the drop to seven furlongs and jockey Oisin Murphy got the tactics spot on on Friday taking his filly on a gate-to-wire romp.

She had won the 2023 Grade 3 Sceptre Stakes two back and with only three other foes competing here, she was a well-bet 2/1 shot on the board.

Considering the ground conditions it looked like a suicidal pace set by the winner, and the second quarter went in 21.65 secs and she was soon five lengths clear.

As they reached the quarter mile marker, the other runners started to close and it looked like they would come and take the filly but Murphy had given his mount a breather and kicked again at the three-sixteenths market to come clear and win geared down.

Lord Massusus came from far back to take the second spot with Audience in third and the chalk Chindit back in the fourth spot.

2023 Challenge Stakes Race Payouts

1. Matilda Picotte$3.00
2. Lord Massusus 
3. Audience 

WINNING TIME: 1 min 25.28 secs

Cornwallis Stakes

Grade 3 – Purse $73,000 – 5 furlongs – Turf – 2-Year-Olds

Inquisitively shows himself a colt of huge ability as he gives weight and a beating to his foes with a superb gate-to-wire win!

Inquisitively came in here as the early morning line chalk but drifted out as Flora Of Bermuda assumed that mantle. He was carrying a pretty tall reputation after having run well on his first two starts, including when third in the 2023 Listed Windsor Castle Stakes.

However, he stepped forward on that run to take the 2023 Julia Graves Roses Stakes and was bet as the chalk here, and duly opened his graded stakes account.

He looks all over a sprinter and where he goes next is open to debate. It might be that connections pull sticks or they might go to the well one more time.

Could that come in the 2023 Breeders Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint? Entries are not finalised so it will be interesting to see if they go.

He certainly fits the type of horse needed with bags of early speed, and a one-turn sprint may well suit him.

He bounced from the gates here to go gate to wire. He was shadowed early by Alabama in the two lane but when William Buick asked him to quicken at the furlong marker, the response was immediate, and he quickly widened by two lengths.

He hit the wire strong and held off a late challenge from the wayward Rosario who hung badly right, and they were in front of the big longshot Unbreak My Heart in third and Flora Of Bermuda in the fourth spot.

2023 Cornwallis Stakes Race Payouts

1. Inquisitively$4.33$1.60
2. Rosario $3.00
3. Unbreak My Heart $6.00

WINNING TIME:  59.65 secs

Oh So Sharp Stakes

Grade 3 – Purse $73,000 – 7 furlongs – Turf – 2-Year-Olds – Fillies Only

Dance Sequence secured her second win and first graded stakes victory despite still running very green!

Skellet had finished fourth on debut and came here well fancied after winning next time, but it was the Godolphin filly Dance Sequence who hit all the right notes as she took her record to two straight wins.

Her debut win came in an ordinary maiden here at Newmarket in July but this was a much tougher assignment and she passed it with flying colours.

She now looks like a real potential star for Godolphin and although she only won by a neck, that does not paint the whole picture.

She still looked very green when William Buick tried to put her into the race at the two-furlong marker and it looked like Skellet had made a race-winning move.

Newmarket’s Rowley Mile course is unique, as the horses run down into a dip two furlongs from the wire before climbing to the finish. It was at this point that Dance Sequence ran very green and became unbalanced but Buick urged his filly for more and when she hit the rising ground she rallied to get to Skellet right under the wire, and she is far from the finished article.

These two finished clear of Star Music in third and Chic Colombine in the fourth spot.

2023 Oh So Sharp Stakes Race Payouts

1. Dance Sequence$5.00$1.80
2. Skellet $1.35
3. Star Music $6.00

WINNING TIME: 1 min 26.08 secs

Pride Stakes

Grade 3 – Purse $96,750 – 1 mile 2 furlongs – Turf – 3-Year-Olds and Up – Fillies & Mares

The improving Novus makes it second time lucky against graded stakes foes, closing and widening late to secure the Grade 3 Pride Stakes!

Conditions had deteriorated further as darkness started to fall with visibility limited but that did not stop the improving Novus winning her first graded stakes race for handler Gary Moore.

Moore is better known for being a jumps trainer but the father of top jockey Ryan knows the time of day and has produced some very smart horses on the flat, and this filly looks like another.

She had won the 2023 Buccellati Handicap at Goodwood three back, beating sixteen other foes and although that gave her a speed rating of just 86, she took a step forward the next time when finishing fourth in the 2023 Grade 3 Atalanta Stakes at Sandown.

This was another jolt of improvement for the daughter of Dandy Man and she will surely be pointed at an attempt against top table foes next time.

In the race itself, she was held off the speed by Tom Queally near the rear of the packed but closed strongly as they hit the furlong marker and widened to win by two lengths from prominent racer Veil Of Shadows in second, and Rousay in third who pipped early leader Boogie Woogie for that spot.

2023 Pride Stakes Race Payouts

1. Novus$10.00$2.80
2. Veil Of Shadows $4.60
3. Rousay $3.80

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