Antonia De Vega highlighted her talents in maintaining her unbeaten record with a devastating turn of foot in the Ladbrokes Prestige Stakes at Goodwood.
The Ralph Beckett-trained daughter of Lope De Vega, who holds Group One entries in the Fillies’ Mile and Moyglare Stud Stakes, followed up her debut success at Newmarket to claim an eyecatching victory in the Group Three prize – which at one staged seemed unlikely.
Despite being asked plenty of questions by Harry Bentley a fair way from the line in the seven-furlong event, the 5-2 joint-favourite responded in impressive fashion to motor past her rivals before defeating Accordance by a length and a quarter.
Bentley said: “I was travelling OK, but as I turned for home and came down the hill I was not 100 per cent with the way I was travelling. They all started to get tired in front and she just finished very strongly.
“She is already crying out for a trip and obviously that was her second run and she has done nothing wrong in both her starts.
“That will do her the world of good. There was a strong pace up front and it was good for her to be among horses. She is a very laid-back filly which makes my job easy.”
RaceBets introduced Antonia De Vega as the 16-1 second-favourite for next year’s Qipco 1000 Guineas, behind 10-1 favourite Pretty Pollyanna.
Bentley added: “She is crying out for at least another furlong, so the Fillies’ Mile looks an obvious target.”
Adam Kirby showed nerves of steel to deliver Flaming Spear from last to first in the Ladbrokes Bet £5 Get £20 Handicap.
After failing to feature in his two previous starts this season, the Dean Ivory-trained six year old returned to his best when coming with a power-packed run around the outside of the field to take the £100,000 seven-furlong event by a length and three-quarters.
Ivory said of the 4-1 winner: “The way he delivered that was great. He is a beautiful horse. I’m absolutely delighted with him.
“It was the best I’ve seen him settle. I’m thrilled for the connections and all the hard work at home. He is a bit of a thinker going in the stalls and that was my only real worry.
“Thanks to all the team behind the stalls to do that as without their perseverance today he wouldn’t have won.”
The victory completed a double on the day for the winning rider who was earlier successful aboard the Clive Cox -trained Emerald Approach in the fillies’ novice auction stakes.
Rob Hornby enjoyed his finest moment in the saddle as he gained the first Pattern-race success of his career with the victory of Maid Up in the Ladbrokes March Stakes, which was run in memory of the late John Dunlop.
Having just been touched off in the Lillie Langtry at the track earlier in the month, the daughter of Mastercraftsman gained compensation with victory in the Group Three prize.
Forcing her way between her two rivals, the 5-4 shot quickened away before defeating favourite Ben Vrackie by a length and a quarter to complete a Group-race double for winning trainer Andrew Balding, who landed the Celebration Mile with Beat The Bank.
Hornby said: “It is massive. It is a slight consolation for Glorious Goodwood. This horse has improved no end this year.
“Credit to Mr Balding, who has placed the horse beautifully and given her time, and to the Hobbys (owners) as I had my first Listed winner for them and that kick-started my career. That is is my first Group Three, so it is quite special.”
Balding said: “It is lovely to win a race named in memory of John Dunlop, he was a fabulous trainer and a lovely man. I’m really pleased and she deserved that.
“She had a hard race last time, but this was more straightforward, so that is great.”
An outing on Qipco Champions Day at Ascot could be on the cards for the three-year-old, according to owner Jeff Hobby.
He said: “I wouldn’t be keen on the Park Hill. I would be keen to take her to Champions Day.
“She is of that class and I would like to go there. We will talk about it later and see how she comes out of it.
“I think we would be keen to give it a go. We would have supplement her as she is not in anything, but she has won the money for that today.”