Raven’s Lady takes flight at York for Group Three prize

Botti filly holds Pretty Baby in thrilling finish

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Raven’s Lady put up a career-best performance to take Group Three honours in the William Hill Summer Stakes at York.

Beaten at Listed level in her two previous races, Raven’s Lady enjoyed the straight six furlongs on the Knavesmire to reverse Nottingham form with Pretty Baby.

The latter and Could It Be Love dominated the betting and battled for the lead in the centre of the course.

Gerald Mosse brought Raven’s Lady (16-1) with a well-timed run, and had the stands rail to guide her.

With her tongue hanging out, Raven’s Lady hit the front over a furlong out, but a rallying Pretty Baby had reduced the deficit to a rapidly-diminishing short head at the line.

Pepita was a length and a half away in third place.

“I’m thrilled. I thought it was going to be a tough race and I didn’t think we could beat the favourite (Could It Be Love), but she is a tough filly and tries very hard,” said Botti.

“Gerald Mosse gave her a brilliant ride. He got her in a nice rhythm.

“To win a Group Three with this filly is amazing.

“I’m delighted for all the team involved and I believe it’s the first Group-race win for Heart Of The South Racing and I’m sure they will have a big celebration.”

Botti is now eyeing a Group Two race over six furlongs in Germany for Raven’s Lady.

“We have entered her in a Group Two in Baden-Baden at the end of August,” he said.

“That could perhaps be a nice race after today. We were aiming for more black type and now she has won this race we will look at a Group Two.”

Trained by Aidan O’Brien, Irish 1,000 Guineas runner-up Could It Be Love was sent off the 13-8 market leader but could only finish eighth of the nine runners.

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