Vividly in the picture for Goodwood return

Hills filly on an upward curve

  • Thursday 01 August
  • News
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Charlie Hills will seek to clinch Pattern-race glory with Vividly on her next start following her victory in the Markel Insurance British EBF Maiden Fillies’ Stakes at Goodwood.

Having finished third on debut at Newbury last month, the daughter of Charm Spirit boxed on tenaciously to hold off Craylands by a short head in the seven-furlong contest, which was won in 2016 by subsequent Group One scorer Rhododendron.

A return to the Sussex track looks to be on the agenda for the Khalid Abdullah-owned filly, with the Lambourn handler hinting at an outing in next month’s Group Three Ladbrokes Prestige Stakes.

Hills said: “She has got a lovely way about her. I was really worried about the draw in 16, as over seven furlongs at Goodwood that is never a good place to be.

“I thought Kieran (Shoemark) gave him a wonderful ride and hats off to him. Ever since her first run she has been a changed filly. I think racing has done her the world of good.

“The form of her Newbury race has worked out well – Kieran gave her a nice ride there and it was a lovely introduction.

“I think we will come back for the Prestige, as she seemed to handle the track well.”

Owner Rob Ferguson was out of luck with Visinari in the Vintage Stakes on Tuesday, but he enjoyed a winner before heading back to Australia after Governor Of Punjab completed a hat-trick in the Telegraph Nursery Handicap.

Charlie Johnston, son of winning trainer Mark, said of the 9-2 chance: “It is great for Rob as he and a squad of Aussies all came over to the meeting and were a little deflated on Tuesday so it is fantastic this one went in today.

“He got a fairly hefty bump coming out of the stalls and ended up two or three lengths further back than was ideal. He is a big horse and will get a mile sooner rather than later.

“Hopefully he will prove better than handicap company. The Stonehenge Stakes is a race we we like to target and we have a couple of other possibles for that, but he has thrown his hat in the ring.”

Tom Clover celebrated his first ever winner at the meeting after Celsius (11-2) made it four wins from five starts this season with a short-head verdict in the Tatler Handicap.

The Newmarket handler said: “It’s terrific. Gelding this horse has helped him, as has the tongue tie, and the lad who rides him at home as helped a huge amount.

“When he was rated 58 I told the owners he was a nice horse and they looked at me a bit sideways. He has proven he is a nice horse now. They preserved with me and the horse and I’m so glad it has paid off.”

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