The Juddmonte Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket is the next likely target for Raffle Prize following her narrow defeat in the Prix Morny at Deauville.
Having won the Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot and the Duchess of Cambridge Stakes at Newmarket on her two previous starts, the daughter of Slade Power was sent off favourite on Sunday to beat the boys in France, but was just denied by Andre Fabre’s unbeaten colt Earthlight.
Mark Johnston’s filly still managed to comprehensively beat Clive Cox’s Richmond Stakes winner Golden Horde, Aidan O’Brien’s Coventry hero Arizona and Simon Crisford’s Norfolk Stakes and Prix Robert Papin winner A’Ali – and connections were proud of her performance in defeat.
Charlie Johnston, assistant to his father, said: “It’s always frustrating to finish second, but we left Deauville knowing we’ve got the best filly in Europe – and there was no disgrace at all in her performance.
“She’s won the two best juvenile fillies races of the year, and finished second in the best all-sex race.
“She’s a very consistent, top-class filly. She obviously goes on all sorts of ground, but I do think she’s better on better ground.
“If the ground had been better I think she might have beaten the winner, but it might have brought the other British and Irish horses closer to her.”
Raffle Prize’s continued progression marks her out.
Johnston added: “She’s an amazing filly, because usually when they win a two-year-old race at Royal Ascot that is as good as they are – but she improved between Ascot and Newmarket, and certainly her work suggested she’d improved again between Newmarket and Deauville.
“We’ve now got to try and make sure she’s in the same form at Newmarket in six weeks’ time.
“There’s no obvious stepping stone, unless we were to take on the colts again, so I’d imagine that (Cheveley Park Stakes) is the next target – and if she’s in the same form then she’ll take a lot of beating.
“If she can round off her year by winning the Cheveley Park she’ll have had an almost perfect juvenile season.”