Aloe Vera proves the Height Of Fashion at Goodwood

Exciting times ahead for Beckett filly

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Aloe Vera looked a filly with immense potential when running out an emphatic winner of the Height Of Fashion Stakes at Goodwood.

Coming straight from a maiden success at Chepstow just three weeks ago, the Ralph Beckett-trained three-year-old took the step up to Listed company in her stride as she pulled clear of the opposition in the final half-furlong.

Harry Bentley had the daughter of Invincible Spirit tucked away towards the rear, with Shambolic making the running in the 10-furlong affair after being bustled along by Frankie Dettori to get to the lead before the first furlong.

Shambolic kept on well when the challengers came thick and fast in the straight – but could not compete with Aloe Vera (11-4), who had plenty in the tank.

She went on to win by three lengths, with Shambolic holding Love So Deep by a neck for the runner-up spot.

Beckett explained why Aloe Vera had not raced as a two-year-old.

He said: “She was just a bit green and awkward last year and we couldn’t really train her. She was too backward. It was one step forward and one step back all year.

“We never got her on the gallops, so she doesn’t know very much. She will have learnt a lot today and this race fitted well from Chepstow.

“We felt she worked well in between and was thriving.”

He added: “I’ll have a chat with Kirsten Rausing (owner-breeder) and work out what to do next.

“She will get further, but it looks like she doesn’t need to at the minute.”

Richard Hannon unleashed a useful-looking juvenile in the shape of Wild Thunder, who took the European Breeders Fund EBF Novice Stakes by a stylish three-quarters of a length.

Hannon said of the Saeed Manana-owner 10-1 winner, who is by his former 2000 Guineas hero Night Of Thunder: “He is a lovely colt. He showed a lovely attitude today. He will get seven and will go a mile.

“Ascot can be very fast ground and it can happen very quick, they can have a hard race and this horse is just coming along now. We will speak to the owner and see what he thinks.

“He might well turn up at Ascot, we will see how it pans over the next month or so.”

“If ours win first time out they are pretty good.”

David Loughnane celebrated his first winner at the course and first since marrying his partner Sarah earlier this month after Apex King (10-1) finished to good effect in the Three Friday Nights Handicap.

Loughnane said: “He went to All-Weather Finals Day and I thought he would have won the apprentice race. That was our Derby day, but he reared up in the stalls.

“Last time he came here our apprentice rode him and he was a bit keen and gassy and he got there a bit too soon.

“Today was the plan. He was entered in the July sales as a back-up, but I can assure you he won’t be going there now.”

Owner-breeder James Stewart saw his decision to keep Spirit Of Appin (16-1) rewarded with his Oisin Murphy-ridden daughter of Champs Elysees defying top-weight in the British EBF Premier Fillies’ Handicap.

Winning trainer Brian Meehan said: “She had a wonderful spring and a great preparation. We were quite confident coming here.”

Wedding Blue (4-1) looked a horse with plenty more to offer in making light work of his opening mark of 79 in the Jim Barry Handicap, to give Murphy a double.

Emma Balding, mother of winning trainer, Andrew, said: “He travelled into it beautifully and it does help when a horse helps you. Andrew will make a plan with the connections.

“The horse wouldn’t want to go too much further (than nine furlongs), as that was just about right. He is a nice horse in the making.”

Dettori and John Gosden had compensation for the defeat of Shambolic, with Terebellum (2-1 favourite) catching the eye when storming home on her debut in the British European Breeders Fund EBF Maiden Fillies’ Stakes.

Winning in a slightly faster time than the Height Of Fashion race, the three-year-old was never far off the pace set by Maamora before being unleashed two furlongs.

She put the race to bed in a matter of strides to cross the line four and a half lengths clear of Maamora. The winner’s stablemate Promissory also shaped well by staying on for third place.

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