Tuesday, 21 June 2016

First Lady of sprinting destined for greatness

Every once in a while a horse comes along and produces a performance that manages to take the breath away from those watching.
At Royal Ascot, one such horse emerged in the form of American two-year-old filly Lady Aurelia.
Trained by Wesley Ward, a confirmed maestro when it comes to juvenile speedsters, she came into Royal Ascot with a burgeoning reputation having won her Keeneland debut with aplomb earlier this year.
In Ward's words, the Scat Daddy filly had shown herself to be 'a flying machine' in her homework but even that bullish assessment from the trainer did little to prepare an unsuspecting public for what was to come in the Queen Mary Stakes.
Lady Aurelia was typically quick in breaking from the starting stalls and led the field through the opening three furlongs under Frankie Dettori.
As they moved towards the furlong marker, her rivals might have been anticipating a slacking of the pace on soft ground from the leader but instead, they were subjected to a devastating increase of tempo as Lady Aurelia careered away from the main body of the pack.
Opening up a cavernous gap, she had the race won with a furlong still to run, giving those looking for the chance to truly appreciate what could be a racing moment for the ages.
As the majesty of what Lady Aurelia had just achieved began to set in, there was a breathless excitement around Ascot.
Some commentators were even moved to usher comparisons with the great Frankel.
With this one in her locker, Lady Aurelia is set to dominate the horse racing betting for the key sprints later this season, the Prix Morny at Deauville and the Breeder's Cup among her possible destinations.
Lady Aurelia could be a filly to dominate what is regularly a wide open division. With big fields and little ground to cover, luck in running is often a prerequisite in elite sprints.
Given that she showed her ability to burst from the gate and front run at Ascot, while also possessing the gears to raise the tempo off her own pace, fortune isn't necessarily a commodity this potential superstar is going to be reliant on.
Not alone was she seven-lengths clear of runner-up Al Johrah at the post, but that rival managed to put another two-and-a-half-lengths between herself and the remaining 15 runners at Ascot.
Such margins could prove exceptionally difficult to bridge amid the helter-skelter of a five-furlong sprint.
In time, the next challenge now for Lady Aurelia will be to go out and prove she can master the boys and her elders. Where and when she lines up next will be up to the master planner Ward.
What is for sure, after her Royal Ascot demolition job, Lady Aurelia has marked herself down as a potential trailblazing superstar.

Racing fans will be hoping that a new standard-bearer has been uncovered. Given the absolute authority of her Ascot success, watching her progress promises to be one of the key narratives in the months ahead.

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