Squash is expected to run well at Lingfield Park tomorrow, Thursday, October 27, when she steps up to a mile for the first time in the Listed 32Red EBF Stallions Fleur de Lys Fillies’ Stakes (3.10pm).
The £40,000 Polytrack contest is a Fast-Track Qualifier for the seven-furlong £150,000 32Red Fillies & Mares Championships at Lingfield Park on Finals Day, Good Friday, April 14, 2017.
Three-year-old Squash, who is trained in Newmarket by Charlie McBride, came home a close third at the Surrey course on her latest start in the Group Three Betfred Chartwell Fillies’ Stakes over seven furlongs on Polytrack in May.
She filled the runner-up spot over the same trip on turf in the G3 Nell Gwyn Stakes at Newmarket in April, but was nearly brought down when clipping heels in the Listed 32 Red Spring Cup, also over seven furlongs at Lingfield Park, in March.
Oisin Murphy takes the ride on the daughter of Pastoral Pursuits, who races in the famous silks of the Budgett family which were carried to Derby success by Blakeney and Morston.
Owner/breeder Chris Budgett commented today: “Squash was given the summer off because the ground got a bit hard for her.
“She needed a break anyway after a long campaign but has come back fresh and well and we hope that she is good enough to win.
“When we started out with her, we felt that she would be a six-furlong filly but she proved better over seven and, as she has matured, it looks like she may progress further over a mile.
“We always knew that Squash was very good and I was a tad disappointed that she was beaten a head in the Bosra Sham Stakes at Newmarket this time last year, when she finished like a train.
“This is a trial and, if she stays the mile, it opens up lots of options for us. It depends how she gets on tomorrow but we have a race in France next month in mind for her.”
A maximum field of 12 for the 32Red EBF Stallions Fleur de Lys Fillies’ Stakes also features Volunteer Point (Mick Channon/Graham Gibbons), pictured winning last season’s £150,000 32Red Fillies & Mares Championships on Good Friday, and Muffri’Ha (William Haggas/Pat Cosgrave), successful in the G3 Darley Stakes on turf at Newmarket on October 8.
Mise En Rose (Charlie Appleby/William Buick) has twice been runner-up at G3 level this year, while Johara (Henri-Francois Devin/Shane Kelly) travels over from France.
Thursday’s card at Lingfield Park, the start of the fourth All-Weather Championships, also features the £40,000 32Red EBF Stallions River Eden Fillies’ Stakes (4.20pm, 12 runners) over a mile and five furlongs. The 12 starters are all going for their first Listed victory and include Last Tango In Paris (Hughie Morrison/Frederik Tylicki), a neck runner-up in Listed company at Saint-Cloud in July and Hereawi (Ralph Beckett), who is by Dubawi and out of 2008 Oaks heroine Look Here.
The programme gets underway at 1.40pm and concludes at 5.20pm