Alice Springs claims Sun Chariot glory for Aidan O'Brien
Published 01/10/2016 | 19:21
Alice Springs gained a third Group One success of the season when seeing off the determined challenge of Always Smile in the Kingdom of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket.
Sent off the 13-8 favourite after blitzing a good field in the Matron Stakes on Irish Champions Weekend, Aidan O'Brien's filly was not as impressive on this occasion.
Arabian Queen tried to make all, but Always Smile and then Alice Springs swooped past. It initially looked as if Ryan Moore was going to run out an easy winner on the market leader, but Saeed bin Suroor's four-year-old made her pull out all the stops.
Three-quarters of a length separated them at the line, with Ervedya staying on strongly but too late in the day to claim third.
Moore said: "She picked up very well and she was just dossing a little bit when I got serious with her but she found a bit more. She is a very good filly.
"She is very well balanced. She won here as a two-year-old, was fourth in the Cheveley Park and third in a Guineas. She has had plenty of racing and is very professional."
Having already proved she is adept at long-distance travelling when running well at the Breeders' Cup last year, that meeting is once again on her agenda and a clash with Royal Ascot winner Tepin.
"She was second in the juvenile fillies' race last year when the ground went soft," said Moore.
"It was not ideal for her. Santa Anita will suit her but Tepin will be hard to beat."
O'Brien said: "She is an unbelievable filly. She is a real big powerhouse now. She has gone very pacey and has a lot of speed. She is a very exciting filly.
"Deauville (when well beaten) that's the past. She travels very strong and quickens very well. She might go to America for the Breeders' Cup Mile.
"She ran very well at Keeneland last year and is a very professional filly.
"She got there travelling very well. Ryan seemed to be very happy. His body language looked happy. We were delighted with her really. She is a very good filly."