Highfield Princess set for battle in King George Qatar Stakes this Friday

Crack sprinter Highfield Princess will be the star attraction in the £300,000 G2 King George Qatar Stakes on Friday, August 4.

Crack sprinter Highfield Princess will be the star attraction at Glorious Goodwood, in the £300,000 G2 King George Qatar Stakes on Friday, August 4. John Quinn’s popular six-year-old reeled off a G1 hat-trick last summer, taking the Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville, the Nunthorpe Stakes at York and the Flying Five Stakes at the Curragh. The daughter of Night Of Thunder made the frame in both G1 sprints at Royal Ascot last month, finishing second to Bradsell in the King’s Stand Stakes and third to last year’s King George Qatar Stakes victor Khaadem in the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes.

Quinn said: “We were thrilled with her at Royal Ascot. Obviously, you would like to win but in the King’s Stand she ran a mighty race. She did get taken off the straight line, and there was a stewards’ enquiry but the result stood. Both her and the winner drew miles clear. 

“We left her down there to see how she was. Typical her she seemed absolutely fine, ate up and led out the next day. She had a little canter on the Thursday and led out on the Friday.

“She ran a mighty race in the Platinum Jubilee. We thought we were on the right side, as we thought the pace would be stand side, but the race evolved on the far side. She was on her own for a bit, she was in front a long way out but still ran a mighty race. We were thrilled with her to be placed in two Group Ones in five days. 

“Last year we gave her a mid-season break, which she did seem to enjoy, and we have done the same this year but instead of going to Deauville, we decided to go to Goodwood. With horses you keep bouncing the balls about and deciding where to take them. There are no easy group races over any distance, but we thought possibly that the Goodwood race might be slightly easier than the Prix Maurice de Gheest. Another factor, as you know, is that the Prix Maurice de Gheest is six and a half furlongs. She is very versatile, but her top drawer form is over five furlongs, so we thought we’d go to Goodwood and then all being well roll onto York.

“The plan is to try and win the Nunthorpe again. That has been in our mind since last year. She loves York and has run well every time she has run there. All being well after Goodwood, we go to York for the Nunthorpe and then we would hope to go back to Ireland for the Flying Five. We had possibly thought about going to Australia for the Everest but we don’t know. I wouldn’t rule out the Breeders’ Cup again and, after the Breeders’ Cup, there is the big Hong Kong Sprint in December.”

He added: “As you know well, it is a tough business. For any yard, no matter what the size, having a top-class horse is a great boost. For the people who work in the yard, and the owners in the yard.”

 (feature image, credit Dominic James)

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