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Champions Series dark horse: Cashla Bay

8 Feb 2017

Could this 1000 Guineas contender actually be better suited to sprinting?

Cashla Bay trainer John Gosden

Cashla Bay could give trainer John Gosden a headache. Pic: racingfotos.com

CASHLA BAY

Trainer: John Gosden
Form: 21

The big, scopey Cashla Bay is one to look forward to this year, for all that she might represent something of a trainer’s challenge in terms of her best distance.

A daughter of Fastnet Rock, she made her debut in a 6f maiden at Haydock in mid-October and shaped with bags of promise in finishing three quarters of a length second to Eartha Kitt, the favourite, who had the benefit of a previous run, with Classical Times, who subsequently run well in Listed company, almost two lengths further back in third.

Cashla Bay, who had changed hands for 220,000gns as a yearling, looked in need of that experience and showed the benefit of that outing in a 7f maiden at Newmarket 15 days later – asserting in the closing stages from a dozen rivals.

A couple of bookmakers quote her at 50-1 for the QIPCO 1000 Guineas at Newmarket on May 7 but it would not be a surprise if she drops back in distance and instead makes her mark as a sprinter.

Gosden observed last year that she has plenty of pace and she is out of the speedy Rose Blossom, who won in Group 3 company over 6f for Richard Fahey in 2010.

Can Cashla Bay match the exploits of another filly, Quiet Reflection, who lit up the QIPCO British Champions Series last year with wins in the Commonwealth Cup and 32Red Sprint Cup?

It is asking a lot, but we will know more after she has had another run or two. Stan James make her 40-1 for the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot on June 23.