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Champions Series Stars To Stud: Quiet Reflection

28 Feb 2018

This week we turn our focus to bargain buy Quiet Reflection and the adventures she provided for her syndicate

Quiet Reflection and Dougie Costello winning The 32Red Sprint Cup Stakes from The Tin Man

Flying filly Quiet Reflection wins the 32Red Sprint Cup at Haydock. Picture: Racingfotos.com

Career details:
One of the criticisms levelled at Flat racing is that there is very little room for the smaller players at the top table.

Quiet Reflection provided proof that there are exceptions to every rule. The filly was purchased for 44,000gns at the Doncaster breeze up sales in 2015 and carried the colours of Ontoawinner, a syndicate established four years earlier by Niall O’Brien and Simon Bridge.

Ontoawinner? Those who took the plunge most certainly were. Quiet Reflection, trained by Karl Burke, developed into one of the fastest horses in training as a three-year-old in 2016 when she won two of the year’s biggest sprints – the Commonwealth Cup and 32Red Sprint Cup at Haydock.

Injury problems restricted her to just three runs in 2017 but she still landed another decent prize in Ireland and when she went to the sales at Tattersalls in December she was bought by Tom Goff, of Blandford Bloodstock on behalf of MV Magnier, for 2,100,000gns.

Given she also won £657,000 in prize-money – and took all connected with her on a journey money cannot buy – it is fair to say that initial 44,000gns outlay fits very much into the “bargain buy” category.

It did not take along for Quiet Reflection to show she was something out of the ordinary. An impressive winning debut at Hamilton in July 2015 was followed by similar taking displays of speed in Listed company at Ayr and the Group 3 Cornwallis Stakes at Newmarket.

Those three wins were all achieved over five furlongs, with her one defeat coming on her second start over six furlongs in the Lowther Stakes. She did not get home at York and it seemed the minimum trip would always show her to best advantage.

However, when the daughter of Showcasing returned the following year she had clearly strengthened up and the extra furlong proved within her compass.

She won in Group 3 company on her return in softish ground at Chantilly and then zoomed home in the Sandy Lane Stakes at Haydock – lowering the track record in the process.

As a consequence she was the clear form pick for the Commonwealth Cup and she justified 7-4 favouritism by a length under Dougie Costello, the former jump jockey, without having to show improvement.

She enhanced her reputation when a creditable third to Limato on rattling quick ground in the Darley July Cup at Newmarket and then, back on a soft surface at Haydock, took her form to a new level by routing 13 rivals in the Sprint Cup.

Quiet Reflection signed off the season with a below-par seventh in the QIPCO British Champions Sprint Stakes at Ascot – her stable was a little out of sorts at the time – and was again not at her best on her reappearance in the Temple Stakes at Haydock.

Frustratingly, a setback afterwards kept her off track for four months but she returned with a fluent win in the Group 3 Renaissance Stakes at Naas.

That success hinted she may bow out with a bang on Champions Day but she wilted in the final furlong and trailed home ninth of the 12 runners.

Career highlight:

Quiet Reflection’s connections were on cloud nine at Royal Ascot but, in terms of form, her victory in the 32Red Sprint Cup at Haydock at the expense of older rivals was the highlight of her career.

Sent off the 7-2 favourite in a field of 14, her backers never really had a moment’s concern as she powered along on the bridle under Dougie Costello and quickly put her stamp on the race when required.

Well served by the soft ground, Quiet Reflection won by a length and three quarters from The Tin Man, who stayed on without being able to land a blow. The runner-up subsequently won at Ascot on Champions Day and also landed the 2017 Diamond Jubilee Stakes.

What they said:

Dougie Costello said before Quiet Reflection won the Commonwealth Cup: “I had a Ducati 1098 for two years before my daughter came along and my wife made me get rid of it. The way Quiet Reflection took off when I pushed the button at Haydock is probably the closest acceleration I’ve ever felt to it since.

“She was breathtaking and it wasn’t a fluke. If she turns up in the same form, I can’t see her getting beat. I’m over the moon to have an opportunity to ride a filly like her, especially at such a turning point in my career. It’s what dreams are made of.”

After she had won the 32Red Sprint Cup, Karl Burke said: “She’s just got speed to burn. She travels well and is so relaxed. She blows when she works but when she runs she doesn’t turn a hair.”

What should we expect from her offspring?:

In short, speed.

Quiet Reflection was all about pace, much as her pedigree indicated. Her sire,Showcasing, by speed influefluece Oasis Dream, raced exclusively over 6f and wion the Gimcrack as a two-year-old, while her dam My Delirium was a 6f winner as a juvenile out of two-year-old 5f winner Clare Hills.

Everything about Quiet Reflection and her breeding points to her progeny being quick learners. Do not be surprised if they shine as two-year-olds before training on.

Will she produce something that stays beyond 6f? That will depend on the stallions who visit her and whether they can add some stamina into the mix.

When it comes to equine genetics, there are few certainties.