All roads lead to Champions Day at Ascot on October 15 for Quiet Reflection after her superb success in the 32Red Sprint Cup at Haydock today.
Karl Burke’s star filly won the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot and has been aimed at this prize since her third in the July Cup. With the Newmarket winner Limato ruled out on account of the rain-softened ground, Quiet Reflection was sent off the 7-2 favourite and made the most of his absence.
She travelled sweetly under regular pilot Dougie Costello in the tough conditions and responded in an instant when asked for her effort.
Quickening to the front, she raced away to cross the line a length and three-quarters ahead of the staying-on The Tin Man, with Suedois third.
“I’ve never ridden anything like it and probably never will again,” Costello said. “She’s push-button go. She won as she liked, she’s the real deal.
“She was fresh today and between the five and the three I was running away. I got there a little bit sooner than I’d liked.
“I’ve been lucky enough to get a big one in the bag.
“She’s such a simple filly to ride. It was almost like a good piece of work.
“It will be interesting next year when she gets stronger. She’s a filly you only come across once.
“Jordan looks after her at home. I’m not allowed to ride her. I’m sure he’ll get a chance on her at some stage.
“Whatever happens now, I’m just enjoying it.”
Burke said: “That was a great performance. I knew she’d improved and strengthened. She’s such a straightforward filly.
“Jordan (Vaughan) does a brilliant job riding her, but I told him he had to go to Kempton to ride Georgian Bay and he’s just got done a head in a 60 grand handicap.
“The whole team have done a great job and there’s the farrier Andy Grant. He’s done a fantastic job all year with her feet. They haven’t been the best.
“I know we wanted a bit of rain, but I was a bit worried when it got this soft as I thought it might play into the hands of the older horses.
“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.
“She’ll go to Ascot next for the Champions Sprint and I’m praying she stays well and sound so she can stay in training next year.”
James Fanshawe was delighted with the performance of slowly-away The Tin Man, who is set for a rematch with Quiet Reflection at Ascot, for which the filly was cut to 4-1 joint-favourite from 12-1 with Paddy Power and to 9-2 from 11-1 with RaceBets.
The Newmarket trainer said: “He ran really well. Obviously we were concerned about the ground, but he’s run with great credit. He’ll go to Ascot now.”
David O’Meara will probably send Suedois abroad in search of picking up a big prize.
He said: “I’m really happy with him to be placed in another Group One. He’s very consistent and very tough.
“We’ll give him a little break and look for something abroad at the back-end.”
Dancing Star, who had been supplemented for this race, will be put away for the year after failing to handle the soft ground.
Trainer Andrew Balding said of the Stewards’ Cup winner: “Franny (Norton) said she travelled well but when he let her down she struggled in the ground, so he looked after her.
“We’ll put her away for next year. We’ll start at a realistic level and work from there.”