Highfield Princess leads home Yorkshire-trained one-two-three; Noble Style denies Marshman

Highfield Princess enhanced the impressive record of fillies and mares in the Coolmore Wootton Bassett Nunthorpe Stakes to lead home a Yorkshire-trained one-two-three in the Friday feature at York.

Trained locally in Malton by John Quinn, the versatile five-year-old was making just her second start over the minimum trip and was bagging her second Group One victory in the space of a fortnight having scooped the Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville earlier this month.

Richard Fahey's The Platinum Queen blazed a trail off a featherweight of 8st in the hands of Hollie Doyle and looked set to become the first juvenile filly since Lyric Fantasy in 1992 to waltz away with this Group One prize.

But Jason Hart and Highfield Princess (5-1) soon loomed large in the shadows to put her perfect blend of speed and stamina to expert use in the closing stages and storm to a going-away two-and-a-half-length victory.

The victory means she is the first horse since Handsome Sailor in 1988 to follow up victory in York's 1895 Duke of York Stakes with the Nunthorpe and she was cut to 7-2 from 8-1 for Haydock's Betfair Sprint Cup by the race sponsor to keep her Group One-winning run going next month.

However, Quinn is favouring one more run in France before heading to America for the Breeders' Cup meeting in the autumn.

He said: "She didn't run at two and it took her quite a while to learn her trade. She won three races as a three-year-old and then last year she won at Royal Ascot and she was placed in several Group races. This year she won the All-Weather Final at Newcastle and then we said we'd run in the Duke of York and she romped up.

"She ran very well at Royal Ascot and then she won well in France 12 days ago. She's come back and won really well here.

"We put her in the Foret and the Abbaye, so all being well two more runs - Foret or Abbaye, and the Breeders' Cup.

"I'm delighted to have her."

Hart admitted that while the duo's Deauville victory meant a lot, a Group One win on Yorkshire turf was even more special.

He said: "She gave me my first Group One winner a couple of weeks ago and it probably means more today to do it on home soil. She deserved it.

"I was really confident, the two-year-old was giving us a nice tow and I thought I'd be able to pick her up whenever I wanted really. I thought if I could just hold her together for the middle part of the race she'd finish her race off.

"She's definitely getting quicker."

Noble style powers home to deny Marshman

Noble Style kept his unbeaten record intact when coming from last to first to land the Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Gimcrack Stakes at York.

Made ante-post favourite for the Coventry Stakes having downed Walbank at Ascot on debut, the Charlie Appleby-trained son of Kingman has made up for missing that Royal Ascot engagement by impressing at Newmarket and showing his class in this first taste of Group action on the Knavesmire.

Held up in rear and shadowing Richmond Stakes winner Royal Scotsman in the early stages, William Buick was willing to bide his time as eventual runner-up Marshman disputed matters with his Karl Burke stablemate Cold Case on the front end.

Noble Truth ridden by William Buick

Clifford Lee made his move for home first and the 9-4 favourite looked set to justify his lofty reputation.

But Buick soon got Noble Style (3-1) motoring and it was the 525,000 guineas buy who was doing his best work late and flew home to land the spoils, with the front pair pulling well clear of the third Cold Case.

Appleby said: "After his Ascot win all roads were leaning towards Royal Ascot, but two weeks out we just weren't happy with him. There was no issue there, but he just wasn't the same horse as he was prior to his maiden success.

"I'm very lucky to be able to make the call and give this horse the time that was needed, then we took him to Newmarket and he won there, after which some people might have thought he'd regressed.

"We were very happy with how the horse came out of it - physically you could see how much improvement was there - and he galloped earlier in the week and looked as good as we've ever seen him.

"We came in here with confidence, but there was plenty of strength in depth in the race today, he had to go and do it and he did it well. The nice thing about him is he goes through the line well.

"He will step up to seven furlongs at some stage, but as we all know the next couple of weeks is an important time for the two-year-olds. They start to sort themselves out and find their feet and there's important races coming up soon.

"I suppose the National Stakes can be put into the melting pot, but there's a couple more horses to come out and whether this horse might be able to do it again over six in the Middle Park and we step up at a later stage, or whether we step up to seven on his next start - it's a healthy discussion to have."

Bookmakers took a positive view of his Classic chance in the 2000 Guineas, with Betfair going 7-1 from 16-1, and Coral 10-1 from 16s.

Appleby added: "I see no reason why he won't stay a mile (in the Guineas). He's got a pedigree that suggests that he'll get it for sure and he does it all very nicely."

Burke said of his runners: "They are two lovely colts and we have a lot to look forward to with them.

"Who knows, maybe running just seven days after Thirsk made the difference for Marshman as he had a real good blow. Although he won very easily he had a race. I think there's more to come from him, maybe ridden a bit differently. Cliff said he was still pretty green when he was on his own. All credit to the winner, he looks a very good horse.

"I said all along I thought Cold Case was very good. He was my favourite through the winter and I think he's got a big future. Possibly he might go to the Mill Reef next.

"I'm not sure where Marshman will go, I'll have a sit down with Nick (Bradley, owner) and discuss it. We've got some nice two-year-olds.

"Maybe I left the Gimcrack at Thirsk, who knows, but he'll win a big one soon."

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