The Platinum Queen connections not ruling out step up in trip next season

The Platinum Queen's connections are mulling over race options for next season after a disappointing end to an otherwise excellent campaign at the Breeders' Cup.

Richard Fahey's filly won three of her first four starts in juvenile company before justifying the bold decision of the Middleham Park Racing team to supplement for the Nunthorpe at York by finishing second to the three years older Highfield Princess.

The Platinum Queen subsequently sparked scenes of wild celebration in the ParisLongchamp winner's enclosure with victory in last month's Prix de l'Abbaye, but was unable to replicate that performance at Keeneland - trailing home 11th of the 12 runners in Friday's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint.

Tom Palin, racing manager for the owners, admits fears about her wide draw in stall 12 proved well founded - but rather than being caught up in the deflation of a fruitless trip Stateside, he is keen to reflect on a memorable year as a whole.

"Our task was made pretty hard before most of us got on a plane with that draw, 12 of 12, and unfortunately things just didn't work out," he said.

"She is a bit one dimensional in that we kind of need to go forward and when you're drawn that wide it does force your hand really and we just ended up getting involved in a speed battle.

"The winner (Mischief Magic) was last after a furlong and I think the second (Dramatised) was third-last at that stage. The ones that were on the front end ended up pretty much bringing up the rear.

"If we were drawn four and ended up on the rail and in the box seat she might have handled the bend a bit better and we might not have had to use as much horse early as we did.

"Anything that could go wrong did go wrong, but at least so much went wrong you can easily put a line through it. It just wasn't to be on the day."

While The Platinum Queen's blistering speed ought to prove a potent weapon in all the top five-furlong races next season, Palin is not ruling out the possibility of stepping up in trip.

The Sandy Lane Stakes at Haydock, a key trial for the Commonwealth Cup, is an obvious starting point.

Palin added: "You might think about starting her out in a Sandy Lane, even though she'd have to carry a Group One penalty in that and it's obviously six furlongs.

"Her season will most likely really revolve around races like the Nunthorpe, the Flying Five, the Abbaye and potentially back to the Breeders' Cup, but you might have a little look at six furlongs.

"She's already done things very few horses do. She finished second in the Nunthorpe behind the champion European sprinter-elect and became the first two-year-old to win the Abbaye since 1978.

"From the start of June she's taken us to just about every major festival in the northern hemisphere - Royal Ascot, Glorious Goodwood, the Ebor meeting at York, the Leger meeting at Doncaster, the Arc meeting and the Breeders' Cup.

"To have a runner at each of those in an owner's lifetime is very special, but for one horse to do it in the same season is very special.

"She's danced every dance and what a pleasure she was to be involved with during her two-year-old career."

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