God Given talent shines through in Park Hill Stakes

Thursday, Sep 13 2018

God Given rediscovered the winning trail with a narrow verdict in the DFS Park Hill Stakes at Doncaster.

Luca Cumani’s filly was beaten just a short head by the reopposing Horseplay in the Lancashire Oaks at Haydock in July before finishing fourth behind Pilaster, the 6-5 favourite for this Group Two affair, in the Lillie Langtry at Goodwood.

Having finished third in a French Group Two on her most recent outing, God Given was a 5-1 shot under Jamie Spencer and made her move racing inside the final quarter-mile.

Horseplay held a narrow advantage racing inside the final furlong, but God Given wore her down to gain her revenge by a neck.

Having been held up last by Andrea Atzeni, Pilaster made late headway to finish a clear third, with Flattering faring best of Aidan O’Brien’s two Irish raiders in fourth.

Cumani said: “After the Lillie Langtry, when she was a bit keen in front, we thought we’d have to be a bit careful over this mile-six and as there was a leisurely pace with the Aidan O’Brien second string, we just sat away and went and did battle on the straight.

“It was a battle and an exciting race. All the more exciting because we won.”

He added: “Ascot (Champions Day, Fillies and Mares Stakes) next. The plan was if she didn’t win today we’d have gone to France form a Group Two on Arc weekend, but now she’s got that Group Two there’s no point.

“Her last race will be at Ascot and then she’ll probably go to stud and make beautiful babies.”

Andrew Balding said of runner-up Horseplay: “She’s run a great race. Obviously the 3lb penalty has paid, but she battled all the way and I’m delighted with her.

“Hopefully we’ll have a Group One opportunity with her in the autumn, possibly in Canada, the Canadian International.”

Roger Varian added of third-placed Pilaster: “The lack of pace hindered us. She was closest at the finish and just got out-sprinted a little bit.

“We’d like to go to Ascot for the Group One on Champions Day. It’s likely it will be on easier ground, which will suit her. Though it’s down in trip, it will probably be more of a test than today was.”



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