Grotte : Castle Lady's great leap forward

14 April 2019

Photo scoopdyga.com

The fillies were off after the Prix de Fontainebleau (Gr3) on Sunday in the Prix de la Grotte (Gr3). Castle Lady (Shamardal), a representative of the Godolphin team, just like Persian King in the Colts' race, was running for the second time in her career, a month after his victorious debut, but she prevailed all the same.

Trained by Henri-Alex Pantall, she left the English raider Imperial Charm (Dubawi) take the lead from the beginning, flanked by Epistrophy (Charm Spirit), trained in Chantilly by Japanese handler Satoshi Kobayashi, whom she followed all the way to the last straight.

The favourite Lily's Candle (Style Vendome), the only Group 1 winner in the race, was getting close by the field but the leaders took off again in the final straight and offbeat, only Castle Lady was able to catch and pass them. She even took them close to two lengths while Imperial Charm and Epistrophy remained respectively second and third, separated by a length, just in front of a closing Cala Tarida (Garswood).

Note that the fillies completed their mile in 1'38''39, while Persian King crossed the pole after 1'36''42.

Castle Lady is not entered in The Emirates Poule d'Essai des Pouliches (Gr1), but it has now become a quote in her agenda. She is the second foal out of Windsor County (Elusive Quality) after Top Score (Hard Spun), 2nd to Limato in a Listed 6f event at Newmarket.

Castle Lady's 2nd dam Ascutney (Lord at War) gave Raven’s Pass (Elusive Quality), winner of the Breeders’Cup Classic (Gr1) and the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (Gr1) for Princess Haya of Jordan…