Dermot Weld: prefers Royal Ascot to Classic contests for Princess HighwayPICTURE: Caroline Norris
Weld and Smullen team up to take Blue Winds
Report: Naas, Wednesday
Irish Stallion Farms E.B.F. Blue Winds Stakes (Group 3) 1m2f, 3yo+
PRINCESS HIGHWAY continued her ascent up the ranks with a convincing victory under jockey Pat Smullen.
Trained by Dermot Weld, Princess Highway had failed to fire on her sole start as a juvenile before stepping up to beat subsequent Cheshire Oaks second Betterbetterbetter at Leopardstown in March.
The well-backed Aloof made the running with Princess Highway tracking and rounding the home turn Smullen pushed his mount into the lead.
The fancied pair of Was and Shebellaboth came under pressure as Smullen kicked on and could only plug on at one pace as the Moyglare Stud-owned Princess Highway claimed success by a length from Aaraas.
The winner, a daughter of Street Cry, holds entries in both the Etihad Airways Irish 1,000 Guineas and Darley Irish Oaks but is likely to head for the Ribblesdale at Royal Ascot - a race that last year's Blue Winds winner Banimpire also won.
Weld said: "We won the Ribbledale with this filly's dam and that race would look the logical step for her. She's a nice filly and Royal Ascot is the plan."