Flying filly Glass Slippers stuns Abbaye field as Battaash disappoints
If Battaash had won the Prix de l'Abbaye by three lengths we may be talking about a performance to potentially wrestle highest-rated horse honours off Enable.
Instead Glass Slippers did and instead we are looking at a new star on the sprinting scene.
The odds-on favourite ran too badly for it to be true, and Jim Crowley was never happy. "I don't know what happened, he broke well and had a good position," he said. "He came under pressure a long way from home and I was never comfortable. He never travelled at all."
In contrast Glass Slippers travelled like a dream.
Her season may have started in inconspicuous fashion when 14th of 15 in the Fred Darling at Newbury back in April, but she has now won three on the bounce in France and at the minimum trip appears to have discovered herself.
Tom Eaves has now won three Group 1s, all in French sprints after Tangerine Trees landed this in 2011, while he partnered Brando to victory in the Prix Maurice de Gheest in 2017 for the same trainer who put him up here, Kevin Ryan.
A delighted Eaves said: "We were a bit concerned about the ground, but she jumped really well, travelled through the race well and I knew she'd stay. The team at home have kept her in tip-top shape all year, which is hard with fillies, and all she's done is improve.
"It's brilliant, I'm over the moon."
He added: "Kevin always held her in high regard, but he has minded her and picked her way through, and that was amazing. I wasn't tied down to any instructions, but she pinged the lids and I wasn't afraid to go forward."
Ryan was not present, but owner Terry Holdcroft of Bearstone Stud was, and said: "She's three out of three here now so she obviously likes the travelling. I don't think she'll run again this year, but I think we'll keep her in training next year."
So Perfect was second, with El Astronaute third, Invincible Army fourth and Mabs Cross fifth.
Emma Armstrong, who owns Mabs Cross with husband David, said: "We're very pleased. The finish line just came a touch too soon so we may look at stepping her up to six at Ascot – as was the plan – as long as it's not a bog. The line came 100 yards too soon, but we're very pleased after the disappointment of Ireland."
On Battaash, who finished 14th of 16, trainer Charlie Hills added: "I don't know what happened, I'm very surprised. He was very relaxed beforehand, went down to post great and then two out he was the first beat."
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