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Monday, 10 December, 2018

Harrington breaks new ground as Chicas becomes first North American runner

Jessica Harrington: trainer's Chicas Amigas was a winner at the Curragh last time
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Preview: Canada, Sunday (9.26pm BST)

Woodbine: Natalma Stakes (Grade 1) 1m | turf | 2yo fillies

Jessica Harrington has conquered the Cheltenham Festival and Royal Ascot and now arguably the world's leading dual-purpose trainer has North America in her sights.

Harrington, who has won Cheltenham's big three races and expertly handled star Flat filly Alpha Centauri this term, fields her first North American runner courtesy of Qatar Racing's new signing Chicas Amigas, who steps up in trip having won over six furlongs at the Curragh last month.

"She travelled well," reported work-rider Andrew Leigh. "We sent her for a lovely little trot for a circuit, and then had a four-furlong slow canter. We have an all-weather surface back home, so she'll be used to that."

Chicas Amigas's rivals in the £147,059 contest include Godolphin's consistent Group-placed filly La Pelosa, the mount of Jamie Spencer.

"She brings a good level of form to the race and I feel the step up to a mile is going to suit her," said trainer Charlie Appleby.

Mintd, formerly trained in Ireland by Willie McCreery, appears the pick of the US runners on her debut for top turf trainer Chad Brown.

Also on Sunday (10.30pm BST)

Woodbine: Summer Stakes (Grade 1) 1m | turf | 2yo

Oisin Murphy, who rides Chicas Amigas, aims to continue his fine year on Federal Law, who also runs in the maroon silks of the rider's employer Qatar Racing.

Trained in Lambourn by Archie Watson, he was beaten at Chelmsford last time but was a ready winner at Salisbury in July.

Another Brown runner, Fog Of War, could, however, prove hard to beat.

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She brings a good level of form to the race, and I feel the step up to one mile is going to suit her
E.W. Terms
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