Hong Kong now on the radar for Blond Me after Woodbine success
Andrew Balding on Monday spoke of the sense of pride at his Kingsclere stable following Blond Me's Grade 1 success in Canada on Sunday.
The five-year-old wore down Kitten's Roar on the soft ground at a windswept Woodbine to land the $500,000 Grade 1 EP Taylor Stakes under Oisin Murphy, who was winning his second top-level contest this month.
Blond Me won the Group 2 Middleton Stakes in the summer but Balding had long hoped she had the talent to make the breakthrough at the highest level, and in doing so she may have set up a trip to Hong Kong on December.
"It was a great effort by the horse, rider and whole team in general," said Balding. "She's been knocking on the door of winning a big one for a while and I was very pleased for her and [owner] Barbara Keller that she's finally done it.
"It's great for the team because she's been here since she was a yearling and so there's a great sense of achievement for everyone.
"We were hoping she'd run well enough to warrant an invitation to Hong Kong and that that would be her finale, as it were. That would be a fun trip if she gets invited, which I'd hope she will now."
Balding added there was not a decision yet as to whether she would run in the Cup or Vase.
The trainer also praised Murphy, who had bagged his first Group 1 courtesy of Aclaim in the Prix de la Foret on Arc day.
"Oisin has come a long way in a very short space of time, but at the same time it's taken him a little while to ride a Group 1 winner, considering he's had a few chances," said Balding.
"It's great for him and I'm sure this is only the second of many Group and Grade 1 wins."
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