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Monday, 17 December, 2018

Queen Kitty pounces on Ascot rivals for 'brilliant' Dascombe

Ceiling Kitty lands the Queen Mary to show she was definitely worth keeping hold of
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With five days to go to Royal Ascot, we travel back to 2012 when Tom Dascombe was attempting to land a first Group race victory at the meeting with two runners in the Queen Mary Stakes

There's nothing better for a trainer than scoring with a filly owned and bred by your main patron – it's just as well you didn't sell her!

That could have happened with Ceiling Kitty, who was bred at Andrew Black's Chasemore Farm and made her first public appearance in the sale ring as a yearling.

"I said she's a guaranteed winner so he bought her back," Dascombe recalls, "Thank god he did!"

However, the 16,000gns bid to bring the filly home didn't pay immediate dividends.

"We thought she would win first time out at Kempton and she got beaten," Dascombe remembers. "Then we took her to Beverley on soft ground and she hated it."

Although she put the record straight by scoring at Kempton and followed up in Listed company at York, Ceiling Kitty was an unconsidered 20-1 chance for the Queen Mary Stakes in which her yard was double handed.

"Upward Spiral had won at Sandown and we sold her to Qatar," Dascombe recalls. "Ceiling Kitty was the only Listed winner in the race but the other one was second favourite and I thought Upward Spiral would possibly finish in front, she had a touch of class."

But jockey Richard Kingscote wasn't about to give best to a stablemate.

"Richard gave her a brilliant ride," Dascombe says. "While the others were all thinking about who was going to go first, he committed and sent her for home. She drifted across the track a bit but it never looked in doubt from there.

"She was blisteringly fast. But she never really went on from that, she was relatively small and she was as good in the June of her two-year-old career as she was ever going to be in the rest of her life."

Emotional postscript? 

Ceiling Kitty went to stud and was fatally injured giving birth to a foal earlier this year but she could well have a hand in this year's Queen Mary as daughter Formidable Kitt is bidding to land a poignant success.

Dascombe says: "Formidable Kitt is very similar to her mother, she's got plenty of body shape even though she's not over big and she's clearly faster than all our other fillies at home.

"She wants fast ground, which it looks as though we're going to get, and I wouldn't swap her for another horse."

I said she's a guaranteed winner so he bought her back. Thank god he did!
E.W. Terms
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