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Quinn hails 'phenomenal' Highfield Princess after landing unique Group 1 treble

Highfield Princess: blew her rivals away in the Flying Five Stakes
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Sunday: Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Flying Five Stakes, Curragh

An already remarkable rise to stardom for Highfield Princess became yet more extraordinary in the Flying Five Stakes, as the sensational mare pulverised her Curragh rivals to complete an unprecedented treble of international Group 1 sprints in just five weeks.

Trainer John Quinn hailed the star five-year-old as "one of the best sprinting fillies in the world" after his phenomenal improver became the first horse to win Sunday's Al Basti Equiworld Dubai-backed prize, the Prix Maurice de Gheest and Nunthorpe Stakes in the same season.

Sent off the 5-4 favourite, Highfield Princess would not have provided her supporters with many moments of doubt through the fast and furious €400,000 prize, travelling with considerable enthusiasm under regular rider Jason Hart.

This 19-runner Group 1 was effectively done and dusted just inside the final furlong as she powered home to finish three and a quarter lengths clear of Erosandpsyche, trained by Paddy Twomey, and Flotus, representing Simon and Ed Crisford.

"She's a phenomenal filly," said Tipperary native Quinn, who revelled in his first Group 1 success on home soil.

Highfield Princess bolts up by three and a half lengths at the Curragh

"She's one of the best sprinting fillies in the world. Someone said to me the day before yesterday that she's probably the best filly in Europe. I never said anything as in racing you let the horse do the talking, but to win three Group 1s in France, England and wonderful Ireland is unbelievable. In a short time too."

Hart, who registered his first top-level strike aboard the same mare at Deauville last month, believes the 12-time winner felt better than ever before on the 30th start of her career.

"I knew coming into the last two furlongs that she was giving me some feel – that's the best feel she's actually given me all year," said Hart.

"She's gone from strength to strength. Three Group 1s on the bounce takes a bit of doing, in relative quick succession as well. The boss, [her groom Satrijeet] Jhingree and all the lads at home have done a marvellous job of keeping her at the top of her game."

Owner-breeder John Fairley, landlord to the winning trainer, is enjoying the journey of a lifetime with his Night Of Thunder mare, who less than two years ago recorded her first victory off a mark of 58 in a handicap worth just £5,593 at Ayr.

Jason Hart on Highfield Princess: "She's just spectacular, really"

Victory on Longines Irish Champions Weekend means Highfield Princess has now joined the likes of Dayjur, Black Caviar, Blue Point and Muhaarar as the winner of three consecutive Group 1 sprints.

A tilt at the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint is now firmly on the agenda, and Hart is excited at the prospect of locking horns with US ace Golden Pal at Keeneland.

He said: "It would be nice to go and take on Golden Pal and see how we get on over there. She's well on track to do it. She's just spectacular, really."

Quinn added: "If she's okay that will be the plan. In the spring she was working well and I said to Sean [Quinn, assistant trainer] that I'd love to see her go around Keeneland – two bends over five and a half furlongs could suit her. She won't go to France for the Abbaye. God almighty, she's been everywhere."

Replays, results and analysis

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She's one of the best sprinting fillies in the world
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