Shane Crosse hails 'huge' first Group 1 win on Pretty Gorgeous at Newmarket
Shane Crosse gained "huge" compensation for forfeiting the winning ride in the St Leger when registering his first Group 1 success on Pretty Gorgeous in the bet365 Fillies' Mile.
The 19-year-old tested positive for Covid-19 before the Doncaster Classic and was forced to watch as his intended mount, Galileo Chrome, obliged in gritty fashion under supersub Tom Marquand.
Given a second bite of the cherry by his boss Joseph O'Brien, Crosse made no mistake when steering the 5-2 favourite home from the fast-finishing Indigo Girl.
It was a second win in three years for O'Brien in the mile contest, which is proving to be the most productive source of subsequent 1,000 Guineas winners, and Pretty Gorgeous was unsurprisingly cut to 6-1 favourite (from 14) for glory back at the Rowley Mile next May.
Settled in mid-division in the early stages behind the pace-setting Isabella Giles, Pretty Gorgeous hit a flat spot at the Bushes but got rolling into the Dip to show ahead on the climb to the line and had enough up her sleeve to hold the late surge of the runner-up.
Crosse said: "This is huge. There may be no crowd and no atmosphere, but once you are on the horse's back it doesn't make a difference.
"I just flashed by the line there and to get my first Group 1 under my belt at Newmarket is unbelievable. This filly has given me a few great days already but this is the best of my life."
"She must be a 1,000 Guineas filly after that as she has loads of speed and she's a miler. Hopefully all her best days are ahead of her."
On his own torment, he added: "This takes a lot of edge of what happened in the St Leger, which you wouldn't want to wish on your worst enemy. I ended up watching a race at home I didn't want to watch."
O'Brien said: "Pretty Gorgeous has done that well considering she went to France last weekend, where we had to withdraw her and then send her over here. She has the option of the Breeders' Cup but I think we'll put her away for the Guineas after that.
On runner-up Indigo Girl, trainer John Gosden said: "It's hard to come from behind on that ground and it may well be that she's a mile and a quarter filly next year. Her sister won over a mile and a half here and it's a family we know well."
Winner looks hard to fault
If you are finding fault in Pretty Gorgeous, you are probably looking too hard. She is an imposing filly who fully deserves to be ante-post favourite for the Qipco 1,000 Guineas and there is no reason to think she won't be even better at three than she is at two.
The way she went down into the dip and came up out of it stamped her down as a seriously talented filly and her raw ability got her home.
She has experience, she coasts through her races, she stays a mile and we now know she battles, so it's hard to know what is not to like about her Guineas credentials.
Members can read in-depth reports from daily race meetings every evening