By Racinguk.com staff
Just Wonderful left her rivals trailing in her wake in the Shadwell Rockfel Stakes at Newmarket.
Aidan O’Brien’s filly won a Group Three on her penultimate start at the Curragh, but lined up on the Rowley Mile with something to prove after finishing down the field in the Moyglare Stud Stakes less than a fortnight ago.
She was a 7-2 chance for this Group Two assignment, and could hardly have been more impressive.
Albany Stakes heroine and 15-8 favourite Main Edition adopted a pace-setting role for much of the seven-furlong journey, with Ryan Moore happy to bide his time aboard the eventual winner.
Just Wonderful made smooth headway before sweeping by passing the final-furlong marker, and kept up the gallop to score by a length and three-quarters without being asked for maximum effort.
Dandhu finished to good effect to beat Main Edition to the runner-up spot.
It was a performance that brought back memories of her dam, Wading, who was an impressive winner of this race in 2011 and connections must now believe they have a classic contender on their hands.
Bookmakers certainly do as the daughter of Dansili was cut in to 14-1 wioth Coral and Sky Bet for the first fillies' classic of 2019 back on the Rowley Mile. More imminently, the race was a Win And You're In for the Breeders' Cup.
“Her dam Wading won this race for us in 2011 and this filly was equally impressive," Kevin Buckley, Coolmoore's UK representative, said.
“She's got a wonderful pedigree and Aidan's made no secret of how highly he rates her so it's pleasing to see her put in such a terrific performance on the track.
“She didn't run her race in the Moyglare for whatever reason, nothing came to light afterwards so maybe it was just an off day, but she's certainly got herself back on track today.
“She's in the Fillies' Mile but Aidan will have to speak to the owners before any decisions are made. She certainly looks like a nice filly for next year and Ryan (Moore) said she loved the track so if she comes back for the Guineas we'll have no worries on that front.”
David Elsworth was delighted by the run in to second of Dandhu, and the trainer is now eyeing a berth in the Fillies' Mile back over the Rowley Mile and possibly a remtch with the winner in the Guineas.
“She is a nice filly and has just drifted into this level without any questions being asked of her," he said.
"She won at Kempton last time when she was as green as grass on her third run and I haven’t over-done her, so it was nice to see her run as well as she did.
“I feel she is an improving filly. This will probably be the end of the season for her, but we’ll see. She would like to have had a bit more cut in the ground. She looked about too, and she would not have the experience, although I know this was her fourth run."
Mark Johnston put in to perspective Main Edition's defeat, and is another looking already to next season's Classics.
“It is not the end of the world. She won’t run again this year," he said.
"We will still be hopeful that she will get a mile of the Guineas and she will be a bigger, stronger filly next year.
“So, we will aim for that, but we can always come back in trip later if necessary.
“We probably won’t give her a run before that, because what have you got? Group Threes over seven furlongs or a mile in soft ground, usually. So, she is probably not one you’d give a run to before the Guineas.
“She is not ground dependent, she is just quite not getting home. It is twice Frankie has ridden her and it is much the same story.
“Today, he said, ‘I have gone too fast and she has not got home’. In hindsight he said that if he had held onto her for half a furlong further, she would have got home. It’s not the end of the world – he has come in and said she is a good bit better than that.”
“We’ll have to give the Guineas trials a whirl.”