Amazing Maria triumphs at July Festival in Newmarket

Dubai - The four-year-old daughter of Mastercraftsman was perfectly poised behind the leading group and made a quick move to lead and win by a length.

By Hisham Al Gizouli

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Published: Sat 11 Jul 2015, 9:22 PM

Amazing Maria lived up to her name with a fabulous performance under James Doyle as Godolphin's filly Lucida finished disappointingly at the bottom of the field in the 1600m Qipco Falmouth Stakes (British Champions Series) Gr-1, the highlight of the second day of the July Festival at Newmarket on Friday.
The four-year-old daughter of Mastercraftsman was perfectly poised behind the leading group and made a quick move to lead and win by a length. A 25-1 shock winner of the Duke of Cambridge Stakes G-2 at Royal Ascot for trainer David O'Meara, she was sent off 17-1 this time out, but she took another giant step to stun her opponents with an eye-catching performance.
Amazing Maria made her Ascot appearance for the first time for her new handler David O'Meara and although she was said to have hit the front a little soon, she was able to hold on and deliver for her trainer. But, James Doyle held his mount in the early stages and the filly produced astonishing speed with a furlong to go to keep her runner up at bay. The next target for the filly could be the Group-1 Prix Rothschild at Deauville in France, but O'Meara declined to confirm the media reports.
"She's confirmed that she's a proper filly," he said. "She's a nice big type and travelling well today. She moved into a position to strike quite easily and found plenty."
Marco Botti was delighted with the performance of Euro Charline, who put her best foot forward after being withdrawn at Royal Ascot following problems with the stalls.
He said: "In hindsight she'd have got some cover as she likes to be behind horses but Andrea (Atzeni) said there was no pace and I think he did well to relax her."
Early in the afternoon, Illuminate (Richard Hanon/ Richard Hughes) maintained her unbeaten run to hold Besharah in a photo-finish with Blue Bayou also close up in a fascinating finish in the 1200m Duchess of Cambridge Group-2 for two-year old fillies. The Zoffany daughter travelled very nicely and did the better work when it mattered to follow her Royal Ascot success with another superb win and prevailed by a nose.
Godolphin's runner Rah Rah set the early pace as Richard Hughes put Illuminate right on the heels of the leader, before taking it up a furlong out. She was always going well as if she was carrying the win in her bag and got up very strongly to touch the wire in a tight finish as the trio flashed past the post.
Elsewhere, Andrea Atzeni partnered Spangled to victory in the Price Bailey Stallions Fillies Handicap, a seven-furlong Class II opening event of the evening for his boss Roger Varian.



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