Closing second for Castle Lady in G1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup
Castle Lady ran an excellent race on her first appearance over nine furlongs when chasing home Cambier Parc in the G1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup on turf at Keeneland, USA, on Saturday, 12 October.
The three-year-old filly, winner of the mile G1 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches at Longchamp, France, for Henri-Alex Pantall in May, was soon settled in fourth on the inside rail by Mickael Barzalona.
Castle Lady travelled well behind the leaders and moved up to second on the bridle at the top of the straight.
The daughter of Shamardal stayed on strongly and closed in on Cambier Parc all the way to the line to go down by a length. Cambier Parc made all to prevail in 1m 49.54s on firm going.
Godolphin USA President Jimmy Bell said: “Castle Lady was beaten by a top filly, who was able to dictate the pace and scooted home.
“Mickael Barzalona gave Castle Lady a very patient ride on the inside rail and she kicked for home very well. She handled the distance well and did almost everything right. It was a very strong effort against a tough group of fillies.”
Mickael Barzalona said: “It was a perfect trip, racing just behind the winner. Castle Lady is tough and just got beat by a better filly today. I was pleased with the way she ran and we can look forward to next time.
“We didn’t want to go very fast early on - she races in France where we go slower, so the early fractions were not too good for us.”