Thursday, 4 May 2017 : Sweet Selection carried on where she finished last year by made a flying start to the new campaign on the Flat with a comprehensive victory in the Longines Sagaro Stakes at Ascot, England.
Trained by Hughie Morrison and ridden by jockey Silvestre de Sousa, she landed her first Group success in the first major stayers’ race of the new Flat season. Prince Of Arran finished strongly to beat Nearly Caught to the runner-up spot and deny Morrison a one-two.
Sweet Selection won four races in 2016, which was rounded off by a great display in the Cesarewitch at Newmarket in October. However the five-year-old was up against stiffer competition in her reappearance in the £60,000 Group Three encounter, which is considered to be one of the most important trial races for the Gold Cup on the third day of Royal Ascot. And Morrison’s mare looks to have improved once again and on this showing could well be in line for another good season.
Sweet Selection was always well positioned in the hands of de Sousa, with stable companion Nearly Caught giving her a lead for much of the two-mile journey. However Sousa committed his mount for home shortly after coming off the final bend and they galloped all the way to the line to secure a comfortable win by a length and a half.
Victory for de Sousa was completion of an afternoon hat-trick having earlier recorded victories aboard Frozen Angel in the Sodexo Conditions Stakes and Prosper British EBF Fillies’ Conditions Stakes.
Trainer Morrison, who was winning the race for the third time after victories with Alcazar in 2003 and 2005, had also declared Vent De Force for the race but withdrew on account of the quick ground. However, the winner’s work last week did cause the trainer with a dilemma and some questions as to whether she should run.
Formerly known as the Paradise Stakes, the Sagaro Stakes was renamed in 1978 after the great Sagaro, the winner of Ascot’s Gold Cup in each of the preceding three seasons. Several winners of the Sagaro Stakes have won the Gold Cup in the same season, the most recent being Estimate four years ago, although on this form who would bet against Sweet Selection being added to that illustrious list.
As well as lending its name and being official title partner to the Sagaro Stakes, prestige Swiss watchmaker Longines is also the official timekeeper and official watch of Ascot and Royal Ascot.
Source : Internet