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Bluestocking wows with Middleton demolition

Bluestocking made light work of the Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Middleton Fillies’ Stakes at York.

Ralph Beckett’s Juddmonte-owned four-year-old travelled well from the off in the Group Two, stalking Sapphire Seas as Rossa Ryan remained patient on board.

When the Godolphin runner began to falter, Bluestocking was left in front and after starting at 5-2 she was unchallenged when striding to a most impressive six-length victory.

Last year’s winner Free Wind, the 15-8 favourite, was the runner-up this time for John and Thady Gosden.

Beckett was understandably delighted with the winner, who finished second in the Irish Oaks and on British Champions Day last season.

“It’s about time, isn’t it? She was a bridesmaid too many times last year and it’s great to get that race under our belt,” he said.

“She has been frustrating. I said to Barry Mahon (of Juddmonte) yesterday that I felt we’d done everything right, but you never know with her.

“I thought she looked well all week, saddling her I thought she could have looked better but she’s put it all together well today on a track that really suits her. She ran well here in the Yorkshire Oaks last year and I was quite happy to come back even if the ground did dry out.

“We tried the cheekpieces on her last start last year and had them on again. I always think the cheekpieces are pretty much a halfway house, you can take them off pretty easily and put them on pretty easily and I don’t think she’ll always need them.

“Perhaps she’s just come of age today and we had all of our ducks in a row. She was full of confidence and Rossa rode her that way.”

The Kimpton Downs handler was non-committal regarding future plans, added: “We’re well entered up and we’ll work it out as we go along, I think.

“The Coronation Cup is a possibility, but it’s quite soon (15 days). We’ll have a think and see how she comes out it, all options are open.”

Of Free Wind, John Gosden said: “She stayed on nicely, but she needs the mile and a half now, she’s that bit older – she’s won a Park Hill over a mile and six so I was very happy with that run.

“She was doing all her best work in the last furlong so we’ll step her up in trip. The Lancashire Oaks at Haydock is the obvious race, but this is the only one you can run in early in the year so we’ll step her up.

“She only just got up to win this last year, but this year the winner has improved mightily from three to four. I was delighted with ours, but we’ll step up to a mile and a half. She got beaten a nose in the Yorkshire Oaks last year, so we’ll try that again, but we’re likely to meet this filly there.

“The idea is to get a Group One this year, she’s won a Group Two the last three seasons.”

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