David Loughnane is gaining a reputation as a very good trainer of juveniles and looks to have another decent type on his hands after Absolutelyflawless maintained her unbeaten record with a stylish display in the ICM Stellar Sports Lily Agnes Conditions Stakes at Chester.
Go Bears Go carried the flag for the Shropshire handler last year and having won at Southwell on her debut, Absolutelyflawless took a big step forward to beat some potentially smart fillies under Laura Pearson.
Sent off at 6/1, she was relatively slowly away but Pearson was content to sit off the hot early pace set by the odds-on favourite Star Of Lady M, who failed to handle the bend and carried most of the field into the centre of the track.
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That left a huge gap up the rail which Pearson gleefully accepted, coming home a length and a half clear of Ocean Cloud.
“Today was the plan but it’s hard not to think ahead to Royal Ascot now,” Loughnane told Sky Sports Racing. “I think a stiff five [furlongs] would be tailor-made for her as she loves passing horses.
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“We’ll put the Queen Mary on the list and reassess after today to see where we are.”
On the riding skills of Pearson, Loughnane added: “With someone like Laura on the back you just know horses will come with a late run because horses just run for her. We were able to leave her to do her thing and it all worked out perfectly.
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“[Laura] is a quality rider and in my opinion the best apprentice in the country at the moment.”
Gay Kelleway said of Ocean Cloud: “We were beaten by the ground, she wants it quick. She’ll still go to Ascot before she goes to America.”
Epsom trainer Adam West has to weigh up the pros and cons of running a three-year-old against his elders in the Dash at Epsom having seen Live In The Dream make all in the Tote-sponsored five-furlong handicap.
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Having won at Sandown 12 days ago, he was racing off a mark of 92 but Ryan Moore was able to grab the rail from stall two.
Moore sensibly waited until pressing the button and the 11/8 favourite went away to win by two and a quarter lengths from Nymphadora.