Trainer Charlie Appleby will bid to bring to a halt the seemingly inexorable march of Irish maestro Aidan O’Brien to a world record Group 1 haul when he saddles Magic Lily in Europe’s most valuable Group 1 juvenile race, the £567,500 bet365 Fillies’ Mile, at Newmarket’s Rowley Mile on Friday (13th October) during Dubai Future Champions Festival.
O’Brien trains the first three favourites in bet365’s betting for this 12-runner one mile event - three battle-hardened Pattern Race performers in Happily, Magical and September – as he attempts to notch his 24th Group 1 victory of the campaign and get to within one of the record set by the American handler, Bobby Frankel, in 2003.
The choice of stable jockey, Ryan Moore, Happily has already contributed two top level victories to that tally, in the Moyglare Stud Stakes and the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere.
Magical, who will be ridden by O’Brien’s son, Donnacha, went down by just a short head in the Moyglare and had earlier beaten Happily in the Group 2 Debutante Stakes. The crack trio is completed by Seamie Heffernan’s mount, September, third and fourth in the Moyglare and the Debutante but earlier successful in the Listed Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot.
By contrast, Magic Lily has run just once in her life, registering an eight-length victory in a maiden race over the full bet365 Fillies’ Mile course and distance on 23rd September. But, as a daughter of New Approach and the 2011 Oaks heroine, Dancing Rain, she is bred to be good and has been supplemented for this race at a cost of £40,000.
There is one other supplementary in the field, Ellthea, winner of Group 3 event in Ireland last time out, while her trainer, Karl Burke, is also represented by the Group 2 May Hill Stakes scorer, Laurens.
A French flavour is added to an intriguing contest by Efaadah, a twice-raced daughter of Dansili trained by Freddy Head and runner-up in a Chantilly Group 3 on her latest start.
Charlie Appleby, trainer of Magic Lily, said:
“Magic Lily is a filly we were confident would run a nice race on her first-up start, but she ended up winning very impressively and seeing out the one mile trip really well.”
“She did a nice piece of work on Saturday and that made our minds up to supplement her.”
“She has worked together with my recent Prix Marcel Boussac winner, Wild Illusion, and worked well. But comparing the two is not really fair as Wild Illusion is not a renowned work horse, she only really brings out her ‘A’ game on race day.”
“It will be great to team up with Will [Buick] again on Friday now that he is back from injury. It was nice to provide him with a comeback winner with Blue Point last weekend and he rode Magic Lily on Saturday and again this morning.”
“The Dubai Future Champions Festival is an important festival for the whole Godolphin team. I’ve been lucky to have winners there in the past and it’s good to have a few live contenders, including Magic Lily, this year.”
Pat Cooney, Racing Public Relations Officer for bet365, said:
“We're delighted to have such a talented line up, and there's no doubt Aidan O'Brien has a strong hand in the race which will provide plenty of 2018 Classic pointers.”
“His three runners, Happily, Magical and September all have high class form and give him a clear chance to win this prestigious race.”
“That said, there are many in the race who have also impressed in their races so far as well, so another Group 1 win for him is by no means certain.”
“We were impressed by Magic Lily's debut win over the course and distance last month and see the Godolphin-owned filly as a big danger to the Coolmore runners”
“It's also good to see the Freddie Head-trained filly Efaadah over here, her trainer has had many high class fillies before, so she adds even more interest to what promises to be an excellent race.”