Lumiere, unraced since finishing last of 16 when second-favourite for the 1,000 Guineas in early May, returned to form in striking style here on Thursday with a six-length success in the Listed Sir Henry Cecil Stakes.
Lumiere’s win, recorded in a fast time, seemed to remove any doubt about her ability to stay a mile while adding to the mystery of her poor run in the Classic two months ago. She dropped away steadily from three furlongs out on the Rowley Mile and eventually finished nearly 32 lengths behind Minding, the winner.
Thursday’s success, however, improved Lumiere’s career record to three wins from five starts, including the Group One Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket last September.
“It’s as much of a relief to me as anything,” Mark Johnston, Lumiere’s trainer, said. “It is sweet to see her getting back on track. We have learned a lot so we can go back and make some plans that we had torn up.
“In the past couple of weeks, she had shown signs, just walking and trotting around, that she has the sparkle back that had been lacking since the spring. She just hasn’t been well, there were no outward signs of illness but she just lacked sparkle.
“We had ripped up all the plans. We could not even decide on her trip. Joe [Fanning, her jockey] said he wouldn’t be frightened to come back to seven furlongs. He said she was sitting there and settled, but he just thought all the way, “If I move here, she’s gone”, so a faster pace wouldn’t be an issue.”
Lumiere launched her career with an emphatic success in the fillies’ maiden on the opening day of the July meeting last season, and Easy Victory could prove to be another high-class performer in the making after a success in the same race on Thursday which did justice to the optimism of her name.
Bouquet De Flores, trained by Charlie Appleby and carrying the same Godolphin silks as the eventual winner, was sent off as the 10-11 favourite, but was slowly away from the stalls and never threatened to take a hand in the finish. Easy Victory, however, travelled smoothly just behind the lead for James Doyle and secured victory with a useful turn of foot approaching the final furlong.
Easy Victory is quoted at around 33-1 for next year’s 1,000 Guineas and will now head for the Lowther Stakes at York’s Ebor meeting, in which Lumiere suffered the only defeat of her juvenile career when second behind Besharah.
“She is an improving filly,” Saeed bin Suroor, Easy Victory’s trainer, said. “She does some very honest work in the morning and has shown plenty of speed.
“I did expect this today as in the morning she works with the nice fillies. She is a filly for the future.”
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