MO Celita remains on course for the Prix de l’Abbaye at ParisLongchamp following a creditable effort in defeat there on Sunday.
Despite the ground being on the fast side and having an unfavourable wide draw, the Adrian Nicholls-trained filly stuck on well to take fourth place behind Berneuil in the Group Three Prix du Petit Couvert.
Connections will be hoping the conditions and draw will be kinder for the five-furlong feature on on October 3.
“We got back last night. She’s come out of it good. I thought she ran a blinder on ground that was probably on the quicker side for her and a draw that was on the outside and hard to win from,” said Thirsk-based Nicholls, whose late father Dandy saddled Continent to win the 2002 renewal of the Abbaye.
“Take nothing away from the winner, who won well. He was the one with the best form of the French, but she’s done us proud again.
“I’m not saying she’d have beaten the winner but if she had a better draw, and a bit more juice in the ground, she’d have been in the first three.
“The round track was beautiful ground but the straight track was quick.
“They don’t water it as they don’t use it very often.
“She’s still in the Abbaye. We’ll just monitor the weather. At the moment it doesn’t look like there’s a lot of rain but that can change.
“There are a few other options – a fillies’ Listed race at Newmarket and another race in France. The main aim is to go out for there for the Abbaye and then to discuss with (owners) Mr (David) Redvers and Mr (David) Howden if she is going to stay in training or what the plans are.
“She’s still on an upward curve. I was chuffed to bits with her. She’s entitled to go for the Abbaye. She has proven that.”
Likely contenders in France include Tim Easterby’s Winter Power, who won the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes at York’s Ebor Festival.
She faded out of contention in the Flying Five Stakes at the Curragh on Sunday, with the Great Habton trainer suggesting that the filly ran too freely in the early stages under former champion jockey Silvestre de Sousa.
Meanwhile, Middleham trainer Ed Bethell believes that the two-year-old Fearby has the right profile for the Dubai Duty Free Mill Reef Stakes at Newbury on Saturday
“Fearby has run some great races this season, and it’s all systems go for this weekend,” said the trainer, who recently saddled the first Group winner of his burgeoning career.
“He’s in good form at home and I’m really looking forward to running him. His Sandown win was his stand-out run of the season in terms of speed figures. I think he would have been a lot closer in the Gimcrack at York but seemed to have a few gaps close in front of him. A flat six furlongs at Newbury should play into his hands and show him at his best.”
Former Grand National-winning jockey Mick Fitzgerald and his wife Claire have been entrusted with the care of former Queen Mother Champion chase hero Altior, whose retirement was announced on Monday by trainer Nicky Henderson and owner Patricia Pugh.