Mastercraftsman's Lilac Road Swoops For Middleton Triumph

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Lilac Road PA Media

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Jon and Julia Aisbitt's homebred 4-year-old filly Lilac Road (Ire) (Mastercraftsman {Ire}–Lavender Lane {Ire} {MGSP-Fr}, by Shamardal), whose lone stakes success came in last term's Listed Upavon Fillies' S. at Salisbury, went postward at odds of 15-2 for Thursday's G2 Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Middleton Fillies' S. at York and displayed a willing attitude at the end of the extended 10-furlong test to continue William Haggas' fine run of form at the Knavesmire venue. She had closed last term with a second to the reopposing Ville de Grace (GB) (Le Havre {Ire}) tackling 10 furlongs in October's G3 Pride S. at Newmarket and finished behind that rival once again when fifth to Dreamloper (Ire) (Lope de Vega {Ire}) on seasonal return in last month's G2 Dahlia S. down to nine furlongs back at Headquarters. The eventual winner adopted patient tactics behind the leaders along the rail in fourth through the early fractions, but slipped to fifth rounding the home turn. Stirred into action approaching the quarter-mile marker, she quickened smartly to go second entering the final furlong and was ridden out in the closing stages to deny the game pacesetter Aristia (Ire) (Starspangledbanner {Aus}) by a half length nearing the line for a career high.

“I was half-expecting her to win, to be honest, as she ran well the last day,” admitted winning rider Tom Marquand. “We've started dropping her out in her races and it is very hard to come from behind at Newmarket. She relaxed into this today, we didn't go very fast and it worked in our favour. When I got off her at Newmarket I said to William [Haggas] if she stays on this path she'd get a mile-and-a-half, but she's clearly a filly with lots of talent. It was William's idea to drop her out at Salisbury [last year]. He told me to drop her out last and it'd be his fault if she got beaten. It's been the making of her and, as a jockey, you always want to give horses the best chance and basically William made her in one day. She's building up now and you'd have to say that was her best effort.”

Reflecting on the performance of runner-up Aristia, rider Sean Levey added, “She ran a cracker,” he said. “I think maybe in the paddock she wasn't as fully furnished as the rest of them and she's not quite there in her coat, so we'll take second today. I believe she'll improve as her whole family improved with age. She's faced good opposition today and has run quite nicely. She got a little bit tired before the line and she'll definitely improve.”

Lilac Road is the first of four foals and one of two winners out of G2 Prix de Malleret and G2 Prix de la Nonette third Lavender Lane (Ire) (Shamardal), herself a half-sister to G2 Prix Greffulhe winner Sumbal (Ire) (Danehill Dancer {Ire}) and Listed Grand Prix du Nord victrix Lily Passion (GB) (Sea the Stars {Ire}). The February-foaled chestnut's second dam Alix Road (Fr) (Linamix {Fr}), who ran third in the G1 Prix Saint-Alary, is a half-sister to stakes-winning G3 Prix de Guiche runner-up Fils de Viane (Fr) (Kadounor {Fr}) and hails from the family of G1 Prix d'Ispahan runner-up and MGSW sire Gunboat Diplomacy (Fr) (Dominion {GB}). Lavender Lane has a yearling colt by Camelot (GB) and a weanling colt by Sottsass (Fr) to come.

Thursday, York, Britain
AL BASTI EQUIWORLD DUBAI MIDDLETON FILLIES' S.-G2, £140,000, York, 5-12, 4yo/up, f, 10f 56yT, 2:11.50, gd.
1–LILAC ROAD (IRE), 128, f, 4, by Mastercraftsman (Ire)
1st Dam: Lavender Lane (Ire) (MGSP-Fr), by Shamardal
2nd Dam: Alix Road (Fr), by Linamix (Fr)
3rd Dam: Life On the Road (Ire), by Persian Heights (GB)
1ST GROUP WIN. O/B-Jon & Julia Aisbitt (IRE); T-William Haggas; J-Tom Marquand. £79,394. Lifetime Record: 12-4-2-1, $210,655. Werk Nick Rating: A. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Aristia (Ire), 128, f, 4, Starspangledbanner (Aus)–Aloisi (GB), by Kalanisi (Ire). 1ST GROUP TYPE. (85,000gns Ylg '19 TATOCT). O-Mrs E Roberts; B-Rathasker Stud (IRE); T-Richard Hannon. £30,100.
3–Thunder Kiss (Ire), 128, m, 5, Night of Thunder (Ire)–Desert Snow (GB), by Teofilo (Ire). O/B-Newtown Anner Stud Farm (IRE); T-Ger Lyons. £15,064.
Margins: HF, 2 1/4, 2 1/4. Odds: 0.00, 0.00, 0.00.
Also Ran: Ville de Grace (GB), Noon Star, Forbearance (Ire). Click for the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree.

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