Oasis Dream's Pretty Pollyanna Wins the Battle For the Morny

4th at DVL, Gr. Stk, €350,000G1 Darley Prix Morny (6f)Winner: Pretty Pollyanna (GB), f, 2 by Oasis Dream (GB)

Pretty Pollyanna | Scoop Dyga


On the little evidence we have so far, the Gredleys' Pretty Pollyanna (GB) (Oasis Dream {GB}) has the same positive attitude as her literary namesake and that and her superior class carried her to glory in Sunday's G1 Darley Prix Morny at Deauville. What had looked a renewal set to be dominated by the fillies played out in reality as the homebred who sports the yellow silks first made famous three decades ago by User Friendly (GB) (Slip Anchor {GB}) saw off Signora Cabello (Ire) (Camacho {GB}) in a pulsating fight to the line. Showing the same instant speed that saw her register a eyebrow-raising seven-length success in the G2 Duchess of Cambridge S. over this six-furlong trip at Newmarket July 13, Pretty Pollyanna was in front of the rivals racing up the centre as the G3 Prix de Cabourg winner Comedy (Ire) (Dandy Man {Ire}) overdid it ahead racing alone up the stand's rail. Silvestre de Sousa had the 8-5 favourite on the front foot throughout, but the inevitable challenge came from the Queen Mary heroine Signora Cabello who tracked her compatriot throughout under Frankie Dettori. Taken on and headed for a stride before the 100-metre marker, Pretty Pollyanna was spurred her on by the attention and duly asserted to score by 3/4 of a length as they pulled four lengths clear of True Mason (GB) (Mayson {GB}) for a British one-two-three. “She is such a good filly and what I liked most today was the way she showed a lot of courage when challenged by the runner-up,” trainer Michael Bell said. “She quickened again in the last furlong, so hopefully that is a sign that she'll stay further or at least a mile.”

No sooner had Pretty Pollyanna passed the line in front on her debut at Yarmouth June 14 than Michael Bell was pointing the way to the G3 Albany S. and his faith in her raw ability was justified as she finished with real effect from rear to be just over two-lengths fifth in that Royal Ascot contest. Had she been ridden more aggressively, she would perhaps be unbeaten at present as her destruction of the Albany one-two Main Edition (Ire) (Zoffany {Ire}) and La Pelosa (Ire) (Dandy Man {Ire}) in the old “Cherry Hinton” at the July meeting put her in a category all of her own. The runner-up Angel's Hideaway (Ire) (Dark Angel {Ire}) has since impressively won the G3 Princess Margaret S., while Main Edition and La Pelosa were first and second in the G3 Sweet Solera S. back at Newmarket. As Ballydoyle's Just Wonderful (Dansili {GB}) and Goddess (Camelot {GB}) have failed to fire in their big tests and that stable continues under a cloud, Pretty Pollyanna now has pole position for the 2019 1000 Guineas and looks cut from the same cloth as the similarly forward-going pair Attraction (GB) (Efisio {GB}) and Natagora (Fr) (Divine Light {Jpn}) who both carried their sprinting juvenile dominance over to the Newmarket Classic the following spring.

Pretty Pollyanna's unraced dam Unex Mona Lisa (GB) (Shamardal), whose yearling colt is by Nathaniel (Ire) and who also has a colt foal by New Approach (Ire), is a half-sister to the nine-furlong GIII Robert J. Frankel S. winner Gender Agenda (GB) (Holy Roman Emperor {Ire}) who was also third in the GII Goldikova S. and fifth in the GI Matriarch S. She is also a full-sister to Unex El Greco (GB) who was listed-placed at a mile and a quarter, while the second dam Friendlier (GB) (Zafonic) who was also responsible for the Listed Pretty Polly S. runner-up Madame Defarge (Ire) (Motivator {GB}) is a half to the aforementioned User Friendly. Handed the title of 1992 European Horse of the Year after winning the G1 English, Irish and Yorkshire Oaks and G1 St Leger and finishing runner-up in the G1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, she was later the dam of the G3 Give Thanks S. winner Downtown (Ire) (Danehill) and the G3 Queen's Vase runner-up Two Miles West (Ire) (Sadler's Wells) and is also the second dam of the G1 Queensland Oaks winner Youngstar (Aus) (High Chaparral {Ire}). The third dam Rostova (GB) (Blakeney {GB}) was fourth in the G3 Ormonde S. over an extended 13 furlongs and her descendants include the Hong Kong Derby-placed sire Champions Gallery (GB) (Dansili {GB}).

It is small wonder that connections feel confident that the winner will be able to hold her own as she goes up in trip. “I just hope she gets to the Guineas in one piece,” added Bell, who was winning this for the second time having also saddled the filly Hoh Magic (GB) (Cadeaux Genereux {GB}) to score in 1994. “There is a lot of stamina on the dam's side and User Friendly is there. I'll have to discuss her immediate future with the owners, but I would imagine it will be either the [G1] Moyglare [Stud S. at The Curragh Sept. 16] or the [G1] Cheveley Park [S. at Newmarket Sept. 29]. She is a lovely filly to train and has never given us any worries. She has a lovely temperament and just eats and sleeps and does everything right.”

Signora Cabello proved herself a genuine top-class performer also and trainer John Quinn was typically gracious in defeat as he pondered the next move for the runner-up, who is still part-owned by her orginal partnership Zen Racing and who also represents the power of Phoenix Thoroughbreds. “I'm not at all disappointed–she has run a great race against a very good performer and was beated by a better filly on the day, actually probably by an exceptional one,” he said. “The idea now is to go to the Cheveley Park.”

Sunday, Deauville, France
DARLEY PRIX MORNY-G1, €350,000, Deauville, 8-19, 2yo, c/f, 6fT, 1:10.24, gd.
1–PRETTY POLLYANNA (GB), 122, f, 2, by Oasis Dream (GB)
1st Dam: Unex Mona Lisa (GB), by Shamardal
2nd Dam: Friendlier (GB), by Zafonic
3rd Dam: Rostova (GB), by Blakeney (GB)
1ST GROUP 1 WIN. (50,000gns RNA Ylg '17 TATOCT). O-W J & T C O Gredley; B-Stetchworth & Middle Park Studs Ltd (GB); T-Michael Bell; J-Silvestre de Sousa. €199,990. Lifetime Record: GSW-Eng, 4-3-0-0, €258,157. Werk Nick Rating: A+++ *Triple Plus*. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Signora Cabello (Ire), 122, f, 2, Camacho (GB)–Journalist (Ire), by Night Shift. (20,000gns Ylg '17 TAOCT). O-Phoenix Thoroughbred & Zen Racing; B-Diomed Bloodstock Ltd (IRE); T-John Quinn. €80,010.
3–True Mason (GB), 126, c, 2, Mayson (GB)–Marysienka (GB), by Primo Dominie (GB). (25,000gns Wlg '16 TATFOA; 120,000gns Ylg '17 TAOCT). O-Khalifa Dasmal; B-Simon Balding (GB); T-Karl Burke. €40,005.
Margins: 3/4, 4, 2HF. Odds: 1.60, 4.20, 25.00.
Also Ran: Land Force (Ire), Sexy Metro (Fr), Simply Striking (Fr), Kinks (GB), Comedy (Ire), Marie's Diamond (Ire). Click for the Racing Post result or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. Video, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

Not a subscriber? Click here to sign up for the daily PDF or alerts.


Never miss another story from the TDN

Click Here to sign up for a free subscription.