Shale and Pretty Gorgeous face off again at Newmarket


Exciting Indigo Girl leads home defence in Fillies’ Mile.

Donnacha and Joseph O’Brien are both looking forward to a fourth clash between Shale and Pretty Gorgeous in the bet365 Fillies’ Mile.

Shale gave younger brother Donnacha the bragging rights when showing Pretty Gorgeous the way home in the Silver Flash at Leopardstown in early August, before the latter comprehensively gained her revenge in the Debutante Stakes at the Curragh a couple of weeks later.

Shale came out on top by three-quarters of a length when the pair met for the trilogy in last month’s Moyglare Stud Stakes, and her trainer is hoping she can double her Group One tally at Newmarket on Friday.

He said: “The ground is probably going to be a bit softer than ideal, but she’s in good form and we’re hoping for a big run.

“There’s not a lot between our filly and Joseph’s, obviously. I think the step up in trip is going to suit my one, so it will be good fun watching them run against each other and I’m sure it will be another good race.

“There’s some other smart fillies in the race and it will be interesting to see how the Irish and English form lines stack up.”

Pretty Gorgeous had been due to contest the Prix Marcel Boussac at ParisLongchamp, but was declared a non-runner after all horses trained by the O’Brien family were withdrawn from their races on Arc day due to issues surrounding contaminated feed.

Pretty Gorgeous wins the Debutante Stakes
Pretty Gorgeous wins the Debutante Stakes (Niall Carson/PA)

Her trainer said: “She’s in good shape. It looks a very good race and we’re looking forward to seeing her run.

“We’re obviously meeting Donnacha’s filly again and it will be interesting to see how it goes.

“It’s probably not the ideal preparation after last weekend, but we’re hoping for a good run.

“She has handled a bit of juice in the ground.”

Aidan O’Brien saddles a couple of outsiders in Mother Earth and Snowfall, while the home team is headed by the unbeaten Indigo Girl, who bids to provide John Gosden with a fifth Fillies’ Mile success.

Impressive on her racecourse debut at Yarmouth, Indigo Girl successfully graduated to Group Two class less than a fortnight later in the May Hill Stakes at Doncaster.

Indigo Girl is reopposed by the second, third and fourth from the May Hill in Dubai Fountain (Mark Johnston), Zabeel Queen (Roger Varian) and Lilac Road (William Haggas).

Isabella Giles has won four of her five starts for Clive Cox and earned her step up to the Group One level by winning the Group Two Rockfel Stakes at Newmarket a fortnight ago.

Isabella Giles represents Clive Cox
Isabella Giles represents Clive Cox (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

“She’s been a very pleasing filly and has enjoyed easy ground, which she’s likely to get on Friday,” said Cox.

“We’re obviously stepping up to a mile, but she’s come out of the Rockfel so well and we’re pleased she’s taking this step.

“It’s a strong race, but we’re looking forward to it.”

Seattle Rock (Sylvester Kirk) and Star Of Emaraaty (Kevin Ryan) complete the 11-strong field.

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