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Secret Satire ridicules opposition with Musidora triumph

3 minute read

Andrew Balding’s Secret Satire caused a slight shock when coming homer in front in the Group 3 Musidora Stakes at York on Wednesday.

SECRET SATIRE (purple/pink cap) winning the Musidora Stakes at York in England.
SECRET SATIRE (purple/pink cap) winning the Musidora Stakes at York in England. Picture: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

All eyes were on the impressive Pretty Polly Stakes winner Friendly Soul, who was sent off the 8/11 market leader to keep her unbeaten record intact, but following an awarded beginning to the one mile two and a half furlong Group 3 prize, John and Thady Gosden's recently appointed stable jockey Kieran Shoemark soon found himself on the back foot.

With Friendly Soul looking beat at the two-furlong pole, the door was left open for someone to take advantage and it was the Andrew Balding-trained Secret Satire who would grab the opportunity with both hands.

The daughter of Advertise, who was third under a penalty in novice company at Sandown on her reappearance, pulled hard in the early stages but found plenty for pressure under Oisin Murphy when push came to shove, stretching away to score by two lengths from Charlie Johnston's Francophone (16/1).

Ralph Beckett's Classical Song finished back in third, with Friendly Soul eventually trailing home last of seven for owner George Strawbridge.

Secret Satire was made a 25/1 chance for the Betfred Oaks by Paddy Power, but the same firm quickly cut her to 14/1 following some sustained support.

Balding's wife, Anna-Lisa, said of the performance: "Andrew was very hopeful that she'd come on from her last run, which was encouraging, and she looked well today.

"He said to me before I left this morning 'come back with a winner, it'll be tough, but this filly will finish in the first three'.

"Oisin was confident actually when we legged him up and he's come back in and been very complimentary, so we'll see how she is, but I think the last Friday in May (Oaks) could be an option.

"They didn't go very quick early, and she was over-racing a little bit for the first half a mile, but she's a gorgeous filly who really covers the ground.

"I'm delighted for Guy Brook (owner/breeder), it's his first Group winner, he's a big supporter and I'm absolutely thrilled.

"It's 21 years since we won the Oaks (with Casual Look) and it's just lovely to have runners in those big races. It's the time of year when all the geese are swans and all the smiles on the mornings can turn the wrong way round, but that one will really put a smile on Andrew's face."

Murphy added: "She wasn't that silly early; we were just going very slow, and I couldn't get any cover because the leaders stayed off the rail.

"It wasn't a true test of stamina, so we don't really know whether she's going to stay at Epsom, but on that performance, she didn't do a lot in front and she deserves maybe to go there if Andrew decides."

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