CLIVE Brittain labelled Rizeena “exceptionally good” after she caused a minor upset in the Moyglare Stud Stakes at the Curragh.
The Newmarket handler is no stranger to top-class fillies, with the likes of Sayyedati, User Friendly and the brilliant Pebbles among those to have passed through his hands down the years. But Rizeena’s genial trainer is confident she is in the same class after seeing her grab Group 1 glory at the home of Irish Flat racing.
An impressive winner of the Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot, Rizeena then finished second in the Duchess of Cambridge Stakes at Newmarket before placing third behind crack American colt No Nay Never in Deauville’s Prix Morny after a slow start.
Despite that smart form she was still third best in the Moyglare market at 9-2, with Charlie Hills’ superb Albany Stakes heroine Kiyoshi the 13-8 favourite ahead of the Aidan O’Brien-trained unbeaten filly Tapestry at 2-1.
As the pacesetters faltered, Kiyoshi was the first to commit for home, but just as at Ascot, she hung across the track in the closing stages, impeding a couple of rivals in the process. Tapestry suffered some interference, but Rizeena was produced right on cue by jockey of the moment James Doyle to swamp them all and get up by a head. Kiyoshi passed the post in second, ahead of Tapestry in third, but the stewards reversed the placings after an inquiry.
Brittain said: “I’ve trained some good fillies with Sayyedati, User Friendly and Pebbles, of course, and she may not be that far behind them.”
Meanwhile, Keith Dalgleish is making an all-out assault on the feature race at Hamilton Park today with Circuitous and Secret Advice. The local handler, based just 15 minutes away at Carluke, is hoping for a big run from both in the £15,000 Betfair Scottish Sprint Series Final.
Dalgleish, who has saddled 14 winners already this year at the Lanarkshire track, said: “Circuitous has been a star this term and has done nothing but improve all year. His latest win at Ayr last month was off a career high and he needs another off 4lb more this time.
“He’s at his best on good or good to firm so we’re keeping our fingers crossed the rain stays away. He’s still going the right away and should go close again.
“Secret Advice has progressed nicely all through the year and she’s won three for us at Carlisle, Hamilton and Musselburgh. The fact that she has won at Hamilton helps and she is not without a chance if the going stays the same. It’s great that horses like these can race for such good money on our doorstep. We love having runners at Hamilton and we’ve enjoyed a decent year there.”
Linda Perratt is another local handler double-handed, with Jinky and Findog, while Alistair Whillan sends Opt Out and Alexandrakollontai up from his stable in Hawick in a bid to keep the prize north of the Border.