Branston Abby on trail of the Trophy

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The Independent Online
Branston Abby will continue her quest for an elusive Group-race victory when she tackles the Haydock Park Sprint Trophy on Saturday.

The Group One contest at Haydock over six furlongs may be slighter weaker than usual, with the July Cup winner, Anabaa, and Nunthorpe Stakes hero, Pivotal, both absentees.

"The intention is to run Branston Abby at Haydock and we're just hoping that the ground stays soft," Juliana Abell, who owns the mare in partnership with her husband, David, said. "She will get the record for the most wins by a mare but it's more important that she wins a Group race.

"She is certainly good enough to win a Group race so why not in a Group One? Nobody would argue that a win isn't deserved. It would be great to get it as she is likely to be retiring at the end of this season."

Branston Abby ran one of the best races of her career when finishing second to Cherokee Rose in the corresponding Haydock race 12 months ago.

She had leading sprinters Lake Coniston, Owington and Mind Games behind her on that occasion. "That was a great performance and to have those three horses behind her shows what she is made of," Mrs Abell said.