Heroine Harayir

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The Independent Online
THE fighting filly Harayir bounced back to her best to see off the colts in the Celebration Mile here yesterday, but it was only after a 30-minute stewards' inquiry that her victory, after an incident-packed finish to the Group 2 race, was confirmed.

The 1,000 Guineas winner, cantering in the lead a furlong out, drifted to her right as Willie Carson got to work in the last half-furlong, causing Frankie Dettori to snatch up Emperor Jones on the rail. Behind them, John Reid had been boxed in on Darnay - beaten only half a length in the end and arguably unlucky - and brushed the hard-ridden Realities as he finally forced his way out. But the stewards decided all the deviations were accidental.

Carson admitted he was at fault, saying: "The thing about my filly is to maintain her concentration, as when she gets to the front she idles. We were cruising upsides Frankie and I was playing with him a bit, letting him stay in front as long as possible. When I shook the reins the filly went across, and I was probably a bit overconfident and should have got hold of her. But she was the best horse in the race."

It was Harayir's third win of a seven-race campaign in which she has competed at the highest level and been only once unplaced. Her continued enthusiasm and wonderful condition are a credit to her trainer, Dick Hern, who said: "She's honest and tough and has thrived all year. She is heavier now than she has ever been, a real prizefighter. She is sheer pleasure to have in the yard, a lovely person, and I think I'm a bit in love with her."

Future plans for Harayir have yet to be decided, with the Challenge Stakes at Newmarket and the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot among the possibilities. The filly is only the second 1,000 Guineas winner to take the Celebration Mile - the first was Humble Duty 25 years ago - and gave Carson and her owner Hamdan Al Maktoum a double, the pair having scored with Mehthaaf 12 months ago.

Harayir provided the middle leg of a treble for Sheikh Hamdan yesterday - he won the opener with Tajannub and the last with Harayir's half-sister Min Alhawa - and all eyes will be on another of his ladies in blue at Goodwood this afternoon, when Bint Shadayid makes her second appearance, in the Prestige Stakes.

The John Dunlop-trained daughter of Shadayid, who won the 1,000 Guineas in 1991, has already been well-backed to follow in her hoofprints at Newmarket next spring. Whether she has inherited Shadayid's outstanding talent as well as her colour will become more apparent after today's contest. But the grey two-year-old could do no more than win well on her debut over six furlongs at Ascot.

The Prestige Stakes has not been won by a future Guineas winner since Fairy Footsteps in 1980, but last year's renewal went to this year's Irish and Yorkshire Oaks heroine Pure Grain.The March Stakes, a St Leger trial, has attracted just three runners, of whom Kalabo is the only one with the Doncaster engagement.

The Trempolino colt, a decent third to Pentire in the King Edward VII Stakes and fifth behind Presenting in the Gordon Stakes at the last Goodwood meeting, should outclass today's opposition but must win well to make the line-up in the final Classic.

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