Speedy Boarding has sound claims to be the most improved filly of the season and it has been a true breakthrough one for her jockey Frederik Tylicki, as the pair made it back to back Group 1 victories in this afternoon’s Longines Prix de l’Opera at Chantilly.
Winner of the Prix Jean Romanet at Deauville on her previous appearance, the James Fanshawe trained Speedy Boarding was still expected to face a tough assignment, primarily from another British trained runner in So Mi Dar.
The latter, so impressive when winning the Musidora Stakes in the spring, missed much of the summer through injury but had made a successful comeback at Yarmouth last month, to stretch her unbeaten record to four.
Jemayel took the field along early, but was soon passed by Jim Bolger’s Pleascach, making her first appearance since finishing fourth in the Irish Champion Stakes over a year ago.
She remained in the lead rounding the home turn, but was soon pressed by Speedy Boarding and the pair engaged in a pulsating duel.
All the while Frankie Dettori had to sit and suffer on the rail as he waited for the gap to come aboard So Mi Dar and when it did, his mount took a stride or two to fully engage top gear.
It was too late as the front pair were clear and as they flashed by the post, it was Speedy Boarding who had her nose in front.
Pleascach ran a fantastic race after a 386-day absence, with supporters of So Mi Dar perhaps wondering what might have been.
A glorious retirement now appears on the cards for the winner, with Fans hawe saying: “She’ll probably go to stud now.”
The trainer added: “It was a brilliant race and there didn’t deserve to be a loser. She’s so tough and has been a wonderful filly for the yard.
“She raised her game again after the Romanet and really battled.”
Bolger said of the Godolphin-owned Pleascach: “She has run extremely well and might not be finished for the season. Let’s see what Sheikh Mohammed wants to do because I go in the same direction as he does.”
Gosden indicated So Mi Dar could have another run this season.
He said: “She got knocked back early in the race and got out to make her run late and it was too late. Let’s see how she is and then make a plan.”
Her owner Lady Lloyd Webber added: “She loved the ground, but was all over the place and got in a terrible muddle. It just shows how hard Group Ones are to win.”