Ground played a huge role as the first three horses home (nearly) in the Prix de l’Abbaye Longines (Gr1) occupied the front end of the race all the way! Glass Slippers (Dream Ahead), the winner, took the lead early… flanking the leader towards the left was El Astronaute (Approve), who finished third, and to her right was Invincible Army (Invincible Spirit), who finished fourth.
In fact So Perfect (Scat Daddy) was the only one to close from behind the leader, coming with a late flourish to grab second, but never looked like troubling the winner.
Champion sprinter Battaash (Dark Angel) tried to follow the early pace, but it was quickly clear that he was not handling the heavy going, and therefore was mercifully nursed home by his jockey.
On the 15th of September Glass Slippers Qatar Prix du Petit Couvert (Groupe 3, 1 000 m) over the same course and distance.
This gives her jockey Tom Eaves a second win in the Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp Longines, after his win with Tangerine Trees in 2011. For her trainer this was also a second success in the race, with Desert Lord having won back in 2006.
Terry Holdcroft (owner and breeder of Glass Slippers, 1st)
“I think that the more I asked the trainer to enter her in a group 1 the more he thought I was crazy, up until now she had never won a group race. We were looking to steal a place, but to win with that much in hand was incredible. The other big surprise was how well she handled the ground, we always thought she preferred it better. Today she jumped out of the stalls incredibly fast. She is a filly that we decided to keep in training because the mother died and we have had a lot of the line. She is qualified to go to the Breeders Cup now, but I don’t think we will go, we need to talk to Kevin Ryan about that at least. He is a marvellous trainer. We are going to keep her in training for next year, why not have another go at winning the Abbaye!”
Tom Andrew Eaves (jockey of Glass Slippers, 1st)
“She is not big, but she has a huge heart. That is her third win in a row and it really is all thanks to teamwork. The trainer really does do an excellent job. I didn’t really have any plan, I just knew she would be able to do it. She was well placed and I just let her bowl along”
Aidan O’Brien (trainer of So Perfect, 2nd)
“So Perfect has run well against the older horses. She has managed to cope well with the ground. She picked up well inside the last furlong and we are very happy with that effort”
John Quinn (trainer of El Astronaute, 3rd)
“Absolutely thrilled with him there, we always thought he had a run like that in him. We were coming over with a bit of hope, but really we were coming to try our luck. We have learned that the older he is getting the more he prefers softer ground. So all the rain that would have helped us a lot. He is entered in a Listed race in Dundalk on the 16th of October so we will have a look at that, we might try and find something for him on the Tapeta also, he is in very good form”