Usherette (Mickael Barzalona) beats Arabian Queen
PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
By Peter Thomas 11:23AM 9 JUN 2016
DAHLIA heroine Usherette received a big vote of confidence from Godolphin chief executive John Ferguson ahead of her challenge for next Wednesday’s Duke of Cambridge Stakes.
Usherette will be saddled with a 3lb penalty for her Newmarket success but, speaking at a Royal Ascot media conference at the Jockey Club Rooms in Newmarket on Thursday morning, Ferguson was unable to hide the regard in which the lightly-raced daughter of Shamardal is held by both himself and the filly’s trainer.
“I love talking to Andre Fabre about this filly,” said Ferguson. “He gets the biggest smile on his face when talking about Usherette [and] he’s an extraordinary judge.”
Usherette is a best-priced 11-4 for the Group 2 – restricted to older fillies and mares – and will face, among others, a talented US raider in the shape of Miss Temple City, who carries a 5lb penalty for her Grade 1 success at Keeneland in April.
Trainer Graham Motion has brought Miss Temple City back over from his Maryland base following a fourth-placed effort in last season’s Coronation Stakes and has opted for the Duke of Cambridge in preference to the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes on Tuesday.
“We have been avoiding Tepin for the whole year and Miss Temple City ran against the colts last time because that was easier,” said Motion. “I didn’t want to come all the way over here just to meet her.”