The William Haggas-trained Urban Fox pounced in Aidan O’Brien’s back yard at the Curragh on Sunday when easily accounting for Invest Oaks winner Forever Together in the Group 1 Juddmonte Pretty Polly Stakes.
Tackling top grade competition for the first time in her career and stepping up to 10 furlongs from a mile for the first time, 9/1 shot Urban Fox – tipped exclusively at Betting.Net in our Race Of The Day feature – had finished an improved fourth at Royal Ascot last month in the Group 2 Duke of Cambridge Stakes and was always travelling sweetly on Sunday in the hands of Danny Tudhope. Seizing his opportunity as he saw Ryan Moore hard at work on the 4/6 favourite and Oaks heroine, Tudhope surged into the lead three furlongs out aboard the daughter of Foxwedge and soon put the race beyond doubt, staying on powerfully to score by over three lengths from the odds-on market leader, who in turn was over two lengths clear of stable companion Athena (7/1).
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“I’m thrilled to bits,” said Maureen Haggas, wife of the winning trainer. “I couldn’t be more pleased. She’s a beautiful filly. William said he wanted to step her up in trip and she’s really enjoyed it. She’s a beautiful, big filly and she’ll give the owners a beautiful mare when she goes to stud. She’s done really well. She’ll be given a bit of a break now.”
“We knew she would stay the trip and it was a question of whether she would be good enough – and she certainly was,” added Tudhope.
There is little doubt that the extra two furlongs brought out the best in the upwardly mobile four-year-old who is now a serious contender for another major fillies race at the distance, the Group 1 Qatar Nassau Stakes at Glorious Goodwood on August 2. Haggas looks to have a particularly strong hand in the race with Sea of Class, the current 4/1 ante-post favourite with 888sport, already set to represent his Newmarket stable in the big race, possibly set to be joined by Urban Fox, the new second-favourite at 5/1 with Betfair.
Written by Paul Alster
Paul Alster has been part of the British and international racing media for more than three decades working as a race commentator, TV/radio presenter, journalist, betting correspondent, SP returner, and form analyst. He’s always sought out overpriced runners in handicap races, a quest that excites him as much now as it did at the start of his career.