Attraction suffers first defeat

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  • Top filly Attraction saw her series of victories brought to an abrupt end by her older rival Soviet Song in the UAE Equestrian and Racing Federation Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket this afternoon when the older filly snatched victory from under her nose in the final stages of the race

    Attraction ran an impressive race from the front, showing if anything improvement from her previous performances, but in the end she was simply outclassed by the older Soviet Song, who showed a tremendous turn of foot to come from behind and pip the three-year-old to the post.

    Ever since Soviet Song proved that she had bounced back to form at Ascot, when she came a very close second to Refuse to Bend in the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes, she has been cited as the filly to displace Attraction from her throne.

    Trainer James Fanshawe had been keen to convince critics that she is a “different filly” this year – last season saw a series of somewhat disappointing results, without a single victory to the filly’s name – and today’s convincing three length win puts her firmly at the head of fillies in training.

    Jockey Johnny Murtagh stuck firmly to orders to delight the four-year-old’s connections. He told Channel 4:

    “She is a great filly. James [Fanshawe] said to ride her with confidence and I rode her with all the confidence in the world.

    “I said to Kevin [McEvoy, Attraction’s jockey] after the race that he has a great filly, but ran into a machine today,” he added.

    The party may be over only temporarily for Attraction, who consolidated her brilliant success this season in both the 1,000 Guineas and its Irish equivalent with a dashing win in the Coronation Stakes at Ascot.

    Trainer Mark Johnston explained that he had felt that the early pace wasn’t quite quick enough: “I always felt that when something comes at you and goes faster than you are, horses don’t really accelerate and I think that is the case today – she hasn’t quickened.

    “We’ll probably come back and try again – it is not the end of the world. We will go home and analyse the race and look at what happened.”

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