This is her time of year. In 2019 Glass Slippers thrived from August, taking her form to a different level. With a listed and Group 3 win in France, she went and blitzed the field in the Group 1 Prix De L’Abbaye. Her defence is well and truly on the agenda now after she secured a second win at the highest level when winning the 5f Derringstown Stud Flying Five Stakes at the Curragh.
Over the last few years Battash has firmly held the 5f sprints in the palm of his hand. Writing headlines every time he takes to the track, the races are almost handed to him before the off. Glass Slippers first came up against the superstar last year in the Prix De L’Abbaye. It was her time to shine as she ran away with the Gr1 contest, putting her name forward as the biggest rival to Battash. That result really gave people something to look forward to this year when the pair clashed again.
With racing put on hold this year, Royal Ascot would be the first opportunity for the rematch as Glass Slippers headed to the Kings Stand. The score was pulled level as Glass Slippers made a very promising return but couldn’t quite match her French heroics. Having raced alone down the centre of the track she looked as though she would come on for the run and it was straight on to Goodwood for round 3.
Although the race represented a drop to Group 2 company, it was only that in name as Battash, Glass Slippers and Kings Stand 3rd Liberty Beach, lined up to do battle. Glass Slippers took a big step forward from her previous effort and chased home Battash despite dwelling a little at the start. It was a very positive run and although she was now 2-1 down to the star, the effort showed she could pick up a top level success once more.
For 5f sprinters the program is pretty straight forward if you don’t step up to 6f. Following Goodwood there are just three Group 1’s available in Europe with one more at The Breeders Cup. The Nunthorpe comes at the Ebor meeting in August but connections decided to sit that clash out. With the Flying Five just 3 weeks later, Ireland would be her next stop going into the contest fresher than most. Battash took the Nunthorpe in a batting finish which connections then quickly ruled out a trip to Ireland.
When the declarations came out the Flying Five attracted 14 runners with a strong raiding party. Despite being the only Group 1 winner in the field, Glass Slippers was only the third favourite. A’Ali headed the market with the best Irish sprinter, Make A Challenge vying for favouritism. Recent changes in the Irish government’s Covid rules meant that Tom Eaves could go over to ride the filly without needing a 14 day quarantine.
All sprints are quick but with Que Amoro lining up there would be a frantic pace set from the off. Drawn in stall 2, Glass Slippers was well away and straight into her stride, moving forward to press for the early lead. It was Que Amoro who came through to take up the running and she was closely followed by a trio of British raiders. Glass Slippers was well to the fore but when her rivals rushed up on the outer she was shuffled back to sit on fifth spot. Tom allowed her to get into a rhythm as she sat just off the frantic pace with the leaders charging through the first furlong.
The 14 runners tracked over as far as they could with the field racing towards the far rail. With the pace strong, Glass Slippers just had to be niggled along to maintain her position. There was no time for a breather with Que Amoro pouring it on from the front and in a flash they had raced through 2f . The sprint track joins the round at halfway and the field began to get ready for the final flourish. Despite most of the runners coming across, the cut away allowed Glass Slippers enough space to get a run as they moved to the business end.
Although Glass Slippers had been the first one to come under a little pressure, she had maintained her position throughout and passing the 2f marker came good for Tom. The leading quartet had been the same throughout the contest and Que Amoro tried to steal a march on her rivals. This move was covered with ease with Keep. Busy moving through down the near side. Glass Slippers did likewise on the inner and moved closer to start laying down her challenge. It was the raiders who looked in control of the contest and 1 1/2f from home almost half of the field were not going to be winning, including favourite A’Ali.
Baring down on the final furlong the lead changed hands with Maid of India and Keep Busy taking over from Que Amoro who was back pedalling. Glass Slippers moved through to make it 3 in a line as they continue to dash for the winning post. As they moved into the final furlong Keep Busy snatched the advantage but her move was covered by Glass Slippers who was responding well to Tom’s drive. The pair had swarmed Maid In India who began to weaken under the pressure. Nothing else was really getting into it, although Sonaiyla was staying on well from the back. Glass Slippers joined Keep Busy with 100 yards to run and the pair were eyeballing each other with the Group 1 prize firmly in both their sights. The finish of Glass Slippers looked stronger and she stuck her nose into the lead for the first time. It was far from over as Keep Busy proved herself to be very tough but once Glass Slippers had the lead she was not going to be denied. Tom was driving for the line and he had the perfect filly for the job. Pulling away to a 1/4 length lead, Keep Busy had one last go but that just gave Glass Slippers the urge to pull out a bit more. Crossing the line with a 1/2 length lead Glass Slippers took her second Group 1 success.
This year has almost been a carbon copy of 2019 and Glass Slippers has improved with each passing week. She looks to thrive at this time of year and that is the case once again. Her first two runs of the season were very promising but she looked as good as ever when winning in Ireland. The pace was frantic but she showed speed early on to get a good position and then finished strongly at the end. With a future as a broodmare, Glass Slippers has added great value to herself becoming a dual Group 1 winner but before then she has some more targets. France will be next on the cards as she heads to Longchamp to defend her Prix De L’Abbaye crown. It will also be a chance to level the score with Battash. There is also a possibility of the Breeders Cup in Keeneland as she earned an entry with her win. Wherever she goes, Glass Slippers is now a leading contender as she has proven herself to be one of the best sprinters around.