Slippers Storms To Group 3 Success


Pattern success is great for trainers but it can be invaluable for breeders. Owners Terry and Margaret Holdcroft, of Bearstone Stud, have seen their colours carried to victory in many top class races as well as producing high level performers sold at there various sales. Their bloodlines have been built on a fantastic breeding programme and they have certainly produced a cracking filly who will be a future brood mare to continue their lines. Glass Slippers stormed home from last to first, taking the 5f Qatar Prix du Petiti Couvert (Group 3) at Longchamp. 

The daughter of Dream Ahead had started the year over 7f but has quickly developed into a smart sprinter. Having not stayed the extra distance she was dropped immediately back to 6f. At Haydock it was a solid run, then it was a very unlucky one when Glass Slippers took to the minimum trip and finished a narrow second. Both runs were in listed company and she would step into Group 3 class at York. Again it was a very solid performance as Glass Slippers went to finish fourth back over 6f.

It was clear that she had the ability to pick up a pattern success, as she had already got the all important black type. Kevin sent the filly over to France on her next start for a 6f Listed race. With limited options over here it was the most logical step and proved to be a very worthwhile trip over the Channel. Glass Slippers jumped out and made all, bravely holding off the runner up late on and securing her first pattern success. 

Glass Slippers already held another entry in France when she won. Again she travelled over but on the morning of the race was found to be lame, unfortunately having a bruised foot. thankfully it is a very minor niggle but it was frustrating to miss out on such an opportunity. Immediately following that Glass Slippers was entered up again for France and this time she would take up her engagement.

The Group 3 would mean a step back down to 5f and also the first time she would be taking on the opposite sex. There was a strong British challenge for the race and Glass Slippers was seen as needing another step up to be in the mix. Her conqueror at York, Shades Of Blue (finished 2nd and Glass Slippers 4th), was in the line up so it did seem as though a career best would be required. Tom Eaves has struck up a great partnership with the filly and he headed over to take the ride once again. 

Having shown plenty of speed in her last couple of outings it was going to be a case of seeing how she jumped regarding tactics. Glass Slippers was well away but there were some very fast 5f horses in the line up and the race was immediately set to be run at break neck speed. The pace could be seen as Tom had to ride his filly to keep tabs with the field as Glass Slippers was shuffled back to sit at the back of the field. There was certainly no hiding place but Glass Slippers got into her stride after the first furlong. 

They blitzed through the first half of the race. Tom had been riding his filly along but she made up some ground heading to the 3f pole and was right on the heels of the field. The 12 runners were well bunched together and Glass Slippers came good at the half way point and travelled on the bridle now she was in full swing. With the main body of the field racing towards the rail Tom just angled away towards the outside to ensure he would get a run when the time came. 

The leader had been Buonasera from the get go but moving inside the 2f marker she was ready to give way. It was the British raider Shades Of Blue that began to move through. Tom switched Glass Slippers around runners and looked to make a charge towards the centre of the track. There wasn’t anything else really starting to make a big challenge as now Shades Of Blue took over with 1 1/2f to run. With that filly having won over 6f there would be no worries about her finishing off strongly so those chasing would be set a tall order. Glass Slippers was beginning to pick up down the outer but she had 4 lengths to make up on her York conqueror. 

Entering the final furlong Shades Of Blue had kicked and looked to have the race at her mercy. There was little coming from off the pace but there was one who was very eye catching. Glass Slippers was now motoring down the outside passing rival after rival and had halved the deficit to the leader. Tom was getting a real tune from Glass Slippers and she was now hitting top gear although the line was also looming. As she passed rivals she began to edge over to her left spotting the leader in her eyeline. With 100 yards to run she had taken 2nd place and got to within a length of Shades Of Blue. The pair began to draw clear and it was between these British raiders for the win. They were both tough and very game but as Glass Slippers got to the leaders girths Tom asked for one more push. For a stride it looked as though maybe her run had just petered out but Glass Slippers wasn’t to be denied. In the last few strides she stuck her nose to the front and grabbed the win by a short neck.

Anybody who saw the race couldn’t help but be impressed by the manner in which Glass Slippers won. Having been outpaced early on she came good in the middle stages before quickening up very smartly. Her turn of foot was very impressive and then she battled at the death. This was a huge win for connections and there is a bigger prize that is in mind now. Having won a listed and group 3 race, Glass Slippers has already secured her breeding prospects for the future. This race has always been a trial for the Group 1 Prix De L’Abbaye on Arc day and this is likely to be the next step. It is obviously a big step up but the race is over C&D and will certainly be run at a similar break neck gallop. Glass Slippers is fast improving so there is no reason to think that she couldn’t improve once again and give a bold show in such a prestigious race.