Sparks Fly bidding for seventh heaven at York on Friday

By Sports Desk July 26, 2023

Sparks Fly will bid for a remarkable seventh consecutive victory in the British EBF 40th Anniversary Lyric Fillies’ Stakes at York on Friday.

The Dave Loughnane-trained three-year-old was rated just 59 when her winning spree began at Windsor in April, but five further victories have seen her mark rise to 98 and earned her a step up to Listed level.

She has won three times at Windsor, once at Thirsk, once at Chester and most recently struck gold north of the border at Ayr.

Sparks Fly will become winning-most Flat horse in Britain this season if she can bring up the seven-timer for owner David Lowe in Friday evening’s £70,000 feature on the Knavesmire.

“The owner is a very good owner – he’s very loyal and always gives his horses a chance. We gave her a chance to just fill her frame a bit and a chance to develop,” said Loughnane.

“All her siblings have been very early sharp two-year-olds; you’d expect her to be, but she wasn’t. We gave her the time and reaped a reward.

“She’s always been a bit of a stable favourite. She’s a lovely filly and a pleasure to have around the place – everyone always liked her.

“Obviously, it’s been a lovely journey to be part of and I don’t think we’re finished yet.”

The Shropshire-based trainer is hoping for some cut in the ground at York, adding: “The plan is, provided there’s ‘soft’ in the description, she’ll run.

“I’d go there quite bullish if the ground conditions are right. The way she’s won every race, she’s done it with complete ease. I don’t think we’re anywhere near the bottom of her yet.

“I think she’d be fine on good ground as well, but it’s not something we need to find out right now. Obviously, we’re on for a seven-timer, so we just need to tick every box at the moment.”

Sparks Fly is one of 10 fillies declared. Her rivals include the William Haggas-trained Golden Lyra, a Listed winner in France last season, and Richard Fahey’s Midnight Mile, who placed fourth in the Musidora Stakes at York in the spring.

Electric Eyes, trained by Karl Burke, is another major contender as she makes her first competitive appearance since finishing second in the Group One Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket in September.

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