Big-race options yet to be decided for brilliant Inspiral

By Sports Desk October 07, 2023

A shot at Queen Elizabeth II Stakes retribution or a trip to the Breeders’ Cup are the options for Inspiral having handled the weight of expectation in supreme style in the Virgin Bet Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket.

The John and Thady Gosden-trained four-year-old has always been one of the leading fillies of her generation and arrived at the Rowley Mile at the peak of her powers having dazzled at Deauville in the Prix Jacques le Marois.

Not only was she bidding for a fifth victory at the highest level, but she was also tasked with carrying her regular big-race partner Frankie Dettori to his 500th career victory in the town both Inspiral and her pilot call home.

However, any nerves her Clarehaven training team may have had were soon dispelled as the Cheveley Park Stud standard-bearer delivered a devastating display to turn the Group One feature into a procession.

John Gosden said: “She was in top form today. The ground was quick, and she runs on anything bar the heavy of Goodwood.

“She showed a lot of class today, there is no doubt about it. She travelled well and there was a good pace. Andre Fabre’s dual Group One winner from Deauville (Mqse De Sevigne) was second so it is solid form.

“We missed the Lockinge as she had a muscle spasm problem so by the time we got to Royal Ascot (Queen Anne Stakes) she was only about 80 per cent fit.

“She was only beaten a neck that day and she got a touch tired in the last half a furlong, but she has been faultless since. She had an elaborate piece of work in the Sussex Stakes, but we were clear if she didn’t handle the ground wrap up on her and head to Deauville.

“There was a lot more pressure on today as she is a very good filly, and the ground is quicker than we would expect to find here in the autumn. It is real fast summer ground, but she has run absolutely superbly and I couldn’t be more pleased.”

Attentions now turn to the future with Gosden keen to take stock before nailing his colours to any particular mast.

Possible assignments on Inspiral’s radar include the opportunity to make amends for last year’s British Champions Day disappointment at Ascot in the QEII, a race that takes place on Dettori’s final day in the saddle in Britain.

A visit Stateside for the Breeders’ Cup Mile was also mooted as an option, but the final call will rest with Cheveley Park’s Patricia Thompson.

“Plans, we will see,” continued Gosden. “She is in the QEII and she could be entered at the Breeders’ Cup, but we won’t make a decision for at least a week or two.”

“I always want to see how they are two or three days after the race before making any grandiose plans, let alone plans.

“They would be the two options if she is in good nick. One lady will decide, if she races on, and that is Mrs Thompson. That was only her fourth run this year and she is weighing the heaviest she has ever weighed.”

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