07/01/2012 4:12PM

Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf berth goes to Izzi Top


English trainer John Gosden and jockey William Buick had an outstanding June, winning five races at Royal Ascot from June 20-23 and two stakes at Newmarket on Saturday. Sunday, their success extended to Ireland where the 4-year-old filly Izzi Top won the Group 1 Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh.

The race did not live up to full expectations, however.  There were three late scratches, including Was, the English Oaks winner; Maybe, who was third in the English 1000 Guineas, and the outsider Bible Belt.

Izzi Top, the 3-2 second choice, won the race over 1 1/4 miles by 1 1/2 lengths over Sapphire, the 10-11 favorite. I’m a Dreamer and Up were third and fourth.

Buick had Izzi Top behind pacesetter Sapphire for the first mile and took the lead with a furlong remaining.

The win could lead to a start in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf at Santa Anita on Nov. 2. The Pretty Polly Stakes is part of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge program, offering a fees-paid berth to the winner for the Filly and Mare Turf.

Gosden said that the Filly and Mare Turf is a possibility, along with the Group 1 Nassau Stakes at Goodwood later this summer and the Group 1 Prix de l’Opera at Longchamp in Paris this fall.

Owned by Helena Springfield, Ltd., Izzi Top, a 4-year-old filly by Pivotol, has won 5 of 9 starts, including her last four starts. The Pretty Polly Stakes, worth approximately $240,000, was her first win in a Group 1.

There were two other Group 1 races in Europe on Sunday.

In the $504,000 Prix Jean Prat for 3-year-olds at Chantilly, France, Aesop’s Fables, a Kentucky-bred colt by Distorted Humor, won his first stakes in the one-mile turf race.

Ridden by Maxime Guyon for trainer Andre Fabre, 10-1 Aesop’s Fables closed from fourth in a field of eight to win by a length over the Gosden-trained Gregorian.  French Fifteen, the 3-2 favorite, finished seventh after taking an awkward step in the stretch.

Owned by Godolphin Racing, Aesop’s Fables was third in the Group 3 Prix de Palais-Royal in France last month, his 2012 stakes debut.

Pastorious, a 31-1 outsider, scored an upset win in $630,000 German Derby over about 1 1/2 miles on turf at Hamburg.

Ridden by Terry Hellier for trainer Mario Hofer, Pastorious closed from the back of the 14-horse field to take the lead from 7-10 favorite Novellist in the final sixteenth for his first major stakes win of the year. Pastorious, a colt by Soldier Hollow, won a Group 2 race in Germany last year.