05/18/2007 11:00PM

Head victory for Red Evie


Red Evie outdueled Ramonti and Passager to land a well-deserved victory in a thrilling renewal of the Group 1, $395,000 Lockinge Stakes at Newbury on Saturday as the Michael Stoute-trained duo of Jeremy and Peeress failed to make the frame.

Showing no ill effects from a nearly eight-month winter vacation, the 8-1 Red Evie was attacked on her right by Godolphin's recent Italian purchase Ramonti and on her left by French invader Passager. She stuck her nose in front at the sixteenth pole and, with rider Jamie Spencer hard at work, prevailed by a head over Ramonti and Frankie Dettori, with Passager another head back in third for trainer Criquette Head-Maarek. Jeremy was an unthreatening fifth with Peeress, the defending Lockinge champ and 11-8 favorite, sixth. The winner was clocked in 1:40.43 for the straight mile on good to soft ground.

Red Evie is a classic rags-to-riches story. Trained by Michael Bell in Newmarket, she was a $55,000 foal who finished ninth in her 2-year-old debut. At 3 she ran off six consecutive victories, including the one-mile Group 1 Matron Stakes at Leopardstown. In her latest start, on Sept. 30, she was fifth in the Group 1 Sun Chariot Stakes.

But Red Evie is now back to her best. Bell is aiming her at Royal Ascot's Queen Anne Stakes, a Group 1 mile on June 19. There she is expected to run into George Washington, last year's European champion miler.