04/17/2013 12:30PM

Hot Snap wins Nell Gwyn Stakes with impressive performance


There were three good-looking winners on the Wednesday card at Newmarket in England, but Hot Snap might have been the most impressive of them, winning the Group 3 Nell Gwyn Stakes by 2 1/4 lengths in only her second start.

Trained for owner-breeder Juddmonte Farms by Henry Cecil, Hot Snap, a 3-year-old half-sister to Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf winner Midday, won her only race at age 2, a one-mile maiden on the all-weather surface at Kempton. The bare form from that performance was inconclusive, but Hot Snap left the impression she is a high-class performer with her victory in the seven-furlong, straight-course Nell Gwyn.

Lacking tactical pace, Hot Snap raced last of 14 under Tom Queally for about half the trip, accelerating into contention along the inside rail about a quarter-mile from the finish. Group 1 winner Sky Lantern, the race favorite, came up the fence ahead of Hot Snap, taking the lead about a furlong and a half out, but Hot Snap collared her on the inside an eighth-mile from home, and Sky Lantern simply could not match her less experienced rival’s finishing burst. Winning time on a course rated good was 1:24.39. Sky Lantern, who carried three pounds more than her rivals, finished 2 1/2 lengths ahead of third-place Winning Express.

English betting houses quickly trimmed Hot Snap’s antepost betting price for the English 1000 Guineas, and she now is among the favorites for that one-mile race May 5 at Newmarket. Sky Lantern and Winning Express also are expected to go on to the Guineas.

The two other Newmarket winners of note Wednesday were 3-year-old colts, Garswood and Intello. Garswood won the European Free Handicap in a dominant performance under Tony Hamilton, and could be headed for the English 2000 Guineas, according to trainer Richard Fahey. German-bred, France-based Intello, now unbeaten in three starts, totally outclassed six rivals in the listed EBM-Papst Feidlen Stakes. Andre Fabre, who trains Intello for the Wertheimer brothers, said the colt could be pointed to the French Derby.