08/19/2016 1:10PM

Lady Aurelia goes for French Group 1


In two races on two continents, Lady Aurelia was unbeatable in the spring.

After winning a maiden race at Keeneland by 7 1/2 lengths in April, Lady Aurelia cruised to an impressive win by seven lengths in the Group 2 Queen Mary Stakes for 2-year-old fillies at Royal Ascot in June.

Her next objective is France’s top August race for 2-year-olds – Sunday’s $395,990 Prix Morny for colts and fillies at six furlongs at Deauville Racecourse. As of Friday, Lady Aurelia was as low as 1-3 with some European bookmakers to win the Group 1 race against four rivals.

“I’m very excited about the race,” trainer Wesley Ward said by phone from France on Thursday. “I think she’s in unbelievable shape. This is a tremendous filly.”

Owned by Stonestreet Stable, George Bolton, and Peter Leidel, Lady Aurelia handled the recent flight from Kentucky to France without difficulty, Ward said.

“She has the same weight she had when she left,” Ward said.

Lady Aurelia will be ridden by Frankie Dettori, who was aboard for the win in the Queen Mary Stakes at five furlongs on a straightaway turf course. The Prix Morny is run on a straight turf course.

In the Queen Mary, Lady Aurelia took the lead at the start and accelerated away from 16 rivals in the final furlong to record a commanding win. Her main rival in the Prix Morny is Tis Marvellous, who won the Group 2 Prix Robert Papin at 5 1/2 furlongs at Maisons-Laffitte Racecourse in Paris on July 24 for his first stakes win.

Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien runs Peace Envoy, who won the Group 3 Anglesey Stakes at The Curragh on July 16. Alrahma and Al Johrah are the outsiders in the field.

The Deauville program includes the $282,250 Prix Jean Romanet, a Group 1 for fillies and mares at 1 1/4 miles on turf. None of the 10 runners has won a Group 1.

The race is led by Speedy Boarding, who won the Group 2 Prix Corrida at Saint-Cloud Racecourse in France on May 26 but was last of five behind the star 3-year-old filly Minding in the Group 1 Pretty Polly Stakes at The Curragh in Ireland a month later.

Speedy Boarding’s competition in the Prix Jean Romanet includes the German stakes winner Royal Solitaire; Steip Amach, who was third in the Group 1 Prix Rothschild for fillies and mares at Deauville on July 31; and Bocca Baciata, the winner of the Group 2 Kilboy Estate Stakes at The Curragh on July 17.

Mecca’s Angel repeats in Nunthorpe

Mecca’s Angel won the $445,400 Nunthorpe Stakes for sprinters for the second consecutive year at York Racecourse in England on Friday, earning a fees-paid berth to the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Santa Anita on Nov. 5.

Mecca’s Angel (9-2) won the Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes at five furlongs by two lengths over Limato, the 9-5 favorite. Ridden by Paul Mulrennan for trainer Michael Dods, Mecca’s Angel took the lead a quarter-mile from the finish.

Owned by David Metcalfe, Mecca’s Angel, 5, was one of five females in the field of 19. Dods said after the race that Mecca’s Angel will be pointed for the British Champions Sprint at Ascot in October. Mecca’s Angel is scheduled to be retired at the end of the year and bred in 2017.