02/25/2009 1:00AM

Strawbridge buys filly with eye to classics


Owner George Strawbridge will start the European racing season with double-barreled hopes for the classics. Already the owner of the European juvenile filly champion, Rainbow View, he has, according to the Racing Post, purchased Fantasia, a Sadler's Wells filly who finished second to Rainbow View in the Group 1 Fillies Mile at Ascot last September.

But the two fillies are unlikely to meet in the 1000 Guineas as previously expected, as the Pennsylvania-based Strawbridge does not want them going head to head. Instead, one will be aimed at the Newmarket classic on May 3 while the other will go in the Poule d'Essai des Pouliches, or French 1000 Guineas, at Longchamp on May 10.

Fantasia, who won the seven-furlong, Group 3 Prestige Stakes at Goodwood before her Fillies Mile second, will remain with trainer Luca Cumani at his Newmarket yard. Cumani has penciled in the seven-furlong, Group 3 Nell Gwyn Stakes at Newmarket on April 15 as her 3-year-old debut. Meanwhile, John Gosden is planning to send Rainbow View straight to the 1000 Guineas without benefit of a prep race, a not uncommon tactic in England, suggesting that Fantasia, previously owned by Fittocks Stud and Andrew Bengough, will probably wind up at Longchamp for the French Guineas, in which she is likely to meet French juvenile filly champ Proportional.