Fleeting Spirit had to survive a stewards’ inquiry before she was awarded her first group I victory, taking the Darley July Cup (Eng-I) at Newmarket July 10.
Jockey Tom Queally kept Fleeting Spirit close to the early pace, which was set by Main Aim and Takeover Target. Fleeting Spirit shot to the lead with just under two furlongs to run, as the longtime leaders began to fade. Once she made the lead, however, things began to get interesting.
Fleeting Spirit began to drift slightly to her left, causing Queally to switch his whip to his left hand to correct her. The 4-year-old daughter of Invincible Spirit responded by veering sharply to her right, noticeably hampering Main Aim, who was re-rallying under Ryan Moore.
Queally managed to straighten his filly’s course, and the pair crossed the finish line 1 1/4 lengths in front of Main Aim, who had managed to hang on for second. J J The Jet Plane got up for third, finishing a half-length behind Main Aim. Heavily-favored Scenic Blast, who had captured the King’s Stand Stakes (Eng-I) at Royal Ascot last month, was never a factor and finished 10th.
After a lengthy stewards’ inquiry, the results were allowed to stand. Final time for the six furlongs was 1:09.58 over a course that was listed as good to firm.
Regarding his adventurous winning trip, Queally told reporters after the race, “I gave her a crack on her right and she went left and then I pulled (the whip) through immediately and then the opposite happened, but I was well on top near the end.”
“She really has an impressive turn of foot.”
Trainer Jeremy Noseda added, “This wasn't really the original plan after Ascot, but we gave her 10 days off and I thought I want to be around if for some reason Scenic Blast doesn't turn up.”
“This is a group I she deserves, as I feel when my horses got sick just before Ascot last year that she was robbed of winning the King's Stand,” Noseda continued. “She never really bounced back for the rest of the year but today was a great result and a great performance.”
Fleeting Spirit is out of Millennium Tale, by Distant Relative. She was bred in Ireland by Bernadette Hayden, and is owned by The Searchers partnership.