Class and consistency paid off in a major way as Music Show swept by Spacious in the final furlong to earn her first group I victory in the Etihad Airways Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket July 7.
Settled toward the rear of the field by jockey Richard Hughes, Music Show traveled along comfortably as Spacious and Strawberrydaiquiri went to the front and set a quick pace. They were tracked by Coronation Stakes (Eng-I) winner Lillie Langtry, and dual classic winner Special Duty, who was racing quite keenly under Tom Queally.
Spacious and Strawberrydaiquiri continued to battle each other through the first half mile. As the field hit the three-furlong marker, Strawberrydaiquiri began to fade, while Spacious lengthened her stride and appeared on her way to her first group I win.
Hughes had a ton of horse under him but nowhere to go, as Music Show was stuck behind a wall of horses with just two furlongs left. When a gap between horses failed to materialize, Hughes swung Music Show to the outside and the response was immediate. The filly shot by Spacious within a few strides to win going away by two lengths.
Spacious held on easily for second, three-quarters of a length in front of Rainfall. The final time for the eight furlongs was 1:36.76 over the good to firm going.
Both Lillie Langtry and Special Duty were major disappointments, finishing fifth and seventh, respectively.
Music Show, who is trained by Mick Channon for owner Jaber Abdullah, has now improved to five wins from nine starts. The daughter of Noverre captured the Rockfel Stakes (Eng-II) in her last start of 2009, and began her 3-year-old season with a win in the Nell Gwyn Stakes (Eng-III) in April.
Her recent outings have been narrow defeats, in both the Etihad Airways Irish One Thousand Guineas (Ire-I) and the Coronation Stakes (Eng-I).
A delighted Channon told reporters after the race, “We always believed she was the best 3-year-old filly in the country, but sometimes the faith falls away; but with this filly it never did. In both Guineas she was trapped out wide and then when she was beaten at Ascot, I was in bits.”
Regarding future plans, Channon said, “We will have a look at the Matron Stakes (Ire-I, Sept. 4) and also have a think about the Prix Rothschild in Deauville (Fr-I, Aug. 1) where we can have a go at Goldikova. She’s the top dog and that’s what it’s all about, having a go at those sort of horses.”
A disappointed Criquette Head-Maarek, trainer of Special Duty, said of her charge after the race: “She didn’t run her race. Maybe something will come out but I don't know. She’s been working very well, but she’s walking like a dead horse.”
Music Show was bred in Ireland by Darley. She is the last reported foal out of the Mr. Prospector mare, Dreamboat, who died in 2009. Dreamboat was the first foal out of the multiple grade I winning mare, Gorgeous, who was a member of champion Slew o’ Gold’s first crop.
Gorgeous was out of Canadian champion 3-year-old filly and Broodmare of the Year Kamar, who also produced champion Key to the Moon and Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) winner Seaside Attraction.