Lyric of Light reeled in a gallant Samitar in the final strides to capture the $234,000 Shadwell Fillies’ Mile (Eng-I) by a short head at Newmarket Sept. 23. The victory earned the daughter of Street Cry an automatic berth in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (gr. IIT) Nov. 4 at Churchill Downs.
A field of eight juvenile fillies went to the post in the Newmarket contest, with Godolphin’s Lyric of Light sent off as the 2-1 favorite. The Mahmood Al Zarooni trainee, who had captured the Barrett Steel May Hill Stakes (Eng-II) in her previous start, was looking to keep her perfect record intact with a win in the Mile.
Lyric of Light’s main competition appeared to come in the form of two rivals she defeated in the May Hill. The John Gosden-trained Fallen For You, a daughter of Dansili, hoped to reverse her quarter-length defeat in that race, while Mick Channon’s Samitar was trying to improve from her third-place finish that day.
Samitar broke the sharpest and was sent straight to the front by Jamie Spencer. She was followed by Firdaws under Richard Hills, as Devotion and Albamara raced just behind them in third and fourth, respectively. William Buick had Fallen For You tracking the leaders from fifth, with Frankie Dettori settling Lyric of Light at the rear of the field early on.
Samitar was allowed to have things her own way on the front end, and she led the field at a steady gallop throughout most of the one-mile contest. With two furlongs to run, Spencer asked his filly for a bit more and the pace quickened immediately, as Samitar set sail for home.
Firdaws was the first to challenge Samitar, pulling alongside the longtime leader with a furlong to run. Fallen For You was under a drive and soon joined the fray, and it looked like the race would be between those three fillies as they charged to the wire.
At the same time, Dettori had moved Lyric of Light into the clear on the far outside, and the duo began picking off rivals one by one as they zeroed in on Samitar. Spencer and Samitar continued to hold onto a tenuous lead, driving for the wire as Lyric of Light pulled alongside with just a few yards remaining.
At the wire it was Lyric of Light who came out on top, getting her head down on the line first in a tight finish. Firdaws faded in the final yards but still held on for third, 4 1/2 lengths behind the top pair.
The final time for the eight furlongs was 1:35.98 over the good to firm going.
After the race Dettori said, “She’s a superstar of a filly and only does what she has to do. She got very unbalanced coming down into the dip, but I managed to collar Jamie (Spencer) in the last 50 yards. I had a good idea my head was in front, but you never know until the judge calls your number.”
As for the filly’s future plans, Godolphin’s racing manager Simon Crisford said, “We’ll have to talk to Sheikh Mohammed about whether she runs again this season. I suspect not, but there is always the Breeders’ Cup to think about.”
Lyric of Light was bred in England by Darley and is out of the stakes winning Green Desert mare, Suez. She hails from the immediate family of champions Opera House, Kayf Tara, Stagecraft, and Cezanne.