Margot Did provided jockey Hayley Turner with the second group I victory of her career when she zipped to a three-quarter length win in the $429,500 Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes (Eng-I) at York Racecourse Aug. 19.
Turner had become just the second female jockey to ride a group I winner in England when she piloted Dream Ahead to victory the Darley July Cup (Eng-I) last month. The victory earned the 3-year-old daughter of Exceed And Excel an automatic berth in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (gr. IIT) in November.
A field of 15 sprinters went to post in the Nunthorpe, with favoritism going to the 4-year-old gelding Hoof It, who was making the leap into group I company for the first time. Margot Did, a listed winner who had finished in the money nine of her previous 12 starts, was dismissed at 20-1.
The field split into three separate groups at the break, with Margot Did racing with a group of five others along the stand’s side rail. Hoof It and Inxile raced down the center of the course, while the remainder of the field ran over on the far side rail.
Turner kept Margot Did forwardly placed throughout, and with just under two furlongs to run the pair shot to the front. Turner kept busy aboard Margot Did in the final furlong, and the filly had plenty left in the tank to hold off the late charge of Hamish McGonagall for the victory.
Prohibit closed late to finish third, just another half-length further back. The final time for the five-furlong dash was :58.66 over a course labeled as good to soft.
An ecstatic Turner said, “I can’t believe it. I have had the best season ever and I am just overwhelmed by it all. It just goes to show that if you are good enough and you work hard it can be done now.”
Michael Bell, who trains Margot Did for owners T. Redmond and P. Philipps, said of his talented filly, “This season just keeps getting better. This has been the plan since she won at Sandown and she is a really tough filly.”
Margot Did was bred in Ireland by N. Hartery. She is out of Special Dancer, a winning daughter of Shareef Dancer.