Heavenly Result in Nassau Stakes
Photo: Trevor Jones
Halfway to Heaven holds on to take the Nassau Stakes under Johnny Murtagh.
The Ballydoyle juggernaut notched a remarkable 17th group I win of the season when Halfway To Heaven held on for a gallant head victory over Lush Lashes in the Blue Square Nassau Stakes (Eng-I) at Goodwood Aug. 2.

The 3-year-old daughter of Pivotal was last seen capturing the Boylesports Irish One Guineas (Ire-I) on May 25. Given a two-month vacation, the gray filly was eager to run and was in front after the first furlong. Johnny Murtagh then got her settled down, and the duo was content to let Muthabara and Richard Hills take over the lead.

Halfway To Heaven benefited from a well-judged ride by Murtagh, who kept his filly at a steady gallop in second behind Muthabara for much of the first mile.

As the field entered the home straight with two furlongs to run, Halfway To Heaven seized command and sprinted for the wire. She was all-out to hold off Lush Lashes, who didn’t get clear sailing until the final furlong.

Passage Of Time, a group I winner at age 2, appears to be rounding back into her best form and was just another head back in third.

Final time for the 10 furlongs was 2:09.73 over the good to firm course.

Favorite Lush Lashes and jockey Kevin Manning seemed to find trouble everywhere throughout the race, as they were boxed at several different points. Adding to their unfortunate trip, Manning temporarily dropped his reins close to home. The jockey recovered quickly, but his charge could not get by the determined winner.

Halfway To Heaven now boasts three wins from six career starts. The gray filly is out of the stakes-winning Indian Ridge mare, Cassandra Go.  She is a half-sister to stakes winner Theann and hails from the female family of Verglas and champion Bandido Secreto.

Peeping Fawn Retired

Peeping Fawn, winner of four consecutive group I races last year has been retired, it was announced Aug. 2.

Unraced at 2, the daughter of Danehill broke her maiden in her fourth career start, then finished third to champion Finsceal Beo in the Boylesports Irish One Thousand Guineas (Ire-I) in her stakes debut. After a strong second to Light Shift in the Vodafone Oaks (Eng-I) just a week after the Irish Guineas, Peeping Fawn reeled off four straight wins, all at the group I level. She was last seen on the race course when winning the Darley Yorkshire Oaks (Eng-I) last August.

Trainer Aidan O’Brien told the Racing Post, “We took her away from home to work before she was due to run in the Pretty Polly Stakes (Ire-I) in June, and things weren’t quite 100% with her afterwards.”

O’Brien continued, “While the problem wasn’t a major one, she didn’t come back the way we thought she would. As she had been such a great filly, we took the decision on Friday to retire her.”

Peeping Fawn is by Danehill out of Maryinsky, by Sadler’s Wells.  She hails from the immediate female family of champion Rags to Riches and grade I winner Jazil.

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