In doing so, Mountain High became the third group I winner for his dam, Hellenic. The 20-year-old Darshaan mare has also produced champion turf mare Islington and Greek Dance, who was champion older horse in Germany.
Kieren Fallon rode the 5-year-old son of Danehill for trainer Sir Michael Stoute. The victory marked the first group I for Fallon since he returned to riding earlier this month from a six month suspension handed out by French racing authorities in December. The rider had tested positive for a banned substance. Fallon still remains prohibited from riding in Britain, pending the outcome of a trial on conspiracy to defraud. These charges stem from an investigation into alleged race fixing.
Settled just off the early pace dictated by Irish Wells, Fallon asked Mountain High to quicken with about two furlongs left, and the duo quickly shot to the front and put daylight between themselves and their rivals. They won easily by 1 1/2 lengths over Mandesha. Prince Flori was a half-length back in third.
Last year’s champion filly Mandesha had been made the odds-on favorite by the betting public. The daughter of Desert Style broke slowly from the gate though, then proceeded to fight jockey Christophe Soumillon through the first three furlongs. She made a move to capture second place, but flattened out in the stretch.
Time for the 12 furlongs over the good to soft turf was 2:29.7.
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