The iron filly Together was scheduled to return to Ireland Oct. 16, a day after her impressive 1 1/4-length victory in the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Stakes (gr. IT), according to a Keeneland release.
“She came out of the race well and now we’ll take her back home,” said Kieran Murphy, assistant to trainer Aidan O’Brien, who conditions Together for owners Susan Magnier, Michael Tabor, and Derrick Smith. “She didn’t have to run very hard and she was pulling away at the end. She had a great trip and Colm (O’Donoghue) rode her perfectly. I think she can run even better.”
The Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup triumph capped a profitable stay for Together at Keeneland with the $240,000 winning check being added to a $70,000 check for running second the a week earlier in the First Lady (gr. I).
“We were happy with her the whole time she was here,” Murphy said. “We were happy with everything here. The treatment and hospitality we received couldn’t have been better.”
Murphy said it is possible the 3-year-old daughter of Galileo could return to Kentucky for the Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Churchill Downs Nov. 4-5.
“We’ll see how she came out of the race back home and they’ll have 10 days or so to make a decision,” Murphy said regarding the Breeders’ Cup.
In other Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup news:
Trainer Tom Proctor, who saddled runner-up Marketing Mix, was wishing Together had left Keeneland a week earlier.
“I wish they hadn’t run her back in a week. My filly was 3 1/2 lengths clear of the rest of them,” Proctor said. He added with a laugh: “I would have looked like a superstar.”
Marketing Mix has two wins and a second in three starts on turf.
“She is good this morning,” Proctor said. “She will probably go to the farm for a while and then (I'll) probably start her back at Tampa (Bay Downs). They have races for her there.”
Winter Memories came out of the race fine as well.
“She’s good. She’s just tired,” said trainer Jimmy Toner about Phillips Racing Partnership's filly, who finished fourth as the 7-5 favorite.
Winter Memories was attempting to join her dam, Memories of Silver, as a winner of the grade I stakes. The race marked the final start of the year for the El Prado filly, who will receive some time off at Darby Dan Farm near Lexington. Winter Memories then will head to Palm Meadows training center in Florida to prepare for a 4-year-old season that is expected to include an April appearance at Keeneland.
Team Valor International’s Summer Soiree, who set the pace before fading to fifth, came out of the race well, according to trainer Graham Motion.
“She’s fine this morning and will go back to Fair Hill,” Motion said. “She might possibly run next in the Matriarch (gr. IT) and get her back to a mile.”
The Matriarch, a $250,000 event at Hollywood Park, is scheduled for Nov. 25. Motion won the race last year with Gypsy's Warning.