Rizeena Upstages Top Pair in Moyglare Stakes
Rizeena unleashed a blistering rally from near the back of the field, blowing past battling front-runners Kiyoshi and Tapestry in the closing stages to capture the Moyglare Stud Stakes (Ire-I) Sept. 1 at the Curragh.
The 2-year-old Iffraaj filly advanced into striking distance just over a furlong out and displayed a furious turn of foot in the final 100 meters to win by three-quarters of a length from 13-8 favorite Kiyoshi, who took charge with an eighth of a mile to run.
Following a stewards' inquiry after Kiyoshi appeared to have interfered with 2-1 second favorite Tapestry, who engaged the leader in a fight to the finish line, the runner-up spot was awarded to Tapestry. Kiyoshi, who also badly hampered brief leader Wonderfully as she shifted right to the rail to take charge, was placed third. Wonderfully dropped back to finish sixth.
Kiyoshi's rider Jamie Spencer was handed a four-day ban for careless riding.
Rizeena, at 9-2 odds, covered seven furlongs in 1:22.91 under James Doyle for her second group victory and first at the elite level.
"I knew they'd go a good pace today and credit to them, there was some good fillies in the race but we were exceptionally good," trainer Clive Brittain said.
"I've trained some top fillies like Sayyedati, User Friendly, and Pebbles but she may not be far behind them."
With her win, Rizeena earned an automatic starting berth in the $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (gr. IT), a one-mile race Nov. 1 at Santa Anita Park as part of the Breeders' Cup Challenge "Win & You're In" series.
Rizeena has four wins, a second, and a third from seven career starts for owner Sheikh Rashid Dalmook al Maktoum. She was an $80,360 purchase by Rabbah Bloodstock out of breeder Roundhill Stud's consignment at last year's Tattersalls October yearling sale. Rabbah Bloodstock manages the racing and breeding interests of friends and business associates of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum.
Winner of the Queen Mary Stakes (Eng-II) in June at Royal Ascot, Rizeena rebounded from a third-place finish to No Nay Never in the Darley Prix Morny (Fr-I) Aug. 18 at Deauville. That followed a runner-up finish to Lucky Kristale in the Duchess of Cambridge Cherry Hinton Stakes (Eng-II) July 12 at Newmarket. Prior to that, she capped a three-race win streak, which included her three-length tally in the National Stakes at Sandown, with a two-length triumph in the Queen Mary.
Brittain indicated Rizeena might be pointed to a possible rematch with Lucky Kristale in the Cheveley Park Stakes (Eng-I) Sept. 28 at Newmarket.
Bred in Ireland, Rizeena is out of the winning Statue of Liberty mare Serena's Storm, a half sister to Australian group II winner Puissance de Lune. The winner is from the family of U.S. champion Serena's Song and multiple graded stakes winner Doubles Partner.
Rizeena is from the fourth crop of Darley sire Iffraaj, who in 2010 set a European record for a freshman sire with 36 2-year-old winners. The 12-year-old son of Zafonic has 15 stakes winners and a champion from four crops racing.
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