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Timepiece strikes it big at last!


Sir Henry Cecil has always held Prince Khaled Abdullah's Timepiece in high regard but it would be fair to say that until Friday's surprise victory in the Group 1 Etihad Airlines Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket's July Festival, the four-year-old filly had failed to realise her full potential, writes Elliot Slater.


Sent off a relatively unconsidered 16/1 shot, Timepeice was always travelling powerfully under Tom Queally and when asked to go about her business she quickened in fine style to lead over a furlong from home, then stayed on well to record a one-and-a-quarter-length victory over the high-class French mare Sahpresa (13/8f), with David Simcock's rank outsider First City (40/1) running the race of her life to snatch third, just ahead of Joviality and the South African raider River Jetez. Those following the Betfair racing tips will have been a little surprised by the result.


A beaten odds-on favourite for last season's Lingfield Oaks trial, Timepiece went on to finish only eighth to Snow Fairy in the Epsom classic itself, patently failing to see out the 12 furlong trip, but she bounced back on her next start to land the Listed Sandringham Handicap (over a mile) at last year's Royal Ascot meeting, then ended the term winning the Listed James Seymour Stakes over 10 furlongs at Newmarket in October.


Third behind stable companion Midday in the Group 2 Middleton Stakes at York on her seasonal return in May, the daughter of Zamindar again failed to run up to expectations at Epsom when only fourth to Antara at Group 3 level in June, before gaining a confidence boosting success in Listed company at Warwick last month. Cecil had been considering taking in another Listed event at Pontefract next week but instead, seeing that the filly was working with her old zest, decided the time was right to try again for a Group 1 success. Fans of horse racing betting will be keeping an eye out to see if she is no back to her best.


Not for the first time in his stunning career, Cecil knew exactly what he was doing and Timepiece finally vindicated his lofty opinion of her.

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