Stenton Glider produced a fine run to finish second to all-the-way winner Habana in the German 1000 Guineas at Dusseldorf on Sunday.
The Hugo Palmer-trained daughter of Dandy Man, who was well held by Mawj in the English equivalent in soft ground at Newmarket on her previous run, the Fred Darling runner-up showed her true metal with a powerful display under Andrea Atzeni.
From an unpromising wide draw in stall 10, Atzeni was forced to make more use of her than he would lave liked early in the mile contest in order to get a good position.
Stenton Glider settled well in third behind the Andreas Wohler-trained Habana and although briefly losing momentum as they crossed the path shortly after turning for home, she stayed on well to take second ahead of the Charlie Appleby-trained Dream Of Love, who was sent off the 6-4 favourite under William Buick.
“That’s the luck of the draw, but the two big questions we wanted answered going there was whether she was a miler and whether she would handle fast ground,” said Palmer.
“They were giving the ground as good, but both Andrea Atzeni and William Buick both agreed the ground was firm, it may have been good to firm.
“She skipped off it and her best furlong was her last furlong, and she has now shown Group form on firm ground and heavy ground, and I’m sure she will be fine on anything in between, so that’s a massive box ticked for us.
“The winner had the run of the race and kicked clear – and the winner is clearly a very good filly – but she kicked clear when we were still behind horses turning for home.
“We were never going to catch her, but we were reducing the deficit all the time, and we’re obviously delighted with how she has run. Hopefully, her first stakes victory won’t be far away.”
Though beaten three lengths by Eduardo Predroza’s mount, there was plenty to like about the fillies who filled the places, and Palmer, who had won the Group Two contest twice before with Hawksmoor (2016) and Unforgetable Filly (2017), has not ruled out a trip to Royal Ascot with Stenton Glider.
He added: “This is the first time she has run on fast ground and Andrea said that when she went to let down on it, it was a new sensation for her and she just took a stride or two to hit top gear and realise she did enjoy it, and could handle it. She stretched all the way to the line.
“That path is a very difficult challenge of the race, like the ridges at the bottom of the hill at Sandown.
“I remember when we won it before, James Doyle made a particular issue of it. He was more prominent than we were today and he made sure that as soon as he crossed the path on the bridle, he kicked and took the momentum away form the others. It is one of the idiosyncrasies of the track.
“We weren’t in that position and we were chasing, so we had to go from there, but I’m absolutely delighted.
“We will see what the handicapper does, if we didn’t move too much and she came out of the race OK, then the Sandringham would still be a possibility.
“Potentially, there’s the Listed race at Carlisle (Eternal Stakes, over an extended six and a half furlongs) at the end of the month.
“I’ve always thought the Dick Hern at Haydock in early August might suit her very well. I suppose potentially the Thoroughbred Stakes at Goodwood – I’m talking off the top of my head – she could take on colts.
“The priority is she needs to be a stakes winner. Once she is, then the world really is her oyster. Then we can have fun – not that we are not having fun at the moment!”
Buick was far from unhappy with the performance from Dream Of Love, who had been a place and a length in front of Stenton Glider when 12th in the fillies’ Classic at Newmarket.
Prominent near the rail throughout, she stuck to her task well to finish two-and-a-quarter lengths further back in third.
Buick said: “She ran very well. I thought it was a competitive race on fast ground.
“Everything went smooth and she has probably taken another step up on what she has achieved in the past.”