Nasser Bin Hamad Al Khalifa's 11-8 favored Daahyeh (GB) held off the challenges of stablemate Stylistique (GB) and Cloak of Spirits (IRE) to win Friday's $128,000 Shadwell Rockfel Stakes (G2) at Newmarket Racecourse by a half-length under William Buick, and gained an automatic berth into the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf through the international Breeders' Cup Challenge.
The Breeders' Cup Challenge is an international series of 86 stakes races whose winners receive automatic starting positions and fees paid into a corresponding race of the Breeders' Cup World Championships, which will be held at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California on Nov. 1-2. As part of the benefits of the Challenge series, Breeders' Cup will pay the entry fees for Daahyeh to start in the Juvenile Fillies Turf, which will be run at one mile. Breeders' Cup also will provide a $40,000 travel allowance for all starters based outside of North America to compete in the World Championships.
Daahyeh joins Love (IRE), winner of the Moyglare Stud Stakes (G1) at The Curragh and Abscond, who captured the Natalma Stakes (G1) at Woodbine, as the first three to gain automatic berths into the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf this year.
Breaking well among the eight 2-year-old fillies in the Shadwell Rockfel, Daahyeh, trained by Roger Varian, forged to the front with two furlongs remaining, joining Cloak of Spirits, who was racing along the rail, and Under the Stars (IRE) to her immediate right vying for the lead. In the last 100 yards, 14-1 Stylistique, under Frankie Dettori, joined the fray, mounting a late surge to the wire. But none could overtake Daahyeh.
A bay daughter of Bated Breath (GB) out of Affluent (GB) by Oasis Dream (GB), Daahyeh completed the seven furlongs in 1:24.14 over a course listed as good. Stylistique finished second, a short head in front of Cloak of Spirits, with Under the Stars a neck back in fourth.
“I think the Breeders' Cup will come under consideration – we said that after the Moyglare,” Varian said to ITV Racing afterward. “I'm sure it's still an option but it will all depend on the filly's condition.”
Daahyeh, now 3 of 5, was most recently second to Love by three-quarters of a length in the Moyglare as the 13-8 favorite.
After breaking her maiden at seven furlongs at Newmarket on May 18, Daahyeh was very impressive winning the Albany Stakes (G3) by 1 ½ lengths over 24 rivals at Royal Ascot on June 21. She finished second in the next start, the six-furlong Duke of Cambridge Stakes (G2) at Newmarket on July 12.
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