sport

Pretty Polly joy for Bird

Thistle Bird ran out an impressive winner of the Group One Newbridge Silverware Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh.

Roger Charlton's mare made it two wins in as many starts with an impressive victory in the 10 furlong feature to back up her win at the Epsom Derby meeting.

Ambivalent was also in action at Epsom and was sent off a well-backed favourite after a fine run in the Coronation Stakes and she adopted her usual position at the head of affairs but only after giving plenty of trouble at the start.

She was tracked throughout by Venus De Milo and soon began to give out distress signals when the Aidan O'Brien runner drew alongside.

Venus De Milo wasn't in front for long though, as George Baker was travelling strongly aboard the eventual winner just behind the leaders and he made his challenge as soon as the Aidan O'Brien runner had seen off Ambivalent.

The response was immediate as the six-year-old Selkirk mare showed a smart turn of foot to cruise to the front, eventually scoring by two and three quarter lengths from Venus De Milo.

Just The Judge stayed on at the one pace to finish third without ever looking entirely at ease on the ground with Ambivalent battling on for fourth.

It was a first top level success for Thistle Bird and the winning trainer was over the moon.

"I'm really delighted. There's not many things trainers get lucky at, but for a mare of that age to win a Group One is hugely satisfying," Charlton said.

"She travelled well and relaxed really well. She doesn't mind whether it's firm or heavy ground. She's tough and she's improving and it says a lot about keeping horses in training.

"She's had a few problems, but she's tough and sound and will be a great addition to the broodmare band.

"We were going to retire her after she finished second in a Group One (Nassau Stakes) last year, but the owner didn't have any other horses with me and I thought she could win good prizes.

"We delayed putting her in foal and she's done it now. It's hard to say (where next), but courses like Goodwood suit and she could go for the Nassau again.

"We'll pick and choose and take our time, there lots of nice races around Europe."

Baker, enjoying a fantastic season that has also included a Royal Ascot winner, said: "She travelled well and we got a lovely tow into the race.

"When she hit the front she was going through the motions, so it was a very good performance."