By Nicholas Godfrey
USA: Royal Ascot runner-up Sharing is set to chase G1 glory later this month in the Del Mar Oaks – coronavirus travel difficulties permitting, that is.
Trainer Graham Motion was thrilled with the three-year-old’s second-placed effort in the Coronation Stakes, where the Breeders’ Cup winner was a fine second to Alpine Star on ground softer than she would have liked.
Owned in partnership by Eclipse Thoroughbreds and Gainesway, Sharing worked for the first time since her trip to Britain this weekend at Motion’s Fair Hill Training Center base, and the trainer is keen for her to return to action in the Del Mar Oaks on August 22.
“That’s the race we’re pointing for, the only caveat being that shipping could be complicated, and force us into a Plan B at either Saratoga or even Churchill Downs in September,” said Motion.
Either way, Keeneland’s Queen Elizabeth II Cup in October is her principal end-of-season objective, with a tilt at the Breeders’ Cup back at the same track also a possibility.
Before her Royal Ascot defeat, Sharing had won four in a row, including last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies’ Turf at Santa Anita.
Reflecting on Sharing’s display at Royal Ascot, Motion said: “I was thrilled with her. The winner was very good and when I look back at the horses Miss Temple City ran against when she ran in that race, they all ended up as Breeders’ Cup winners and G1 winners so it is a race that produces tremendous horses.
“I did say that I wasn’t going to go over there again until I felt really good about it and I did feel really good about her,” he went on.
“We were a bit unlucky with the ground too – it could have had a big impact on her. But to go over there and run so well, I have to be very pleased – apart from the fact that I’d like to win one of them one of these days!”
Sharing is by no means the only top-class turf filly in Motion’s barn, however, as the four-year-old Mean Mary flashed star potential when completing a four-timer with a five-length victory in G2 company at Belmont Park last month.
The Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf will be her main target, with the G1 Diana Stakes at Saratoga on August 23 likely to be next on her dance card. “I think she’s very good, I really do,” said Motion.
“There’s a slim chance I could take on the boys in the Sword Dancer [August 29] but we’ll probably run her in the Diana,” he added.
“Her owner-breeder Alex Campbell is a Lexington native and with the Breeders’ Cup being run at Keeneland this year, that would obviously be our goal. She belongs in there, and I think shortening up to a mile and a furlong suits us with the Breeders’ Cup in mind.”