TOP-CLASS race-mare Highfield Princess makes her seasonal reappearance at York on Wednesday when she’ll be part of a field of 11 in the Group 2 1895 Duke of York Clipper Stakes.
The six-year-old has won two of her four previous starts at the Knavesmire, finishing second and third on the other two occasions.
One of her two course victories came last August when she won the Coolmore Wootton Bassett Nunthorpe Stakes – the middle leg of a dazzling Group 1 hat-trick that she recorded in 2022.
Now connections are looking forward to launching Highfield Princess’s latest campaign in York’s £145,000 contest, staged over six furlongs. Jason Hart, aboard for all her three Group 1 triumphs, is in the saddle and the pair will break from stall eight.
One key factor to note is that, due to her success at the highest-level last season, she will carry 9st 12lb – more than any of her 10 rivals in the race.
Yorkshire-based John Quinn, who trains at Settrington, just to the east of Malton, said: “She had a break after America, but she’s been back in a while.
“We’re pleased how she’s training but all of her life she’s been getting the mares’ allowance and now, with her Group 1 penalty, obviously she’s giving weight to colts – which won’t be easy. But we’re happy with her and it’s a great place to start off her season.
“She’s a mare who’s always thrived on racing and improved run by run. It’s a starting point at a track she loves and we love. So, we’re looking forward to it.”
Australian speedster, second in the Al Quoz Sprint on Dubai World Cup night, is an intriguing runner – as is the relatively unexposed Marshman. The Karl Burke-trained three-year-old receives weight all round and comes into the race after darting to a comfortable Group 3 victory in France last month.
Creative Force is another with Group One form, arriving off the back of a win. He prevailed in a Haydock Park conditions race only on Saturday and is swiftly turned out again by Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby.
Two others with relatively recent winning form are Azure Blue and Diligent Harry.