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Together Sparkles in QE II Challenge Cup

Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith’s Together (IRE) swept past Marketing Mix at midstretch and went on to win the 28th running of the $400,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1) for 3-year-old fillies by 1¼ lengths before a crowd of 27,712 on Saturday.

Trained by Aidan O’Brien and ridden by Colm O’Donoghue, Together triumphed one week after running second against older rivals here in the First Lady (G1).Today’s victory was worth $240,000 and increased the earnings for the Galileo (IRE) filly out of the Pennekamp mare Shadow Song (IRE) to $794,220 with a record of 16-3-5-3.

As expected, Summer Soiree went right to the lead under Ramon Dominguez with Marketing Mix and Garrett Gomez in closest pursuit through early fractions of :24.31 and :48.57.

Summer Soiree was still on top at the three-sixteenths pole, but was immediately passed by Marketing Mix and Together with the latter taking over for good at the eighth pole en route to completing the 1 1/8 miles on firm turf in 1:48.83.

Together, sent off as the third choice in the field of eight, returned $11.20, $5.80 and $4. Marketing Mix returned $8.60 and $5.20 with Nereid finishing third another 3 ½ lengths back under Joe Talamo and paying $5.40 to show.

Favored Winter Memories finished three-quarters of a length behind Nereid and was followed in order by Summer Soiree, Star Billing, More Than Real and Kathmanblu.

 

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Older Comments about Together Sparkles in QE II Challenge Cup...

Much better ride by Colm O'Donoghue on Together in the Q.E.II Challenge Cup than was the case in the First Lady Stakes. He seemed to have a lot of filly still left through the stretch run of this race, IMO. It's not that much of a surprise to me that Together won this race. This is a filly that was beaten by a neck by the still unbeaten White Moonstone in the G1 Fillies Mile at Ascot in 2010. She was beaten 3/4 of a length by Blue Bunting in this year's G1 English 1000 Guineas. Blue Bunting came out of that race to go on and win both the G1 Irish and G1 Yorkshire Oaks. She was beaten 3/4 of a length by stablemate Misty For Me in the G1 Irish 1000 Guineas. Misty For Me came out of that race to go on and defeat Midday in the G1 Pretty Polly Stakes in Ireland. Together also has 2nd place finishes to the Juddmonte filly, Emulous, in the G1 Matron Stakes in Ireland, and a 2nd place finish to Never Retreat in last week's G1 First Lady Stakes at Keenland. This is clearly a filly with some real talent to be running that well at G1 level. It was only a matter of time before Together finally got her nose across the wire first in a G1 stakes race, and yesterday just happened to be that race.

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