GBI RACING

Beautifully-bred Sun Maiden bursts into big-race picture with Salisbury success

Sir Michael Stoute has an exciting prospect on his hands in Sun Maiden (Mike Egerton/PA)

Sun Maiden looked an exciting filly when opening her account on her seasonal reappearance at Salisbury.

By Frankel and a half-sister to Group One-winner Midday, Sun Maiden had shown promise on her debut at Wolverhampton in December, but she positively routed the opposition on this occasion in division one of the 10-furlong Smith & Williamson Fillies’ Novice Stakes.

Pat Dobbs had Sun Maiden, trained by Sir Michael Stoute, smartly out of the stalls and quickly had her settled in second position as Whispering Sands made the running.

Eased out to make her challenge early in the straight, the 4-5 favourite stormed into the lead two furlongs out.

She soon put plenty of daylight between herself and her rivals and crossed the line 12 lengths clear of the staying-on White Light, with Whispering Sands three-quarters of a length away third.

“She was very green on her debut and she was still pretty green today – at one stage she jumped a leaf or something,” said Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager to owner Khalid Abdullah.

“Obviously we couldn’t be happier with how she did it, and she has a really nice stride on her.”

The sky could be the limit for Sun Maiden, with the English or Irish Oaks possible targets down the line, as well as Royal Ascot.

“All options are possible at this stage, but in an ideal world you’d love to get another run into her before the Oaks,” said Grimthorpe.

“I’d need to talk to Sir Michael before we get too carried away as it was only a novice race.

“She could go the Ribblesdale-Irish Oaks route. We’ll have to see how she comes out of this and see what Prince Khalid wants to do.”

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