Melbourne Cup hopeful Meeznah has tuned up for a possible trip to Australia with victory in a Group Two race at Doncaster.
Trainer David Lanigan, a former right-hand man to Henry Cecil, was again left in quiet amazement by the four-year-old after her win.
Softly-spoken Lanigan has already experienced quite a journey with his flag-bearing thoroughbred.
Runner-up in last year’s Oaks only to be disqualified for testing positive for a banned substance, her finest hour before Wednesday’s Park Hill Stakes was victory in the Lillie Langtry Stakes at Goodwood in July.
Then followed an uncharacteristic effort in the Geoffrey Freer at Newbury in which she perplexed connections by finishing seventh.
But with Frankie Dettori aboard at Doncaster, Meeznah turned in an all-action display which rightly provoked chatter of a possible trip to Flemington for the Melbourne Cup.
“I gave her an easy week and she had two pieces of work coming in here,” Lanigan said.
“She’s a difficult filly – the day she goes five lengths clear in a piece of work is probably the day she’s gone over the top, but she did her work fine.
“This has been the plan all year.”
Sent on her way a 9-2 chance, Meeznah fulfilled Lanigan’s long-term ambitions to the letter, taking the lead from off a generous pace two furlongs (400m) from home.
Set To Music, who was unbeaten at her past four starts, gave chase along the straight but was overwhelmed by 3-1/2 lengths.
“She could run at Ascot (British Champions Fillies And Mares Stakes), she could go to France, and she’s in the Melbourne Cup,” Lanigan said.
“There is a lot to decide, there will be no rash decision on plans.”
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