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Bashkirova sweeps to Princess Elizabeth success

Cheveley Park were celebrating a one-two in the Princess Elizabeth Stakes as 2-1 favourite Bashkirova led home Sir Michael Stoute’s Potapova at Epsom.

The Tom Marquand-ridden filly was settled in midfield alongside her Goodwood conqueror Mrs Fitzherbert in the early stages, but the jockey got a beautiful run up the centre of the home straight once the race entered the business end and William Haggas’ four-year-old came home a cosy one and a quarter lengths to the good in the Group Three affair.

It was a case of what could have been for the runner-up, who was slowly away and Ryan Moore had to sit and suffer in rear aboard the daughter of Invincible Spirit. However, she made up ground to reverse Kempton form with Roman Mist, who filled the final podium spot in third.

Haggas said: “We’re blessed, we knew at the start of the year we had a strong squad of four-year-olds and at the minute they are doing very well.

“The Duke of Cambridge (at Royal Ascot) is only 10 days away so we’ll see. I wouldn’t rule it out, we’ll see what the ground is like as that is important to her.

“She tries very hard. She’s four, if you look after them when they are young you reap the benefit when they are four and more.

“I need to sort a few fillies out this year. I’m not 100 per cent sure what her trip is, I did run her over 10 furlongs last year but it was at the end of the season so I’m not sure it was a true reflection. I do think she’ll get a bit further.”

Haggas also reserved some praise for his jockey.

He said: “He’s very strong and at the moment he’s full of confidence and I’ve been saying it for ages I can’t believe he doesn’t get six rides at every meeting. His ride on Alenquer was nothing short of sensational.”

It was a poignant winner for the Haggas yard, following the death of Lester Piggott on Sunday.

Speaking to Racing TV, the Newmarket trainer said of his father-in-law: “It seems that everyone has got an ‘L Piggott’ story, which is wonderful. It’s a sad time.

“I hope we will have a celebration of his life later, but at the moment it’s a very poignant time. It’s been very sad.”

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