Falling in love at Keeneland

Rushing Fall has continued her love affair with Keeneland en-route to a Group 1 victory in the $500,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (1800m).

The More Than Ready 3yo filly is unbeaten around the Kentucky circuit following earlier wins in the Jessamine Stakes Gr.3 and Appalachian Stakes Gr.2 for owner Bob Edwards and trainer Chad Brown.

Saturday’s win was her second at the elite having won the 2017 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf at Del Mar, however, Edwards dropped a bombshell when he confirmed she will not contest the BC Championships at Churchill Downs next month.

“She’s a phenomenal filly,” Edwards said.  “We’ve had an unbelievable run and we’re looking forward to a solid 4yo career where she keeps getting better and better.”

Rushing Fall (3f More Than Ready – Autumnal by Forestry) broke alertly from an outside gate and raced uncontested on the lead through leisurely sectionals to score by over a length as a long odds-on favourite.

“I didn’t see much speed, that’s the reason I dictated the pace with slow fractions,” jockey Javier Castellano said.  “She was looking around in the stretch so I asked her for a little bit and she responded.  She put it back together and the way she finished was really impressive.”

Rushing Fall was bred by Fred Hertrich and John Fielding and was a $320,000 purchase from Taylor Made Sales Agency at the 2016 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Yearling Sale.  The QEII sent her earnings through $1.30 million.

Runner-up Mission Impassible (Galileo) had won the Prix de Sandringham Gr.2 at Chantilly in June before transferring to the USA.  “She’s run second to the best 3yo grass filly in America,” assistant trainer Rodolphe Brisset said.  “We’re very happy with that first-up.”

The Irish-bred filly had a great trip according to rider Florent Geroux.  “We were nice and relaxed but when we came head to head with Rushing Fall, she was just the best.  There’s no shame in getting beat by her.”

Rushing Fall is a half-sister to Miram (Pica Slew Stakes-LR) and hails from the family of Group 1 multi-millionaire Albert the Great.  Vinery stands More Than Ready for a $66,000 (inc GST) service fee.