Kiyoshi bounces back to cut down rivals in Sceptre Stakes

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© 2012 Daily Sport Limited

A step back up to Group 1 company awaits Kiyoshi after her decisive bounce back to her promising two-year-old form in the Group 3 Japan Racing Association Sceptre Stakes at Doncaster today.

The Charlie Hills-trained filly, an 11/1 shot, always had matters under control in the Group 3 seven-furlong contest and burst to the front inside the final furlong under Jamie Spencer, winning by a length and a quarter from the 15/8 favourite Bragging and Al Thakhira, split by a short-head.

Kiyoshi had not won since taking last year’s Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot, but had been highly tried, including runs in the 1,000 Guineas, Coronation and Falmouth Stakes. And to get her back to her best was a matter of some pride for Hills.

Asked if the achievement brought professional satisfaction, he said; “You’ve hit the nail on the head. It is just great to get her back and to prove that she is as good as we’ve thought, and know, she is.

“She is very good indeed, but she was a sick filly in the spring and had to have two months of antibiotics. But she did a piece of work last week that was really special, quite breathtaking, and it looked like she had her old spark back inside her. We had the cheekpieces on then, so we left them on.

“She is not ungenuine but they help her concentrate. She had been getting very laid back and they sharpen her attitude. Jamie [Spencer] gave her an absolute peach of a ride and I will definitely miss him.. He has been great for me – he rode my first Classic winner and has been a big supporter. It is good that he is staying on in the firm [Qatar Racing] and he is obviously going to be a big support.”

Kiyoshi was given a typical from-behind ride by Spencer. “She always wants to be held up – it’s just the way she is,” he said. “She has taken a while to come right but George Baker rode her in work last week and said I could ride her any way I wanted and she would win. It’s more down to his judgment than mine.

“She stays a mile. It’s just a case of, when you have a setback, you are always playing catch up. It has taken a while but Charlie and the team have got her right now. It’s onwards and upwards now. I am sure that she will probably stay in training next year and will do well as a four-year-old.”

The Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket will be Kiyoshi’s next date.

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