Best terms, one of the best juvenile fillies of last season, looks likely to make her eagerly awaited reappearance this campaign in the Group 3 Fred Darling Stakes at Newbury later this month where a good display will justify her enticing Newmarket odds and her ticket at the Qipco 1000 Guineas on May 6, writes Elliot Slater.
Reported to have wintered well and to have been impressing on the home gallops under the currently sidelined Richard Hughes, the three-year-old daughter of Exceed and Excel made a real name for herself in the first half of the 2011 season winning her first four starts before losing her unbeaten tag when possibly ‘over the top’ for the season in the Group 1 Jaguar Cars Cheveley Park Stakes at HQ in October.
Hannon’s flyer began with a win on debut in a Windsor maiden and followed up soon after by beating two rivals in a conditions race at Newbury, before heading to Royal Ascot where she took her chance in the Group 2 Queen Mary Stakes for fillies over five furlongs. Never far from the pace under Hughes, she took up the running entering the final furlong but then had to really dig in and pull out all the stops to bravely repel the smart Shumoos by a short-head to complete a hattrick of successes.
Despite her unbeaten record bookmakers sent Best Terms off an 11/1 shot for the Group 2 Lowther Stakes at York’s Ebor meeting in August, her first attempt at six furlongs, and she put up an impressive performance in making every yard of the running to score comfortably by two lengths from Fire Lily.
There will undoubtedly be questions asked about her ability to stay a mile having shown such speed as a juvenile, but the Hannon team are hopeful and should all go well at Newbury the plan is to let her take her chance in the first fillies’ classic of the season for which she is currently available at a tempting 25/1.