There are few more consistent fillies in training at the highest level than John Gosden’s admirable Elusive Kate who again ran a fine race when third to the high-class Excelebration on unsuitably soft ground at Ascot on Saturday and may well have booked herself a trip across the Atlantic to have a crack at the Breeders’ Cup Mile at Santa Anita on November 3, writes Elliot Slater.
The Breeders Cup betting suggests Excelebration is almost certain to be waiting for Elusive Kate in California it will certainly not be an easy task for the daughter of Elusive Quality to land the spoils, but given her excellent attitude and US pedigree there are sound reasons for believing that the five-time winner will give a very good account of herself.
Despite being one of the biggest market movers horses-wise, Elusive Kate is still available at up to 16/1 in the ante-post list for the feature mile event (in which Excelebration is a top priced 7/4 shot).
She will certainly appreciate the better going at Santa Anita having generally proved herself at her best on good ground. On Ascot on Saturday the ground was very nearly heavy and Gosden could easily have been forgiven for withdrawing his charge on account of the unsuitable underfoot conditions.
The decision was taken to run though, and the tough and genuine filly was given no hiding place in being asked to make the running by jockey William Buick. Leading until approaching the final furlong, Elusive Kate was unable to quicken with Excelebration or Cityscape, but kept on stoutly to finish third and ran a highly creditable race in the conditions.
The winner of the Group 1 Prix Rothschild at Deauville earlier in the term before finishing a close third to Excelebration in the Prix Jacques la Marois in August, then an even closer second to Siyouma in the Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket last month, Elusive Kate owes connections nothing and deserves her chance to return to the States having been sent off favourite for last term’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Stakes in which she eventually came home in eighth place behind Stephanie’s Kitten.