Fascino scores Classic success for Charm Spirit


After 1600m in the Fillies Classic at The Valley on Saturday, Fascino (NZ) (Charm Spirit) and La Falaise (Canford Cliffs) could not be separated in the Group Two race.

The Ciaron Maher and David Eustace-trained Fascino hit the front inside the final 200m in Saturday’s race but the Henry Dwyer-trained La Falaise was edging closer with every stride and put in a final lunge on the line.

“I wasn’t sure,” Fascino’s jockey Mark Zahra said. “I thought maybe I might have held on but I wasn’t sure, to be honest.”

Zahra even wanted to see the photo finish after returning to scale as he thought there may have been a slight gap in his favour. La Falaise’s jockey Ben Melham also said he did not know if he had got there on the line. “I knew it was tight,” he said.

It was a first stakes victory Fascino who was sold out of Windsor Park Stud’s 2018 New Zealand Bloodstock Book 1 draft. Maher has not ruled out pressing on this campaign with Fascino and will consider next Saturday’s Gr.2 Wakeful Stakes (2000m).

“She never struck me as a horse that will stay but three-year-olds if they are in form can race over distances further than their best if they’re in good order,” Maher said.

“We may look at the Wakeful. I don’t think she would run an Oaks trip (2500m). I’m not ruling that out but I don’t think so.”