The Barry Hills Further Flight Stakes is the highlight of Nottingham’s Wednesday card. This Listed contest recalls the horse who won the Jockey Club Cup five years running. It also honours the man who trained him. Further Flight ran 70 times for Barry Hills in a 10-year career from 1988 to 1998. Michael Hills rode him in 64 of those 70 starts. As well as his five Jockey Club Gold Cup wins, he also won the Ebor Handicap, the Goodwood Cup, Doncaster Cup and the Lonsdale Stakes twice.
This year’s Further Flight Stakes
Just four go to post for this year’s 1m 6f contest. Ryan Moore’s mount Pilaster will start a hot favourite. She won her first three starts last year, the third of which was the Group 2 Lily Langtry Stakes at Goodwood in August. She then started favourite for the Group 2 Park Hill Stakes, finishing a close third, beaten two necks by God Given and Horseplay. Upped in class to Group 1 company, she finished eighth of 11 in the Fillies’ and Mares’ at Ascot on British Champions Day.
Mark Johnston’s colt Elegiac is her main rival in the Further Flight Stakes. He was kept busy last year, running 12 times, winning three. All bar two of those starts were in handicaps. However, he ran well to finish second to Outbox, beaten just half a length, in a Newbury conditions race in October.
Ed Dunlop’s Amazing Red is fit from two recent all-weather starts. He finished third over 1m 4f at Lingfield 19 days ago. The step up in trip should help but he looks held by the top two.
The rank outsider is Ravenous, trained by Luke Dace. He’s been running over hurdles, finishing second at Wincanton two weeks ago. However, he will have his work cut out at this level on the Flat.
Pilaster should get her season off to a winning start in the Further Flight Stakes. That should prove a stepping stone to better things.