Sacred in Prix Maurice de Gheest frame

Sacred is likely to step back up in distance after finishing a close-up fifth on her return to action in the Platinum Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Seventh in last season’s 1000 Guineas over a mile, the William Haggas-trained filly successfully reverted to seven furlongs when beating the boys in the Hungerford Stakes at Newbury in August.

Having been off the track since, the Cheveley Park Stud-owned Sacred was set a stiff task on her comeback in Saturday’s six-furlong showpiece, but ran an excellent race to be beaten just a length in a blanket finish.

While where she heads next will depend on underfoot conditions, Cheveley Park’s managing director Chris Richardson considers the Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville – a Group One run over six-and-a-half furlongs – as a suitable target.

He said: “It was a fantastic run – we got the ground. It was unusual to have so many runners in the race, which obviously added a different aspect to the way the race unravelled.

Sacred beats Saffron Beach in the 2021 New Gwyn Stakes at Newmarket
Image: Sacred beats Saffron Beach in the 2021 New Gwyn Stakes at Newmarket

“We were delighted with how she ran. I think seven furlongs is probably her optimum trip, but I’m still hopeful that we might get a mile in due course.

“She was once again doing her best running towards the end and where she goes is going to be ground dependent, but you would be looking at the Prix Maurice de Gheest.

“She’s a Group Two winner, so we’ll be looking at the Group Ones over seven furlongs and mile and see how things unravel and what the ground’s like.”