Progressive Longchamp winner Tiger Belle set to step up in class

A further step up in class beckons for Ado McGuinness' Tiger Belle following her victory in the Group 3 Prix d'Arenberg at Longchamp.

Trainer : Ado McGuinness.
Trainer : Ado McGuinness. Picture: PA Images

The speedy daughter of Cotai Glory was stepping into Group company for the first time on the back of a Listed success at Naas and proved she was well up to the task with an all-the-way victory under Cristian Demuro.

Sent off a 7/1 chance, the Ado McGuinness-trained filly started quickly under Cristian Demuro and showed a willing attitude in the closing stages to fend off a late challenge from Karl Burke's Dawn Charger by a neck. George Boughey's Graceful Thunder finished a further neck away in fourth with Diego Dias' Gaenari ensuring it was a 1-2-3-4 for UK and Irish raiders.

McGuinness said: "She's a very tough filly and I've said all along she's very fast, one of the fastest fillies I've ever had.

"She's improving with every run, she's a lovely filly to have and I'm delighted for the guys that own her [Shamrock Thoroughbreds]."

A step up to the top level could be on the cards with options back at Longchamp on Arc Day alongside a possible tilt at the Breeders' Cup. However, McGuinness was keen to stress his filly is for sale and hopes a Group 3 victory at Longchamp will entice purchasers.

"No one rang us after she won in Naas, but she is for sale and hopefully someone might buy her now. We'd love to keep her, but the lads that own her are an investment syndicate and we have to sell to survive," McGuinness added.

"We have plenty of options for her now. She could run at the Breeders' Cup over five or we have the option of going for the Prix de l'Abbaye if we wanted.

"She obviously handles the track. I think the key to Longchamp is the draw, but her gate speed is very fast, she kills the race halfway through and they just struggle to catch her."

Elsewhere on the card, there was further Irish success at Longchamp with Jessie Harrington's Starry Heavens took the step out of handicap company in her stride when landing the Prix de Liancourt by a neck.

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