Stroll in the Park for Vorda
Philippe Sogorb's only regret was not to have been able to ride Vorda himself, but the Frenchman still derived immense pleasure from her professional performance in the Connolly's Red Mills Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket.
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After a long and largely unglamorous career around the French country tracks, Sogorb has been training for just over two years but retired from the saddle less than six months ago and he has already found perhaps his horse of a lifetime.
A first British runner and his first Group One winner came as one as the consummate international pilot Olivier Peslier delivered the 11/8 favourite with typical panache to pass the cleverly-ridden Princess Noor.
Beaten only by American star colt No Nay Never in the Prix Morny in four starts, Vorda was a little keen as she was kept towards the back of the field as Princess Noor raced alone and in front under Johnny Murtagh.
However, Peslier found a fine response entering the final of the six furlongs, quickening past Princess Noor to take top honours by three-quarters of a length.
Speaking through a translator, Sogorb said: "I knew straight away she was a good filly as she did everything so easily, from February I knew she was really good.
"She stood out from the rest. I knew she was better than average but I didn't think she was a Group One filly.
"I had around 10 yearlings that year and I knew from my experience as a jockey that she was better than anything else.
"I regret not being able to ride her myself, but I take great pleasure standing in the stands and watching her run."
Vorda was the third French winner of the race in the last seven runnings after Natagora (2007) and Special Duty (2009), and Sogorb was reluctant to look as far as a return to the Rowley Mile for next year's 1000 Guineas.
He said: "We will take her to the Breeders' Cup and see if she stays a mile out there. She's bred for speed so that will be the test."
Peslier said: "It was a slow pace but we were lucky as it was like a French race, not very fast, and I just followed the lead and left her alone for the sprint.
"I think she'll stay a mile. She's not very big but she's got a big heart.
"It is great for (Sogorb). He did not ride a Group One winner as a jockey, but now he has this filly."
Peslier took an equally cautious approach when asked if she could be a Guineas filly.
"Why not?" he said. "Between two and three, through the winter, horses can change a lot. We will enjoy this for the moment."
Sky Bet cut the winner's odds from 25/1 to 12/1 to make a victorious return to HQ next May.
Roger Varian, trainer of Princess Noor, said: "You should be delighted finishing second in a Group One but for the first 20 minutes you are a little disappointed not to have won the race.
"She ran her heart out - she's pretty tough. Johnny was impressed with her.
"It was the first time he has sat on her and he felt she was good enough to look after her, as she could be doing something next spring. You would have to be thinking about the Guineas."
Back in third was Kiyoshi, who was so impressive at Royal Ascot and went off the 9/4 second favourite.
David Redvers, representing owners Qatar Racing, said: "I think the ground was a little quick for her, but Sheikh Fahad and Jamie (Spencer) also think she's going to be much better the further she goes.
"I suppose initially I am personally disappointed, as I genuinely thought she would win, but the winner is an aeroplane.
"I imagine we will put her away now but we will see how she comes out of the race. We will look at the seven-furlong trial at Newbury next year and then the Guineas."