Cubanita is very much a filly to catch at the end of the season and so it proved in the Group Three Worthington's Champion Shield & Victoria Club Stakes at Newbury.
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It was a first win of the season for the Ralph Beckett-trained filly, who returned the 9/2 second favourite under Jim Crowley, although she was made to fight all the way to the line on punishing ground for a third career success .
It was the Godolphin pair of Masterstroke and Prince Bishop who led the eight strong field along for much of the way with only five or six lengths covering the runners.
As they turned for home, Prince Bishop started to fade and it was the strong travelling Cocktail Queen who served it up to Masterstroke. That one fell away tamely but in behind was the 7/4 favourite Nichols Canyon, who had raced freely in midfield, and it simply looked a case of jockey William Buick pressing the button as he stalked Cocktail Queen.
To her credit, Cocktail Queen wouldn't go down without a fight but couldn't sustain the gallop and it was between Nichols Canyon and Cubanita.
The eventual winner, who had finished second to Tac De Boistron at Chester last month after skipping the quick ground events in the summer, was carried towards the stand rail, where she got the better of a determined Nichols Canyon by a length and three-quarters.
"It's her time of year, it's safe to say, and we thought about this race about a month ago," said trainer Ralph Beckett.
"Tac De Boistron went on to be outstayed in the Cadran and could well win the Royal-Oak at Longchamp tomorrow. Sadly she has run out of races. Hopefully Miss Rausing (owner) will keep her in training but we'll have to talk about it."