NORTON trainer Tony Coyle revealed he turned down a £250,000 offer for Lily Rules last week – as his talented filly started to pay him back straight away after finishing runner up in the Tattersalls Musidora Stakes at York Racecourse.
Coyle thought his three-year-old might “win the race on the bridle” with two furlongs remaining of the mile and a quarter Group 2 contest – a trial for next month’s Classic Oaks at Epsom – but 8-1 short Madame Chiang, pictured near right with Kieren Fallon in the saddle, reeled her in and won by a length and a quarter.
Coyle was still delighted, though, with his filly’s performance – picking up just over £17,000 - and nominated the Ribblesdale Stakes, at Royal Ascot, as her next most likely port of call.
“I’m delighted with her, proud as punch,” Coyle said. “She’s a good filly and she was crying out for a step up. I’m absolutely over the moon and, look, we came up against a better one on the day.
“She can go to Ascot now. She is in the Ribblesdale and we will just keep stepping her up. She doesn’t need soft ground but she is better on it.
“If the ground was firm at Ascot, she wouldn’t go. She’s tough and she’s genuine but I got excited two furlongs down. I thought she was going to win on the bridle.”
David Simcock, Madame Chiang’s trainer, said he believed his filly still has a lot of “untapped potential” and “can only get better”.
“We had her entered in all the Oaks trials, it was just dependant on where it was going to come up the softest, and soft ground is important to her, she does want to get her toe in,” he said.
“I wouldn’t even think about running her on fast ground. She’ll stay well as well, I just need to have a discussion about where we want to go next. If the ground came up right the Oaks would be put in the mix.
“At home she does what she has to do. She’s not sparkling. I’ve got other fillies at home that work better than her but who won’t find as much and who certainly won’t act on soft ground.”