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We've been quiet on here of late but when we have had something to shout about, it's been at the right level. After Opal Tiara's Balanchine success in Meydan, along comes CZABO at Nass - the four year old daughter of Sixties Icon seeing off the classy Somehow in the Group 3 Lodge Park Stud Express Stakes yesterday afternoon.

Graham Lee was at his very best and so was CZABO - let's face it, they had to be to beat a filly with an official rating of 114, but they did it well, travelling superbly throughout the mile contest to prevail by half a length in the closing stages after a lengthy battle in the home straight on ground that was very testing.

If you go back two weeks, we had a certain amount of egg on our faces having taken CZABO to St Cloud for a Listed contest - an event that saw her pull far too hard for the first four furlongs and finish in a heap with the rest of the field in front of her.

Life is a learning curve though and despite the disappointing journey to Paris, it certainly put her in good stead ahead of yesterday's contest and she travelled strongly but sensibly before her protracted battle with the favourite inside the distance.

Fitness certainly showed but so did CZABO's toughness and we are obviously delighted about things right now in light of the St Cloud disappointment.

For her breeders Norman Court Stud, her new owners David Wachman, M.V Magnier and Mrs Shanahan and of course for CZABO's sire Sixties Icon who has helped us in blissful oblivion for quite some time now.

Whilst he's underappreciated, we are the grateful beneficiaries.

Mick landed at Heathrow on his way back from Opal Tiara's rain affected run in the Dubai Turf just as the result came through and was obviously overjoyed to hear that CZABO had put things right.

"What a smashing filly! She was race fresh at St Cloud and none of us saw that coming because she wintered so well and has shown us nothing like that in the past. To be fair to her though, she bolted up on her reappearance in the Esher Cup last year but she knew nothing back then, having only raced once as a two year old.

"She obviously had her thinking head on having learnt about the game this time around but I suppose the run in France just settled her down a little and gave her a fitness edge on Somehow who I've got an awful lot of respect for. She obviously had a Group 3 penalty but take nothing away from CZABO.

"Or her sire. People think I'm just banging a PR drum when I praise Sixties Icon but his success can't be questioned in my opinion. Statistical minds might even be able to back me up as well, but he's a victim of 'fashion' I guess. People are missing a trick where he's concerned in the bloodstock world.

"CZABO's very tough and a really talented filly. We've got a Group 3 horse now and obviously her new owners have a valuable asset on their hands after yesterday. They know the game inside out so we'll all have a say in where we go next. Soft ground will play a part in our future plans I suspect."

Photos David Letts

Posted By: Wilsley News