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Running Lion 7 5 23 67

Running Lion and Oisin Murphy 

09 May 2023

Howden homebred has hopes high

David and Fiona Howden’s homebred 3yo Running Lion – conceived, born and raised at Tweenhills – was an outstanding winner of the Listed Howden Pretty Polly Stakes at Newmarket on Sunday and now has connections dreaming of Oaks glory, whether at Epsom on June 2 or Chantilly on June 18.

David and Fiona Howden enjoyed a tremendous weekend as their homebred filly Running Lion looked a potential superstar when running away with a race they sponsored, the Listed Howden Pretty Polly Stakes, just over 24hrs after their new purchase Roman Mist had made all in the Listed Conqueror Stakes at Goodwood.

As her name suggests, Running Lion is by the late Tweenhills sire Roaring Lion so it was an especially poignant win for all concerned, including the trainers and rider of both horses in John (and Thady) Gosden and Oisin Murphy. The same combination had also won the Pretty Polly with another filly David Howden was involved with, Run Wild, in 2020.

Running Lion lined up as a 10/3 shot against eight rivals in the Pretty Polly – five of whom were unbeaten – but won like a 3/10 chance as she cruised through the race before putting an easy 4½ lengths between herself and runner-up Sumo Sam. The rest of the field were strung out behind them.

Running Lion boosted her Timeform Rating to 115p which places her as a potential Gr.1 filly and she’s now as short as 5/1 for the Oaks at Epsom. The decision has yet to be made whether she steps up another 2f in that race next or waits an extra 16 days for the Prix de Diane (French Oaks) over a similar trip to the Pretty Polly.

Roman Mist had been purchased at the Tattersalls December Mare Sale and provided an instant return when beating former Gr.1 winner Zellie off level weights in the Conqueror. It was the 5yo mare’s first start for Archie Watson and she was given a superb front-running ride by Hollie Doyle; the same combination won a Listed race for David Howden with Gorgeous Noora in 2019.

Running Lion 7 5 23 67

Running Lion and Oisin Murphy