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Champion juvenile filly Superstar Leo is retired.

Byline: Rodney Masters

Superstar Leo, the champion two-year-old filly of last season and once part-owned by Lester Piggott, has been retired to the paddocks after failing to register a win in five appearances this year, writes Rodney Masters.

After two successes in modest company at Catterick early last year, the College Chapel filly gained her only Pattern success in the Group 3 Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot and followed up by scooping pounds 72,500 in the Weatherbys Super Sprint at Newbury.

Arguably her finest performance, however, came in defeat, when she finished runner-up to champion sprinter Namid in the Prix de l'Abbaye at Longchamp on her

final start last year.

She has failed to produce the same spark this season, and her trainer William Haggas said yesterday: "She ran well when runner-up in a Listed race at Chester, but wasn't able to reproduce her brilliant form of the previous year."

He added: "She was a remarkable filly and just kept improving through last season.

"I was very relieved that she remained in the yard when Lester sold her-I don't think he would have sold her without that stipulation."

It was shortly before the Newbury victory that Piggott and his partners sold the filly to Pennsylvania-based Roy and Gretchen Jackson, who race under the banner of Lael Stable and who recently purchased the Marcus Tregoning-trained Sheppard's Watch.

Though the Jacksons are expanding their breeding operation in the US, Superstar Leo is likely to remain in Britain to be covered by a European stallion, though plans have yet to be finalised.

The filly, named after a boat in Hong Kong and bred by Piggott in partnership with Tony Hirschfeld, created history for the former jockey when winning the Norfolk Stakes, as it provided him with the `full house' of having ridden, trained, owned and bred a Royal Ascot winner.
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Aug 11, 2001
Words:308
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