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Doncaster: THe Flying Childers Stakes: Leo may sign off in the Abbaye; Haggas juvenile could take on her elders before heading Stateside.

Superstar Leo, fondly described by her proud trainer William Haggas as ``a rare bod'', faces the prospect of mixing it with her elders in the Prix de l'Abbaye after gaining her fifth win from seven starts in the Group 2 Polypipe Flying Childers Stakes, writes Tom O'Ryan.

The pint-sized powerhouse made every yard of the running in this five-furlong dash and never looked likely to be reeled in under Michael Hills as she galloped home with her customary zest, three-quarters of a length clear of the consistent Misty Eyed, with Zilch and The Trader taking the minor honours.

Superstar Leo-bred and formerly part-owned by Lester Piggott, the trainer's father-in-law-is set to continue her career in the US, having been bought by American owners Roy and Gretchen Jackson of Lael Stable before her victory in the Weatherbys Super Sprint at Newbury.

But there is another possible European prize to add to her laurels in the meantime. "If she's okay she may have one more run this season, and that would be in the Abbaye," revealed Haggas, as he eyed the October 1 sprinting showpiece.

"Why not?" he added. "She's a natural two-year-old-all speed-and there's not another Group 1 race over five furlongs for juveniles all season."

Haggas and his wife Maureen share undiluted admiration for Superstar Leo, who passed through the sales ring as a yearling for only 3,400gns and started her career by registering consecutive wins at Catterick before going on to Royal Ascot glory in the Norfolk Stakes.

"Horses like her come around only rarely and we're very lucky to have her," said the trainer. "She's so straightforward, all she does is eat and sleep. She's a complete natural."

Haggas felt that Superstar Leo did not appreciate either the extra furlong or the change in riding tactics when runner-up to Minardi in the Group 1 Phoenix Stakes at Leopardstown last month.

"She didn't stay in Ireland, and I also gave Michael [Hills] the wrong instructions in asking him to hold her up," said Haggas.

"That was against her instincts. She's a jump-and-run filly." Which is what she will attempt to prove if she gets the green light for Longchamp.

Lee Newman, rider of Misty Eyed, was suspended for three days for irresponsible riding of a minor nature for allowing

his mount to cause interference to the unplaced Proceed With Care with a furlong and a half to go.

The season's leading apprentice will be sidelined from September 18-20.
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Title Annotation:Sports
Author:O'Ryan, Tom
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Sep 11, 2000
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