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South African bred champion Smart Call, the winner of the 2016 G1 J&B Met, put up a pleasing effort when third in the G2 Betfred Middleton Stakes at York on Thursday.
The bay daughter of Ideal World stayed on gamely to finish two and a half lengths of the victorious Coronet, with the Andrew Balding trained Horseplay sandwiching Coronet and Smart Call in second place.

A daughter of Dubawi, Coronet was dispatched 2-1 favourite for Thursday’s 2063m contest and duly obliged for trainer John Gosden, who would later go on to land the same day’s G2 Betfred Dante Stakes, and legendary jockey Frankie Dettori.

The four-year-old Coronet took her number of wins to four, with the filly having also won the 2017 G2 Ribblesdale Stakes and run second to Cartier Horse Of The Enable in last year’s G1 Darley Yorkshire Oaks. Runner up Horseplay, a daughter of deceased Darley sire Cape Cross, had also previously enjoyed feature race success last year, with the filly having lifted the Listed Tweenhills Pretty Polly Stakes last May.

It was a second year in a row that Smart Call filled the third spot in the Middleton, with the Sir Michael Stoute trained mare having run third to subsequent G1 E. P. Taylor Stakes winner Blond Me in 2017.

The six-year-old was making her second outing in 2018, with Smart Call having finished seventh in the Listed Betfred “Home Of Goals Galore” Snowdrops Fillies’ Stakes back in April.

Bred and owned by Mauritzfontein, Smart Call (yet to win a race in her overseas campaign) won seven of 16 outings in South Africa, with her local big race wins including not only the Met, but also the G1 Maine Chance Farms Paddock Stakes and G1 Woolavington 2000.

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