Breeders' Cup International Scouting Report: Miss Amulet

December 31st, 2020

From cheap weanling to Group 2 winner and private acquisition by the Tabor family, Miss Amulet has improved markedly for trainer Ken Condon, and she brings top form. Sire Sir Prancealot’s progeny have excelled in the U.S., including Lady Prancealot (Filly & Mare Turf). The only rub is that she’s trying a mile instead of sticking to the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint.

But her pedigree gives hope for the stretch-out. She is out of the Oasis Dream mare Shena’s Dream, who was 4-for- 7 lifetime and won twice at a mile. Miss Amulet’s third dam Stresa, by the all-time great Mill Reef, produced four Group winners, most memorably 1988 Arlington Million (G1) hero Mill Native.

The Irish-bred was virtually ignored in her two tours of the auction ring. Selling for a scant €1,000 as a Goffs November weanling, she brought £7,500 as a yearling at the Tattersalls Ascot Sale.

Miss Amulet debuted on June 8, when Irish racing resumed from COVID lockdown, and 16 fillies crammed in for a maiden at Naas. The 33-1 shot lagged at the back of the field after a tardy break, but stuck to her task and worked her way into seventh in a productive race. Much more on the ball next time at Navan, she broke sharp to race up on the pace, then tired late in fourth.

Breaking through at Cork in her third try, Miss Amulet again took up a prominent spot early, and this time pulled away as much the best by five lengths. She went up to the North at Down Royal, where she might not have been perfectly at ease on the descent to the elbow. But Miss Amulet still attended Measure of Magic’s pace, and cornered right-handed on the rail effectively, before having to settle for second.

On her return to Naas for the Marwell, Miss Amulet was a different horse, upsetting even-money favorite Frenetic and turning the tables on Measure of Magic. Miss Amulet appeared full of verve nestled behind free-wheeling Frenetic. Measure of Magic had her pocketed, but not for long. As though recognizing her from their Down Royal battle, and spoiling for payback, Miss Amulet bulled Measure of Magic out of her way en route to inhaling Frenetic.

Miss Amulet traveled to York for the Lowther (G2) and continued her rapid rise, handling a class hike as well as a step up to 6 furlongs. She settled a few lengths off the fast pace, readily took over from the weakening leader, and then found herself besieged by favorite Sacred. But Miss Amulet fought her off, outstaying her to the line.

That’s when Tabor stepped in to snap Miss Amulet up. Her first start in her new silks came in the Cheveley Park (G1), over a stiffer 6 furlongs at Newmarket, and she went off favored for the first time. Breaking like a shot, she showed in front before letting Alcohol Free take up the baton. Then Miss Amulet lost position passing the halfway stage, but regrouped determinedly in the final furlong and missed by only a half-length to Alcohol Free.

It’s worth wondering if she were trying to cope with the peculiarities of the track, since she regained momentum past the Dip, once meeting the rising ground.

Miss Amulet should find Keeneland congenial, and she handles rain-affected ground. Although this race historically requires experience over further than six furlongs, she’s finishing like one who can cope. And her terrific zest for the game helps.