|Foaled||22 March 2004|
|Cheshire Oaks (2007)
Epsom Oaks (2007)
|Horse (Equus ferus caballus)|
Light Shift (foaled 22 March 2004) is an American-bred, British-bred Thoroughbred racehorse and broodmare best known for winning the 2007 Epsom Oaks. In a racing career which lasted from June 2006 to October 2007 the filly ran nine times times and won four races. After winning once as a two-year-old, Light Shift won the Cheshire Oaks on her second appearance as a three-year-old. She then won the Classic Oaks over one and a half miles at Epsom, beating the Irish filly Peeping Fawn. Light Shift never won another race, being beaten by Peeping Fawn in the Irish Oaks and the Nassau Stakes and finishing unplaced in the Prix de l'Opera.
Light Shift is a bay mare with a white star bred in Kentucky by Flaxman Holdings a breeding company run by the Niarchos family. Light Shift's sire, Kingmambo was a highly successful breeding stallion. His progeny included the British Classic winners Russian Rhythm, King's Best, Henrythenavigator Virginia Waters and Rule of Law as well as major winners in Japan (El Condor Pasa), France (Divine Proportions) and the United States (Lemon Drop Kid). Her dam, Lingerie, failed to win a race but was a daughter of Northern Trick, a mare who won the Prix Vermeille and finished second in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. Before Light Shift, Lingerie had produced the Prix Jean de Chaudenay winner Limnos and Shiva, a mare who won four races including the Group One Tattersalls Gold Cup.
The filly was trained throughout her career by Henry Cecil at his Warren Place stables in Newmarket, Suffolk and was ridden in all of her races by Ted Durcan. When Light Shift appeared in Cecil's yard, Maria Niarchos told him that "I love this filly, we're going to win the Oaks with this".
2006: two-year-old season
Light Shift began her career in a six furlong maiden race at Newmarket in June in which she finished second, half a length behind the winner Wid. She then finished third to Princess Taise in a seven furlong maiden at the same course a month later. In September she was moved up in distance to one mile and recorded her first win in yet another Newmarket maiden. Starting the 15/8 favourite, she took the lead inside the final furlong and won by half a length from Sunlight. She ended the season being rated 83 by the Racing Post, suggesting that she was at least thirty pounds below top class.
2007: three-year-old season
On her first appearance as a three-year-old, Light Shift ran in a ten furlong race for colts and fillies at Newbury. She produced a strong run in the straight and took the lead in the final furlong before winning by one and a quarter lengths from Kid Mambo. She was then moved up in class and distance for the Listed over eleven furlongs at Chester. Starting the 11/8 favourite, she accelerated to lead in the closing stages and won comfortably by three-quarters of a length from the Aidan O'Brien-trained All My Loving.
In the Oaks at Epsom on 1 June, Light Shift started at odds of 13/2 in a field of fourteen fillies, making her the fourth choice in the betting behind her stable companion Passage of Time and the Irish runners All My Loving and Four Sins. Durcan restrained the filly in the early stages before moving up to challenge to leaders in the straight. Light Shift took the lead a quarter of a mile from the finish and opened up a clear lead before holding off the strong late challenge of the Aidan O'Brien-trained outsider Peeping Fawn to win by half a length. All My Loving was four lengths further back in third. The win gave Henry Cecil his eighth win in the race and his first Classic success for seven years. The trainer, who had been seriously ill with stomach cancer, was given an enthusiastic and emotional reception by the crowd.
In the Irish Oaks on 15 July, Light Shift was again matched against Peeping Fawn, who had won the Group One Pretty Polly Stakes in the interim. Light Shift, the 9/4 favourite despite her trainers concerns about the soft ground, raced just behind the leaders before taking the lead in the straight, but was soon overtaken by Peeping Fawn and finished second, beaten three and a half lengths. Three weeks later, Light Shift and Peeping Fawn met for a third time in the Nassau Stakes over ten furlongs at Goodwood. On this occasion, Light Shift made some progress in the straight, but could never reach the lead and finished third, five lengths behind the Irish filly and three and a half lengths behind the runner-up Mandesha. Following the race, Cecil suggested that the filly would be aimed at the Breeders' Cup. After a break of two months, Light Shift reappeared in the Prix de l'Opera at Longchamp. She started the 11/4 favourite but finished sixth of the eleven runners behind Satwa Queen. Cecil said that the filly's "flat" performance may have been the result of a long and demanding season.
Assessment and honours
|Raise A Native||Native Dancer|
|Mill Reef||Never Bend|
|Trick Chick||Prince John|
|Fast Line (Family: 4-m)|
- Light Shift was inbred 3x4 to Northern Dancer, meaning that this stallion appears in both the third and the fourth generations of he pedigree.
- "Kingmambo Stud Record". Bloodstock.racingpost.com. 2012-02-15. Retrieved 2012-08-05.
- "Shiva". Racing Post. 2011-06-02. Retrieved 2012-08-15.
- "Hurray for Henry as Light Shift ends a seven-year Classic drought for Cecil with victory in the Oaks". Daily Mail. 2007-06-03. Retrieved 2012-08-15.
- "Racing UK on Sky 432 Maiden Stakes". Racing Post. Retrieved 2012-08-15.
- "Light Shift". Racing Post. 2011-06-02. Retrieved 2012-08-15.
- "Cheshire Oaks". Racing Post. Retrieved 2012-08-15.
- "Epsom Oaks". Racing Post. Retrieved 2012-08-15.
- "Light Shift takes famous Oaks win". BBC News. 2007-06-01. Retrieved 2012-08-15.
- "Light Shift aims for second Irish Oaks victory". Thoroughbred Times. 2007-07-13. Retrieved 2012-08-15.
- "Irish Oaks". Racing Post. Retrieved 2012-08-15.
- Schweitzer, Mary. "Peeping Fawn Fantastic in Nassau Stakes". BloodHorse.com. Retrieved 2012-08-15.
- "Satwa Queen grabs spoils in Opera". the-racehorse.com. 2007-10-07. Retrieved 2012-08-15.
- "The 2007 World Thoroughbred Racehorse Rankings". Horseracingintfed.com. Retrieved 2012-08-15.
- "Oaks Heroine To Be Covered By Galileo". Racingandsports.com.au. Retrieved 2012-08-15.
- "Light Shift pedigree". equineline.com. 2012-05-08. Retrieved 2012-08-15.
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