The Godolphin trainer enjoyed a spectacular campaign in 2011, saddling Blue Bunting to win the 1000 Guineas and Irish Oaks, while he also struck at Group One level with Rewilding and Lyric Of Light.
He has enjoyed a fantastic start to this year, winning last month’s Dubai World Cup with Monterosso and he is now looking forward to saddling his first major runners of the new season in Britain.
Pimpernel won four times during her juvenile year and ran well twice in Dubai last month, chasing home esteemed stablemate Gamilati in the UAE 1000 Guineas before placing fifth in the UAE Oaks.
“Pimpernel is in good form. She ran twice in Dubai and ran well, but I think coming back to seven furlongs will suit her better,” said Al Zarooni.
“She is in good form and working well. Frankie (Dettori) knows the filly well and I hope she can run a good race. If she can perform well, the 1000 Guineas would be a possibility for her.”
Al Zarooni also saddles the Mickael Barzalona-ridden Minidress, although he feels she will not come into her own until tackling longer trips.
“She is filly who will want further, but we are starting off over seven furlongs to see how she performs,” the trainer added.
“She won on her debut last year before finishing fourth in a Group Three. She is a classy filly, but I think she is a mile-and-a-half filly really.
“However, sometimes in these races, they go off too fast and then the horses who stay better come through at the finish and that could happen.
“Like Pimpernel, if she can perform well, then she could be a possible for the 1000 Guineas also.”
* Peter Chapple-Hyam is keeping his fingers crossed the rain stays away from Newmarket ahead of Telwaar’s run in the Bet At bluesquare.com European Free Handicap.
The three-year-old won a Doncaster maiden last year and was last seen finishing second in a Newbury Listed race in August.
Chapple-Hyam feels his charge will be ideally suited to the seven furlongs he faces at Headquarters, but is concerned about the rain that is forecast.
“Telwaar is in great form and wouldn’t want too much rain. Seven furlongs could be his perfect trip although I hope not as there are more options if he gets further, but it’s a finding out mission on Wednesday,” he said.
“I have always thought a lot of him. He is a nice horse and he tries hard which is all that matters. Hopefully, he could be Jersey Stakes horse in the future – that is the main plan.”
The Charlie Hills-trained West Leake Diman takes a drop in class for his seasonal return.
Although well beaten at Doncaster on his final start of 2011, before that he had not been beaten far into seventh in the Middle Park Stakes.
“He was only beaten a couple of lengths in the Middle Park. He has plenty of weight tomorrow as a result, but he’s probably entitled to,” said Hills.
“He’s working well and hopefully he’ll run a decent race.”
* John Hills is keen to learn more about Boomerang Bob’s likely targets this season by running him in Saturday’s AON Greenham Stakes at Newbury.
The three-year-old made a winning debut at Kempton last May and then filled the runner-up spot three times, at Windsor, Ascot and Chantilly.
He has yet to run beyond five furlongs and will tackle seven furlongs this weekend to give connections some idea as to whether he is a potential 2000 Guineas contender or an out and out sprinter.
“He’s going to run in the Greenham and as it’s his first run since July, he’s going to benefit from it,” said Hills.
“It looks a very good race on paper, so it will be interesting to see what sort of race it cuts up into.
“I’m been very pleased with our horse at home and we’ve got to find out where we’re going with him.
“He got an injury last year that kept him off the track for a while and then we nearly got him back and he got another minor problem.
“He was an extremely fast horse last year but on his final run at Chantilly, it looked like he was begging to go further.
“We’ll learn a lot more about him by running him on Saturday.”
nMick Channon’s 1000 Guineas contender Samitar puts her credentials on the line in the £150,000 Tattersalls Millions 3-Y-O Sprint at Newmarket today.
A revelation last year, she finished second in a a similar valuable sales race in August, third in the May Hill and second in the Fillies’ Mile before winning the £300,000 Tattersalls Millions 2YO Fillies’ Trophy.
A 25-1 chance for the Classic, Channon is pleased with her condition.
“She is in good form and has wintered well – we decided to come to the Tattersalls Millions Sprint as a prep race for the 1000 Guineas next month.”
Channon also runs Tidentime in the race.
A total of 15 runners will go to post with David Elsworth’s Swiss Spirit an interesting contender along with Charlie Hills’ Balty Boys, owned by Sir Alex Ferguson among others.
“All his best form is over six furlongs, so this looked a good race to aim at as there is some big prize-money on offer,” said Hills.
“His work has been good and although his work suggests he might even get a bit further than six furlongs now and he is high enough in the weights, I’m expecting him to run a good race.”