Brittain bullish Rizeena can give him third 1000 success

Ante-post favourite Rizeena features in a field of 19 declared for the Qipco 1000 Guineas at Newmarket on Sunday, with Clive Brittain bullish about her chances of giving him a third triumph in the race after Pebbles in 1984 and Sayyedati in 1993.

Winner of the Queen Mary at Royal Ascot over the minimum five-furlong trip, the daughter of Iffraaj relished seven furlongs when claiming the Moyglare Stud Stakes at the Curragh and was a fine second to Chriselliam in the Fillies’ Mile on her final two-year-old start.

Brittain’s confidence has not been diminished despite having to change jockey with champion Richard Hughes replacing Ryan Moore, who rides Bracelet for the Aidan O’Brien team, and James Doyle, who is required for Joyeuse.

The veteran Newmarket handler, who is still going strong at the age of 80, said: “Her work has been according to plan, she has done everything we have asked of her really well and we are going to the Guineas with a very fine chance.

“The draw’s (seven) not too worrying and the ground will be perfect as far as I’m concerned.

“With Richard (Hughes) riding I’ve no lack of confidence in the jockey.

“He hasn’t sat on her, but he sat behind her last year and beat her once (on Chriselliam), so he knows enough about her.

“Rizeena proved last year that she was top class and shows all the signs that she has improved from two to three just as both Pebbles and Sayyedati did.

“There are 19 runners so you always think you need a bit of luck, but if you’ve got the best horse you’ll win. That’s the way I look at it.”

George Margarson’s Lucky Kristale, who defeated Rizeena in the Duchess of Cambridge Strakes on Newmarket’s July course, takes her chance.

The once-beaten filly is reported to be “spot on” for her date with destiny as she bids to add a Classic to her CV after landing the Lowther Stakes following that Newmarket success.

“Like everyone else, we could have done with another three weeks I suppose, but she’s where I want her. She’s spot on and you couldn’t get her any better,” said Margarson.

“I know she hasn’t had a run (this year), but she won’t lack fitness and she doesn’t lack experience.

“I’m in the same boat as Clive (Brittain). I think we both think we’ve got our horses spot on, so let’s do battle!

“I’m happy with the draw (15). We’re towards the stands side and there’s plenty of pace around us and she’s ready.”

Euro Charline was supplemented on the strength of her fast-finishing second to Sandiva in the Nell Gwyn Stakes over seven furlongs.

On that evidence, the extra furlong seems certain to suit the Marco Botti-trained runner.

Botti said: “She’s in good form and we have been happy with her since she was second in the Nell Gwyn. It’s another step up in class, but I don’t think the mile will be a problem.”

The daughter of Myboycharlie is highly rated by connections which is why they were happy to put her in the race, as Barry Irwin, founder member of syndicate owners Team Valor, explained.

“We think she’s pretty good. That’s why we decided to go ahead and put the money up,” he said.

“The reason we are doing it is two-fold.

“Firstly, this will be her third start of the season. If this had been her second start after a race like that last one I’d be a little concerned, but Marco said she has bounced back from that effort really well and had a previous start on the all-weather, so she should be sharp.

“She’s run more than the other horses this year, she’s had a race over the course and she finished like a mile is going to suit her. Everything looks pretty good to me.”

The Lady Cecil-trained Joyeuse has a lot to live up to as a half-sister to Frankel, but she in the 1000 Guineas on merit after finishing third to J Wonder in the Fred Darling Stakes at Newbury.

O’Brien is double-handed with Bracelet and Tapestry.

He is happy with his hand in a race he also has won twice through Virginia Waters (2005) and Homecoming Queen (2012).

He said of Tapestry: “Everything’s good so far. She’s a very easy filly to get fit.

“She came very quick after the Curragh (racecourse gallop) and she’s been well fit for the last couple of weeks and hopefully we can just nurse her away.”

More in this section

Sport
Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up
IE_logo_newsletters

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox