Soviet Song will bid to cap a fantastic season by landing her fourth Group One race on the bounce with victory in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot tomorrow.
James Fanshawe’s brilliant filly will be making a quick reappearance in the mile showpiece after beating Attraction for the second time at Leopardstown two weeks ago.
That win in the Matron Stakes followed on from victory over the same opponent in the Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket, and a win in the Sussex Stakes, where she accounted for Nayyir, who reopposes tomorrow.
“She seems to have come out of the Matron Stakes in good order and did a bit of work on Tuesday,” Fanshawe said today. “She just did a spin upsides a lead horse and seems in good form with herself.
“She has had a good year but has been on the go since April and you never know just how long they are going to last at this time of year, but the signs are good at home.
“I didn’t think at the start of the year that we could be going for our fourth consecutive Group One, but this is a race that I did have at the back of my mind for her.
“The races I had planned were the Falmouth, and if she came out of that we would go for the Sussex. She had a break after that and I have wanted to go for the QEII from early on and I hope that she runs well.
“I am pretty sure that it will be her last race this season, although I just don’t want to set that in stone as she is pretty resilient and is in good form.”
The four-year-old does hold an entry in next month’s Emirates Airline Champion Stakes, but, should she race again this term, Fanshawe feels that race may not be suitable.
He said: “I don’t think that we will go and a quarter with her.”
Soviet Song came off second best when she clashed with Refuse to Bend in the Queen Anne at Royal Ascot, although Godolphin’s principle hope finished stone last behind her in the Sussex Stakes.
However, last year’s 2000 Guineas hero landed the Coral-Eclipse Stakes in between and big-race jockey Frankie Dettori feels there are legitimate excuses for his Goodwood flop.
“I think the combination of Ascot and then Eclipse was probably a bit too much for him and then the race at Goodwood just didn’t go right,” he said.
“Everybody knew that Passing Glance was going to go off fast so I rushed him out to get a position. But Passing Glance didn’t get to the lead and suddenly we were in front way too early.
“He was pulling, I couldn’t get him to settle, we went flat out and died. It was a disaster.
“He won’t do that again. We are running a pacemaker and I imagine I will try to get him into a good prominent position early on. As he stays a mile and a quarter, he is going to appreciate getting a good test back at a mile.”
“He has had a nice midsummer break and his work is very good so I am hoping for the best. We know what he can do.”
Refuse To Bend will be joined in the highlight of the Berkshire course’s Finale meeting by stablemate Blatant, while Aidan O’Brien will also be double-handed with Ace and Antonius Pius.
The latter will be partnered by Kieren Fallon, while Ballydoyle stable jockey Jamie Spencer will ride the unbeaten Ace, winner of the Group Three Desmond Stakes last time out.
“This is a very competitive race and we could have done with a better stall, having drawn number one, which is on the wide outside,” said Spencer.
“My horse is stepping up from Group Three to a Group One, but is very progressive and has done nothing wrong, so I am hoping for a good run.”
The field for the QEII was today reduced to 12 with the defection of both Fantastic View, who has a respiratory infection, and James Toller’s Irish 2000 Guineas winner Bachelor Duke.
“He’s just slightly lame on one of his hind legs and he’s got a vet’s certificate,” Toller explained. “It doesn’t seem to be much but just enough to stop him running.