James Fanshawe is “pleased” with Soviet Song’s preparation as she bids to defend her Cantor Spreadfair Sussex Stakes crown at Goodwood on Wednesday.
Fanshawe is surprisingly upbeat as the five-year-old prepares to follow up her Falmouth Stakes victory with a second success in the Group One feature on the second day of the ‘Glorious’ meeting.
“She seems in good form and though I won’t get drawn on tactics or other people’s horses. What I can say is that she has come out of her race at Newmarket very well and her preparation has gone according to plan,” said Fanshawe of the mare, who is bidding for a sixth win at the highest level.
Nayyir renews rivalry and will hope to go one better this time after being beaten half a length by Soviet Song last season.
The seven-year-old has not won since taking the Group Two Lennox Stakes at Goodwood two years ago, though he was touched off by Vortex in a Group Three at Newmarket on his seasonal debut.
Trainer Gerard Butler is under no illusion as to the task facing his charge.
He said: “Nayyir was beaten by a brilliant filly last year and tough as this race is, he seems in good form. He’s going to have to improve if he is to get close to her again because she is a filly at the height of her game at the moment, a very talented filly.
“Then you have Proclamation, the young gun who looks a really good animal and Chic, who we all know about, so if last year’s race was a good one, it is going to be equally difficult this year.
“Nayyir is in good order, but he will have to improve on the form he has shown behind Vortex, because that was not Group One form.
“Mind you, being drawn one of 12 is not the best draw for us. I will leave it to Eddie Ahern to decide what he wants to do. I’d like to be hopeful, but it is a very tough race.”