Fillies test Classic credentials

Wasseema, an 18-1 chance with the sponsors for the Stan James 1000 Guineas, puts her Classic credentials on the line in tomorrow’s Shadwell Nell Gwyn Stakes at Newmarket.

Wasseema, an 18-1 chance with the sponsors for the Stan James 1000 Guineas, puts her Classic credentials on the line in tomorrow’s Shadwell Nell Gwyn Stakes at Newmarket.

Sir Michael Stoute’s charge has been well-supported in recent weeks for the May 7 showpiece despite having had only one racecourse outing so far.

The Danzig filly finished a close-up third to subsequent Listed winner Short Dance at Newmarket last September but she has not raced since.

Wasseema is the choice of Richard Hills, who could also have ridden the John Dunlop-trained Mostaqeleh for Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum in the seven-furlong trial.

Dunlop’s runner will now be partnered by the owner’s second rider Martin Dwyer, despite boasting some good form from last season.

Mostaqeleh won two of her three starts, suffering her only defeat when a four-and-a-quarter-length third behind subsequent Group One winner Silca’s Sister.

“She’s done well over the winter and we’re pleased with her,” Dunlop said. “She did nothing wrong at all last year and we will see how she goes tomorrow.

“My jockey has deserted me so I am not sure that is a good omen but he sometimes gets it wrong and let’s hope he has this time.

“Martin has not been down to ride her but she is a straightforward horse.”

Seven of the nine fillies declared hold Guineas entries, with Pam Sly’s Rockfel Stakes winner Speciosa among the Classic hopefuls.

The Danehill Dancer filly will shoulder a 4lb penalty for that Group Two win and Sly admits tomorrow’s race will be something of a fact-finding mission.

“Hopefully she will finish in the first three but I would say she’s only 90 or 95% there at the moment,” said Sly.

“We haven’t been able to get her on the grass to give her a really good pipe-opener as it has been so firm.

“She’s done a couple of sharp bits on the all-weather but what she really needs is a racecourse outing.

“Although she carries a penalty, I think the ground staying good would be on her side and we will see where we are with her.

“The plan is to go for the 1000 Guineas, all being well.”

Only Andre Fabre’s French raider Sweet Travel and he Peter Chapple-Hyam-trained Dizzy Dreamer are not entered for the Guineas.

The field for the Goup Three contest is completed by I’m In Love, Saabiq, Salut D’Amour – the mount of Kieren Fallon – and Spinning Queen.

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