Speciosa proves camera shy

Speciosa’s latest gallop ahead of the Stan James 1000 Guineas failed to go smoothly today as she reacted badly to the presence of television cameras.

Speciosa’s latest gallop ahead of the Stan James 1000 Guineas failed to go smoothly today as she reacted badly to the presence of television cameras.

The daughter of Danehill Dancer hung significantly across the track when winning last month’s Nell Gwyn Stakes at Newmarket.

And with big-race jockey Michael Fenton on board this morning at trainer Pam Sly’s Fenland base, the filly again showed her tendency to veer left as she worked with a companion.

Sly commented: “It didn’t go very well. She spotted the cameras from Channel 4 and suddenly ducked out.

“I know she goes to the left anyway but she ducked out and nearly knocked the other horse over. So Micky just had to stand up and pull her up. She’d covered about three furlongs at the most.”

Sly didn’t appear overly concerned about the disrupted exercise, which she joked was ‘naff’.

She outlined that Speciosa – as short as a 10-1 chance for the fillies’ mile Classic – would tick over with a few good canters between now and the big race, adding: “I think she is quite fit, actually.

“We’ll give her another little sharp bit – over a couple of furlongs, that’s all – at home, probably on Saturday morning. It will be alright, don‘t worry!”

Sly, 62, will be saddling her first Classic contender on Sunday and is looking forward to the experience – even if she is planning to arrive by horsebox.

She said: “We’re pleased to be going there. We shall come across the Fen and won’t leave home until about 10 o’clock. I’m usually box driver but I’ll probably share the driving with Walter, my partner.

“I would love to finish in the first four but to be in the first six would be marvellous. You just know there are some decent fillies in the race.

“She’s going to get the mile. She got it at Doncaster when third to Nasheej in the May Hill. I wouldn’t be bothered about the ground – she’s won on good to firm and also on good to soft.

“It’s just the draw. I think there will probably be about 15 or 16 runners. But if we’re drawn 16 across that side…oh goodness! Please may I have number one!”

Speciosa has further top-grade entries over the next couple of months but Sly didn’t pinpoint which target might be next for her stable star after the Guineas.

She said: “She’s entered in the Irish 1000 Guineas and the Coronation Stakes. But both tracks are right-handed and you know her left-handed performance – she could end up in Ascot village!

“One or two people have said to me, ‘What about the Oaks?‘ But I don’t think that at the moment that she’d get a mile and a half.

“I would say, with her pedigree, that by the time we get to the middle of the summer, she should get a mile and a quarter.”

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