Big-race pilot Micky Fenton hopes Ascot’s right-handed bend will not be a problem for Speciosa when she tackles the Coronation Stakes at the Royal meeting tomorrow.
Pam Sly’s Stan James 1000 Guineas heroine is returning to her favoured trip of a mile in the Group One contest after a highly-creditable effort over half a mile further in the Vodafone Oaks, where she finished fourth.
Fenton is looking forward to riding the filly, who is drawn wide in stall one, over eight furlongs but is keeping his fingers crossed she can handle the turn given her early-season tendency to hang left.
“She’s still in her own age group which is a bonus and she should give another good show tomorrow,” he said.
“The quicker ground should be fine for her. As long as they keep it watered and safe I can’t see it being a problem, she goes on any sort of ground.
“I think she’s stopped hanging left now but you can’t be sure until she runs. I’m sure she’ll drift a little bit but there’s not much I can do about it.
“If she does handle the track tomorrow it will open up a lot more options for us later in the season.
“Even though she has been on the go a long time she is very well. She wasn’t 100 per fit for the Nell Gwyn so that was just a racecourse gallop for her.
“She’s very tough, she hasn’t lost much weight and she holds her condition well.”
Sly has no worries about dropping her stable star back to a mile.
“I think she’ll be fine going back to a mile. She had nine days off after the Oaks and then did a couple of bits of work last week,” she said.
“She’s very well and she’s a hardy, healthy filly.
“She’s drawn wide but there’s nothing we can do about that and I’m not too concerned about the bend,” she added.
Flashy Wings was only 11th in the 1000 Guineas on soft ground but she delighted Mick Channon in her winding up gallop and the trainer predicts his filly will put that poor run behind her.
Channon said: “I couldn’t be happier with her and she went like a dream when Craig Williams rode a nice bit of work on her the other day.”
The West Ilsley handler had been a shade concerned over the well-being of last year’s Queen Mary and Lowther Stakes winner but recent blood tests taken on her have proved spot on.
“In a sense it hasn’t been a great preparation but you can’t argue that she is working as well as ever,” he added.
Bruce Raymond, racing manager to Flashy Wings’ owner Jaber Abdullah, is also expecting a bold show.
“She seems to have come back into top form after her run in the Guineas on ground that she hated so we are very hopeful,” he said.
“If she’s back to her very best, which we think she has, then she will have a lively chance.
“All her wins have been on good to firm so the ground should be perfect tomorrow.
“We’ve never had any real concerns about her staying the trip but she never had a chance of staying that trip in the Guineas, she never went a yard.”
Chris Wall reports 1000 Guineas fifth Wake Up Maggie to be in fine form and he was heartened that Jeremy, who beat his filly by a neck over seven furlongs last time, landed the Jersey Stakes on Wednesday.
“It was good that he won but we could probably do with a boost from Jeremy two furlongs out tomorrow,” quipped Wall.
“All’s well, she’s in good heart but this is the most competitive fillies race of the year.
“We are still not sure if she gets the trip. Her last two runs have been on soft ground.
“The ground tomorrow should be in her favour and we should find out for definite if she does stay a mile.
“She has a relaxed style of racing that gives her every chance of staying and of using her turn of foot.”
Nannina, trained by John Gosden, was only 12th behind Speciosa at Newmarket but she did beat Oaks winner Alexandrova in the Fillies’ Mile last year.
“She’s like her sire, Medicean, he didn’t act on the soft ground either,” said Chris Richardson, racing manager to Nannina’s owners Cheveley Park Stud.
“She came out of the race well enough but she has now come in her coat and we are very happy with the way she is at this point in time.
“Obviously she might still be a little ring-rusty but we have got the ground and this has always been her target and luckily we are here.
“Her two-year-old form when beating Alexandrova and Rising Cross is beginning to look very good and, with the ground in her favour, we expect her to run well.
“It is obviously a very tough race but I’m happy with the draw (13) and we’ll give it a whirl.”
Speciosa is not the only Classic winner in the field with Nightime out to supplement her success in the Irish 1000 Guineas at the Curragh.
“Nightime is an exceptionally quick filly and I wasn’t surprised when she won the Guineas, she had taken her maiden race impressively at Cork over an extended mile,” said trainer Dermot Weld.
“I was pleased with her work all along and when she bolted home in the Guineas by such a convincing margin I wasn’t surprised.”
Godolphin, buoyed by the performance of Electrocutionist in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes, give Newmarket 1000 Guineas fourth Silca’s Sister the chance to shine.
The filly was virtually the only one of Godolphin’s early-season runners to run with credit and trainer Saeed bin Suroor is expecting another bold show.
“Silca’s Sister ran fourth in the Guineas and is a tough filly who always tries hard in her race and her work,” he said.
“She is in good form. She has won on soft but it was too soft for her in the Guineas.
“She should be fine on the ground at Ascot and we are looking forward to running her in the Coronation Stakes,” he told www.godolphin.com.
Vague, runner-up to La Chunga in the Albany Stakes last year, will also take her chance.
The three-year-old has racked up consecutive wins in Dubai on her last two starts – with her final success proving she stays a mile with a ready victory in the UAE 1000 Guineas.
“She is a tough filly, who tries very hard and has improved from two to three,” Noseda explained.
“She has worked well in the build-up to the Coronation Stakes.
“I would have loved a couple more weeks to prepare her but I feel she will be suited by a mile, suited by the ground and is worth her place in the contest,” the Newmarket handler told www.jeremynoseda.com.