Cecil launches Coronation quest

Henry Cecil hopes Jacqueline Quest can set the record straight in the Coronation Stakes after her crushing relegation into second place in the 1000 Guineas.

Henry Cecil hopes Jacqueline Quest can set the record straight in the Coronation Stakes after her crushing relegation into second place in the 1000 Guineas.

The three-year-old filly beat Special Duty by a nose at Newmarket, but was adjudged to have caused interference with that rival and was demoted into second, denying jockey Tom Queally his first Classic win.

Cecil reports the Noel Martin-owned daughter of Rock of Gibraltar to have progressed since the Guineas, and is hopeful of a good run at Royal Ascot tomorrow.

He said: “Jacqueline Quest is a very good filly, she seems to have improved since Newmarket but we’ll have to find out how good she is.”

The trainer also saddles Chachamaidee, who will be partnered by Eddie Ahern.

The filly won by three-quarter lengths at York over the Coronation trip of a mile on her last start in May.

Cecil added: “Chachamaidee is starting to settle a bit better.

“They are both very well and deserve to be there, so I hope they run very well.”

Jacqueline Quest is a general 7-1 chance to win the Coronation, while stablemate Chachamaidee is as big as 20-1.

Lillie Langtry flashed home in the Irish Guineas to finish fifth on her first start of the current campaign.

While she certainly does not owe connections anything having won the Timeform Fillies’ 800 last season, Aidan O’Brien expects conditions to favour her greatly tomorrow.

“We’re very happy with her. It was her first run of the season at the Curragh and she was coming home really well,” said O’Brien.

“She’s come out of the race very well and we always felt she was a very high-class filly. Everything has gone smoothly so far since the Curragh so we are looking forward to running her.

“She was staying on strongly the last day and Johnny (Murtagh) felt she was coming home best of all, another 50 yards and she was probably nearly there so you’d have to be delighted with her for her first run.

“She’s a very good mover who handles fast ground well and she has plenty of speed so good ground would be lovely.”

Sent From Heaven is another filly bringing Classic form to the table having finished fourth in a messy renewal of the English Guineas.

That run proved she had trained on and connections have targeted this race ever since.

“She ran a great race in the Guineas last time. She has freshened up well and she ran well at Ascot last year,” said trainer Barry Hills’ son and assistant Charlie.

“She was placed in the Fillies’ Mile and her work has been very good. This has been the plan since the Guineas.”

The Sir Michael Stoute-trained Tabassum will be having her first run for 244 days.

Connections of the three-year-old filly, Stoute’s only chance in the race, accept she faces a tough task.

She will be up against horses who have all shown good form this year, including that of Music Show, having chased her home to finish third in the Rockfel Stakes at Newmarket last October.

Angus Gold, racing manager to owner Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, said, “She is coming back but I don’t know if she’s good enough to win a Coronation.

“When she won a Group race at Newmarket she looked good, but she’s small and is not a big strong scopey filly by any means.”

Stoute, who last won the race in 2003 with Russian Rhythm, has brought the filly on slowly since she ran as a two-year-old last year.

Gold went on: “We tried to get her ready for the Guineas, but she was very wintry and didn’t come at all, so Sir Michael typically gave her plenty of time and has been very patient with her.

“We need to see her again before we know whether she has improved from two to three. She needs to start somewhere and this looks the logical stop.”

Jaber Abdullah appears to have strong claims of claiming the Group One prize with both Lady Of The Desert and the aforementioned Music Show representing the leading owner.

Lady of The Desert was promoted to fifth from sixth after a troubled passage in the French 1000 Guineas on her latest outing, while Music Show was beaten just half a length into third in the Irish equivalent.

Abdullah’s racing manager Bruce Raymond said: “It’s not ideal to run both fillies against each other, but they both deserve their place in the race and there aren’t many other alternatives for them.

“They are both in good form and both had excuses for their last runs.

“Lady Of The Desert was hampered several times in France so I’m hoping she can improve on that and I’m sure she can.

“Music Show was only beaten a neck and a head at the Curragh and we think she is the kind of filly that will improve for each race that she’s had.

“Mick (Channon) is confident that she has improved and she certainly looks better than she did at the Curragh.

“The drying ground wouldn’t worry either of them but if I had to chose one I’d go for Music Show as she’s guaranteed to get the trip well.

“There is a little doubt with the other filly and while the bend should help her get the trip, her action suggests the bend might not suit and she might be better on a straight track.

“But we’ll see what happens and it’s nice to have two with very good chances.”

Frankie Dettori teams up with Anna Salai for the first time in the Group One event.

A product of the Andre Fabre-Godolphin production line, she was narrowly denied in the Irish Guineas.

Ahmed Ajtebi kicked for home a long way out at the Curragh and trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni hopes a change of jockey will bring about a change in luck.

“Anna Salai was unlucky to get beaten on the line at the Curragh but she has come out of that race in good form and I have been pleased with her preparation,” he told www.godolphin.com

“I am looking forward to seeing how Frankie Dettori gets on with her and she should go close.”

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