Classic favourite Inspiral puts reputation on the line in May Hill

Inspiral, ante-post favourite for the Qipco 1000 Guineas, bids to enhance her prospects further in the Cazoo May Hill Stakes at Doncaster on Thursday.

Two wins from two starts, including an impressive victory in the Listed Star Stakes at Sandown, have seen the daughter of Frankel leap to the head of the betting for the fillies’ Classic next spring.

Inspiral now steps up to Group Two level, as trainer John Gosden seeks a sixth May Hill win.

“She’s done well physically since Sandown, but it is nerve-wracking stepping into this company,” said Chris Richardson, racing manager for owners, Cheveley Park Stud.

“She’s done nothing wrong, the mare was very talented and it will be interesting to see if she can step up to Group Two level.

“As a yearling she carried herself in a special way. She’s a character, but she’s very professional. It doesn’t happen very often, that you pick one out you think might be special very early on.

“We’d have maybe 40 fillies going into training and you’d hope four or five at least show a decent level of ability early on, it’s just a feel really, when all the boxes get ticked.

“It was one of those races at Sandown where you wondered if Frankie (Dettori) might have been riding with a bit too much confidence but she certainly powered home in impressive style.

“We’ll just go a race at a time, but if it all goes well I’d imagine Mrs Thompson might want to run in the Fillies’ Mile which will then give us a guide to next year.

“Her mother (Starscope) was second in the Guineas and Coronation so you put the best to the best and hope you get something like this.

“It’s been a sad year for the Thompson family so it’s nice to have a filly like her to look forward to.”

Andrew Balding is looking forward to seeing how Speak fares in Group company
Andrew Balding is looking forward to seeing how Speak fares in Group company (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

Speak goes straight from winning a maiden over this trip of a mile at Kempton on her debut into Pattern company.

The George Strawbridge-owned filly defeated Natasha in the same colours by a length and three-quarters and the runner-up went on to win her only subsequent race by five lengths.

Trainer Andrew Balding has been delighted with Speak and is hoping the forecast rain arrives.

“I’m very happy with her. She always looked like a nice filly at home. The second has gone on and won since. The form is probably quite strong and it’s a step up in class,” said the Kingsclere handler.

“Hopefully they get some of the forecast rain. We wouldn’t want the ground too quick for her. She’s a nice filly and I’m looking forward to seeing her run.”

Ed Walker is also praying for rain for Kawida, who got off the mark in good style on her third start at Haydock after finishing second on her first two starts.

“I’m hoping for a bit of rain. If the ground is too quick we’ll have to scratch. She didn’t love the quick ground at Newmarket. We’ll get a good feel of how the ground is and see,” said the Lambourn handler.

“She’s a nice filly and progressive. We were disappointed when she got beaten at Newmarket. She won well next time and they pulled a long way clear of the third.

“She’s a well-bred filly and deserves to take her chance in a race like this. I’m hoping she’ll run a big race.”

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