Mawj sets the standard in intriguing Duchess of Cambridge Stakes

Saeed bin Suroor’s promising youngster Mawj has the chance to get back to winning ways as she lines up in a red-hot renewal of the Duchess of Cambridge Stakes at Newmarket on Friday.

The daughter of Exceed And Excel made a taking impression on debut when coming home the best part of five-lengths clear of George Boughey’s subsequent scorer Believing on the Rowley Mile.

She was then sent off the 2-1 favourite for the Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot, finishing strongly behind the winner Meditate to prove best of the home contingent.

Her trainer was pleased with that effort and is happy with her preparation for this six-furlong Group Two event, where Mawj is disputing favouritism once again in a fiercely competitive market.

Bin Suroor said: “Mawj ran well at Ascot to finish second. Aidan O’Brien’s filly is quite a good filly and for Mawj to finish second to her was a good result for her. She has come out of the race well and in her last piece of work last week she worked nicely.

“I’m very happy with her and this is a good race for her. The track and ground will suit her and we’re looking forward to a good run from her, the filly is in good condition.”

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Back in fourth in the Albany Stakes was previous York scorer Queen Olly, who is one of two in this for David Loughnane, along with Carmela, who now steps up in trip following a respectable effort in the Queen Mary Stakes.

Finishing second behind Karl Burke’s impressive Dramatised in that five-furlong contest was Michael Bell’s Maylandsea, who outran odds of 28-1 to prove her debut victory at Nottingham was no fluke.

The Newmarket-based handler is bullish about the chances of the Middleham Park Racing-owned filly in the bet365-sponsored event, as she also moves up in distance.

“If she gets the six (furlongs) she should be hard to beat,” he said.

“The Queen Mary was arguably the best two-year-old race at the meeting, certainly on the clock. We are very much looking forward to running her.”

Adding further spice to the mix in a fascinating edition of this two-year-old event is Ralph Beckett’s Lezoo, who will be looking to preserve her unbeaten record.

The daughter of Zoustar beat Dragon Stakes runner-up Cuban Mistress at Bath on her racecourse bow and then enhanced her reputation when running out a ready winner of the Empress Fillies’ Stakes over course and distance late last month.

Lezoo and Frankie Dettori after winning the Empress Fillies' Stakes at Newmarket
Lezoo and Frankie Dettori after winning the Empress Fillies’ Stakes at Newmarket (Simon Milham/PA)

She was partnered on that occasion by Frankie Dettori and the Italian will be on board once again as her trainer expects another bold bid on the July Course.

“We were very pleased with her run at the track last time. She has come out of that really well,” said Beckett.

“This race has come right for her. She is in good shape and I’m hopeful she will go very close.”

The line-up is completed by Rod Millman’s Tagline, who was a bronze medallist behind Lezoo in the aforementioned Listed contest and having caught the eye on that occasion, could defy her outsider status with valuable course experience under her belt.

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