Cox hopes Supremacy can take high rank

Middle Park winner Supremacy is to spearhead an exciting crop of three-year-olds for Clive Cox this season.

Also an impressive winner of the Richmond Stakes last season, the Mehmas colt will be kept to sprinting trips – with the Commonwealth Cup his first major target as Cox contemplates the Pavilion Stakes at Ascot and the Sandy Lane at Haydock as starting points.

With Qipco 2000 Guineas candidate Nando Parrado and 1000 Guineas contender Isabella Giles also in the yard, Cox can not wait for the season to click into gear.

“I’m very pleased with all three of them,” he said.

“Supremacy will stay at six furlongs, so we’re looking at the Pavilion, the normal sprinting route – with possibly the Sandy Lane en route to Royal Ascot and the Commonwealth.

“He’s wintered really well and looks very strong. I’m very pleased with him indeed.”

Of his Coventry Stakes winner, he said: “Nando has done very well after a good season last year, winning at Royal Ascot and then positive Group One performances in the Morny and the Lagardere.

Nando Parrado caused a 150-1 upset at Royal Ascot
Nando Parrado caused a 150-1 upset at Royal Ascot (Megan Ridgwell/PA)

“We’ll be looking at one of the trials for him – but I very much intend to run him in the Guineas, all being well.

“He does handle soft ground but won at Ascot on a quicker surface. I’m pleased with how he has done physically.

“He was a very able two-year-old who has done well over the winter so I see no reason why he can’t maintain that performance at the top level at three.”

Isabella Giles won the Rockfel Stakes by two lengths but disappointed on her final outing of the campaign. She will also be aimed at a Guineas trial.

Isabella Giles was impressive in the Rockfel Stakes
Isabella Giles was impressive in the Rockfel Stakes (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

“The filly has done very well too – she’s done some nice work and is making good progress,” said Cox.

“I think she had a busy enough time in the autumn, and we probably ran her once too many by the time of the Fillies’ Mile, and she’d just gone off the boil.

“I would be very pleased with her now. She’s a Group Two winner at two, and her work is pleasing me at the moment to suggest we can look forward to what she does at three.

“It’s really nice to have the conversations we’re having at this stage, and we’re looking forward to more of them hopefully as the season progresses.”

Isabella Giles may return to Newmarket for Fillies’ Mile

Rockfel Stakes winner Isabella Giles is among 16 two-year-old fillies left in at the confirmation stage for the Group One bet365 Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket.

Clive Cox’s talented youngster took the Group Two Rockfel in good style by two lengths from Nazuna, following a seven-length romp in the Group Three Prestige Stakes at Goodwood on her first try at seven furlongs.

John Gosden has left in Indigo Girl, who took her unbeaten record to two with an emphatic victory in the May Hill Stakes at Doncaster. The Newmarket trainer also has Newmarket novice scorer Monsoon Moon in the mix on Friday.

Shale, winner of the Moyglare Stud Stakes, has stood her ground. Donnacha O’Brien’s charge has won two of her three meetings with his brother Joseph’s Pretty Gorgeous. She also remains but is declared for the Prix Marcel Boussac at ParisLongchamp on Sunday.

Their father Aidan has Divinely, High Heels, Monday, Mother Earth, Santa Barbara and Snowfall.

David Loughnane has supplemented Tranchee in the Godolphin Stud & Stable Staff Awards Challenge Stakes, for which there were 16 acceptors following the confirmation stage.

The four-year-old gelding would be taking a hike up in grade, after winning a handicap at Doncaster on his latest start.

Limato could bid to win the Group Two for a third time after being successful in 2017 and 2018. Henry Candy’s evergreen eight-year-old was runner-up 12months ago.

Other possibles include D’bai, Duke Of Hazzard, Glorious Journey, Molatham, Foxtrot Lady and Daahyeh.

Isabella Giles is emphatic Rockfel winner

Isabella Giles continued her progression with a decisive victory in the Shadwell Rockfel Stakes at Newmarket.

Successful on her first two starts at Leicester and Newbury respectively, Clive Cox’s filly came up a little short when bidding to complete the hat-trick – finishing fourth in the Princess Margaret Stakes at Ascot.

However, a step up to seven furlongs for the first time saw her claim Group Three honours in impressive style in last month’s Prestige Stakes at Goodwood – and she was an 11-5 chance stepping up to Group Two level on the Rowley Mile.

Aidan O’Brien’s even-money favourite Monday was sent to the front from the off by Ryan Moore, but it was clear from the halfway stage that she was struggling – and Isabella Giles took over the lead with relative ease in the hands of Adam Kirby.

The result was scarcely in doubt from that point, with the daughter of Belardo finishing strongly to prevail by two lengths from Nazuna.

Cox said: “It was on better ground today, and more rain wouldn’t have been a concern.

“She put up a very classy performance and has got a wonderful temperament. She settles into a lovely rhythm and she can find her own way in a race.

“She doesn’t have to lead, but she is so relaxed that finding a rhythm and setting your own fractions worked perfectly. Adam got his fractions right, and she made a good job of it.

“I think she is definitely a filly to get a mile next year, which is really exciting. I’m delighted for Clare and Paul Rooney to have such an exciting possibility as a Classic contender. I’m over the moon.”

Isabella Giles after her latest victory
Isabella Giles after her latest victory (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

The Lambourn-based trainer confirmed a return to Newmarket for the Fillies’ Mile as an option.

He added: “She is very well balanced. She has won at the track. She is a filly that has a little bit of scope, that is well balanced and has got a wonderful mind and clearly a big level of ability.

“She is in the Fillies’ Mile, but she has done pretty good this year. She wouldn’t have blown a candle out there, but we will see how she comes back.

“It was a ‘win and you’re in’ race for the Breeders’ Cup, but I’m not sure. Next year beckons over a mile, and I think we will be looking that way.”

Roger Varian was delighted with the performance of the runner-up Nazuna.

He said: “She is a lovely filly, and we were not here just to make up the numbers. I really like this filly and I’m delighted she has run up to our expectations.

“Andrea (Atzeni) thinks she will stay a mile, and there are lots of nice options – there’s the Oh So Sharp Stakes back here in a couple of weeks or there is the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies’ Turf, which is a race we were second in with Daahyeh last year after winning this.”

Giles aiming to graduate to Group Two level in Rockfel date

Clive Cox is looking for Isabella Giles to continue on an upward curve in the Group Two Rockfel Stakes at Newmarket on Friday.

The two-year-old was last seen winning the Group Three Prestige Stakes at Goodwood, where she finished seven lengths ahead of Charlie Hills’ Prado in testing conditions.

That was a third win in four starts for the daughter of Belardo, having also prevailed in her first two racecourse appearances at Leicester and Newbury.

“She was a very impressive winner in the Prestige,” Cox said.

“I was happy to see that Newmarket got some decent rainfall last night.

“She’s in excellent form and we very much hope that she can continue her progression, all being well.”

Prior to Goodwood, Isabella Giles was fourth in the Princess Margaret Stakes at Ascot, suffering her only defeat to date when beaten a length and a half by David Loughnane’s Santosha.

The two fillies clash again on Friday, with Santosha also declared for the Rockfel and Thomas Greatrex due to take the ride.

Loughnane is hoping his charge can bounce back from a disappointing effort when a distant eighth behind Miss Amulet in the Group Two Lowther Stakes at York.

“We’re always hopeful for a big run, she’s a lovely filly,” he said.

“I think the race has probably come about four or five days too soon – in an ideal world I’d prefer it if it was later.

“She’s had a nice little freshen up after the Lowther, she looks great and she’s done really well after a little break. We’ll roll the dice and take our chance.”

Loughnane has no reservations about the step up in distance, with the filly tackling the seven-furlong trip for the first time after being campaigned exclusively over six furlongs so far.

“We’ve always felt she was going to be a stronger filly over seven,” he said.

“That was always the plan throughout the year – we’ve been working up to seven all season.”

Sir Mark Prescott’s Alpinista sets the standard in the Group Three Princess Royal Muhaarar Stakes.

An impressive winner of the Upavon Fillies’ Stakes at Salisbury on her penultimate start, the daughter of Frankel was last seen beating all bar the brilliant Love in the Yorkshire Oaks, having since missed the Park Hill at Doncaster.

Alpinista is one of four three-year-olds in a six-strong line-up, along with the John Gosden-trained Franconia, Sir Michael Stoute’s Katara and Queen Daenerys from Roger Varian’s yard.

The two older fillies in contention are the William Haggas-trained Sea Of Faith – winner of a Listed race in France last week – and Ralph Beckett’s Antonia De Vega, who has not been seen in competitive action since landing a Listed prize at Pontefract in June.

A 17-strong field go to post for the Listed Tasleet British EBF Rosemary Stakes.

Leading contenders include the long-absent Ummalnar from the Haggas yard, Andrew Balding’s Bounce The Blues and Richard Hannon’s Cloak Of Spirits.

The latter kicked off the campaign with a runner-up finish behind Love in the 1000 Guineas, but has failed to better that performance in four subsequent outings.

“Cloak Of Spirits is in good form. She was a little bit disappointing at Doncaster last time out (fifth in Sceptre Stakes), but I think this race will be nice for her as it is a drop down to Listed level,” said Hannon.

“She has been second in a Guineas and placed two other times at Group-race level – she has run good races.

“It is a little bit disappointing she hasn’t won yet this year, so it would be good if she could take advantage in a Listed race like this.

“It gives you a little bit more confidence that she has run well here before as well.”

Listed honours are also up for grabs in the Eqtidaar Godolphin Stakes, which features a trio of Godolphin runners in Charlie Appleby’s pair of Loxley and Walton Street and Saeed bin Suroor’s Volcanic Sky.

Laafy (Stoute), Aloe Vera (Beckett) and Golden Pass (Hugo Palmer) are the other hopefuls.