Tag Archive for: John and Thady Gosden

Gregory to embark on winter break after St Leger effort

Gregory will have the top staying races in his sights when he returns next year, with his brave St Leger run in defeat signalling the end of his three-year-old campaign.

Trained by John and Thady Gosden, the son of Golden Horn quickly established himself as a high-class performer by winning his first three outings and also demonstrated his thirst for a stamina test when striking in the hands of Frankie Dettori in the Queen’s Vase at Royal Ascot.

However, after a first defeat in the Great Voltigeur at York and deserted by Dettori on account of the wet week in South Yorkshire, he was unable to correct the record on unsuitable ground at Doncaster as Aidan O’Brien’s Continuous confirmed Knavesmire form on Town Moor.

The Wathnan Racing-owned colt holds an entry for the Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup at Ascot next month, but even though Gregory plugged on for a respectable fifth once headed in the St Leger, connections will now wait until next year before testing his long-distance credentials, with his Doncaster outing the final act of his 2023 season.

“I think he’s going to be better on top of the ground and he still ran an admirable race,” said Richard Brown, racing adviser to Gregory’s owners, reflecting on his Leger run.

“He’s a big colt and by the far the biggest, most scopey horse in that field and he’s only going to get better from three to four.

“He still ran with credit, but we’ll put him away now and we’ll look at turning him into a Cup horse next year.

“I think he’s got a very high cruising speed and he can sustain that, so I think that is what way we will be looking at.”

Middle Earth will be supplemented for the St Leger

John and Thady Gosden’s Melrose Stakes winner Middle Earth will be a supplementary entry for the final British Classic of the season, the Betfred St Leger at Doncaster.

The Qatar Racing-owned Roaring Lion colt took the staying handicap in impressive style at York on the final day of the Ebor meeting.

He was also a winner on his previous outing when taking a mile-and-a-half novice event at Newmarket and was second on his two prior runs over lesser trips.

Ahead of the York win he was not a part of the Leger entry list, but the Knavesmire performance has inspired connections to pay the £50,000 needed to secure him a place in the field for the world’s oldest Classic.

The Gosden yard could therefore be well-stocked for the Classic, with Juddmonte’s Arrest, Queen’s Vase winner Gregory and Lion’s Pride – who beat Middle Earth at Kempton – all holding entries at present.

Thady Gosden said of Middle Earth: “He’s progressed well throughout the year, he’s always looked like a nice staying colt in the making.

Middle Earth after winning the Melrose Handicap
Middle Earth after winning the Melrose Handicap (Molly Hunter/PA)

“Of course he won the Melrose, which is an impressive handicap, in good style.

“He’s got plenty of size and scope, he’s a horse that’s taken time to mature, as many three-year-olds do.

“It’s a fortunate position to be in, to have a few horse who could take up starting positions in the St Leger.”

Great things expected from Leger favourite Gregory

Gregory puts his Betfred St Leger aspirations to the test in Wednesday’s Sky Bet Great Voltigeur Stakes at York.

Trained by John and Thady Gosden, the high-class colt is a perfect three out of three in his career so far and is as short as 2-1 for the final Classic of the season at Doncaster on September 16 having enhanced his reputation with a taking success in the Queen’s Vase at Royal Ascot.

The son of Golden Horn was sporting the colours of Qatari-based owners Wathnan Racing for the first time when surging to victory at the Royal meeting and he will now bid to lay down a marker ahead of a potential trip to Town Moor next month in a race the Clarehaven team won with Logician in 2019 en route to St Leger glory.

Frankie Dettori with a flying dismount from Gregory
Frankie Dettori with a flying dismount from Gregory (David Davies/PA)

John Gosden said: “He’s coming back two furlongs in distance from the Queen’s Vase and I think he’s going to be well suited by the St Leger distance.

“We planned the autumn campaign with him so that it was always one run and then to the Leger.”

Last year James Ferguson enjoyed one of the biggest days of his fledgling training career when Deauville Legend claimed the Voltigeur title and he is out to repeat the dose with Canberra Legend, who also carries the silks of owner Boniface Ho.

The Australia colt burst onto the scene when winning the Feilden Stakes in impressive style earlier in the season and following encouraging runs at both Royal Ascot and in the Gordon Stakes at Goodwood, the Kremlin Cottage handler is confident there is still more to come.

“Obviously it’s a big ask for him, but I feel he has been developing throughout the year and crying out for a mile and a half,” said Ferguson.

Canberra Legend in action at the Craven meeting
Canberra Legend in action at the Craven meeting (Tim Goode/PA)

“I thought he ran very well in the Gordon (at Goodwood) and this will teach us a lot about him. I think he is in as good form as I’ve ever had him and the race has cut up enough for me to feel it is worth taking our chance.

“He’s getting better with every run. Put a line through the Dante the last time he went to York and I think he’s probably a bigger price than what he should be.”

Continuous is the sole Aidan O’Brien representative, bringing course form to the table having been third in the Dante.

He was last seen chasing home King Of Steel in the King Edward VII Stakes, while two and a half lengths behind Continuous when third at Ascot was Artistic Star, with Ralph Beckett’s runner also having a bit to find with Canberra Legend from when they met on the Sussex Downs recently.

Charlie Appleby’s Castle Way completes the line-up and is another who will have one eye on a visit to Town Moor as he attempts extend his three-race winning streak after adding the Bahrain Trophy to his reappearance win in the Newmarket Stakes.

Inspiral defending her crown in mouthwatering Marois

Inspiral returns to Deauville in search of back-to-back Prix du Haras de Fresnay-le-Buffard Jacques le Marois victories on Sunday.

John and Thady Gosden’s four-year-old bounced back from Falmouth Stakes disappointment to add the French Group One to her CV last season and is on a similar recovery mission this time around having got bogged down in testing conditions when faced with the almighty task of toppling Paddington in the Sussex Stakes.

Despite only an 11-day turnaround from Goodwood, connections have been encouraged by reports of drying ground on the Normandy coast and are happy to give the Cheveley Park Stud-owned filly the go-ahead for the defence of her title.

“Goodwood was a sort of disappointment having been the target, but with the ground conditions she just didn’t relish that at all,” said Chris Richardson, managing director of Cheveley Park Stud.

“Frankie (Dettori) made his move to come to the rail and his injection of pick-up was short lived in those conditions.

“Conditions in France look to have dried up. There is a chance of a few showers, but John and Thady Gosden were happy with her after her race at Goodwood and Mrs Thompson is happy to let her go back to France for another chance at the Jacques le Marois.

“Her finest hour after Royal Ascot came there last year.”

Inspiral has often been seen at her best when kept fresh, but there appears to be few concerns about the quick return to action, with the unseasonably wet summer highlighting the importance of taking opportunities both when they arise and when conditions appear most suitable.

“I think John and Thady were happy with the fact Frankie was kind to her once her chance was gone at Goodwood,” added Richardson.

“Of course there is always a slight concern (about the quick turnaround), but we know she’s talented, she’s only had two races this year and they tell me she’s in a good place.

“There should be plenty of pace and we will let the filly do the talking. It will be nice to see her back out again and we just don’t know how the autumn is going to unfold.

“Going forward you have races like the Matron Stakes and others to consider, but you just don’t know what conditions are going to be. She was kept in training to race on and that’s where we are at this point.”

Neil Callan celebrates with Triple Time
Neil Callan celebrates with Triple Time (David Davies/PA)

Inspiral began her season by finishing a neck second to Triple Time in the Queen Anne Stakes and the Royal Ascot champion is reported to be in good order by Kevin Ryan ahead of the rematch on French soil.

He said: “Triple Time has had a nice bit of time between Ascot and now.

“We’ve had a lovely clear run with him. He’s working nicely and we’re delighted with him going into the race.”

Triple Time is joined in the line-up by stablemate Hi Royal who placed in both the 2000 Guineas and Irish equivalent earlier in the season and now returns to a mile with cheekpieces added having disappointed over seven furlongs in the Prix Jean Prat.

“The race didn’t pan out for him the last day,” added Ryan.

“He missed the break and when cutting back to seven furlongs he couldn’t afford to do that.

“He’s back up to a mile and I’m very happy with him going into the race.”

Hi Royal (second from right) ran a huge race in the 2000 Guineas
Hi Royal (second from right) ran a huge race in the 2000 Guineas (David Davies for The Jockey Club)

Hi Royal is owned by Jaber Abdullah and Philip Robinson, assistant racing manager for the owner, is also hoping the Kodiac colt can bounce back to his best.

He said: “To have a realistic good chance Hi Royal will have to find his form from the Irish Guineas when he was just over two and a half lengths behind Paddington.

“You just have to forgive him his last run and they are always allowed to throw the odd bad one in.

“If you totally forget that then he is a proper Group One horse and you keep your fingers crossed he will have a chance.”

The final UK-trained raider is Light Infantry who will attempt to go one better than when a neck second to Inspiral 12 months ago.

He was last seen finishing a keeping-on third in the Queen Anne and trainer David Simcock is full of admiration for his consistent Group One performer.

Light Infantry on his way to post for the Queen Anne Stakes
Light Infantry on his way to post for the Queen Anne Stakes (John Walton/PA)

“He’s never done a lot wrong and circumstances haven’t seemed to work out each time,” explained the Trillium Place handler.

“But he’s a model of consistency and has run at the top level a lot of the time and we’ve always been pleased with him.

“It looks a warm event and probably a tougher race than last year if anything. He’s got a bit to find but he goes there in good order and we’ll be hopeful.”

There is a strong challenge from the home team headed by Christopher Head’s Big Rock who found just star middle-distance colt Ace Impact too good in the Prix du Jockey Club, while a few lengths further back in third at Chantilly was Marhaba Ya Sanafi.

Like Hi Royal, Marhaba Ya Sanafi is owned by Jaber Abdullah and now returns to the distance he scooped Classic honours earlier in the campaign when landing the Poule d’Essai des Poulains.

Robinson added: “He’s got form over a mile, but I think the French Derby is his better form. He’s obviously got a bit to find with Big Rock on that run. These races you have to be in them to win them, but it is going to be very tough.

“Big Rock I think has a great chance and if Inspiral comes back to her best she must have a great chance as well. Triple Time also looked impressive at Ascot and if he finds that form to the table he will be in with a shout as well.

“This race brings out all the top horses, but our two are there and will have some kind of shout if at the top of their game. I think they will both run good races and won’t be far away, but they are going to have to find a little bit better and improve a bit to win.”

Last year’s Grand Prix de Paris winner Onesto races over a mile for the first time in over a year as he makes a belated seasonal reappearance, with his trainer Fabrice Chappet also represented by impressive Prix Jean Prat scorer Good Guess.

Andre Fabre’s Life In Motion brings Group One course and distance form to the table having been narrowly denied in the Prix Rothschild, while Jean-Claude Rouget’s Erevann and Mario Baratti’s German 2000 Guineas winner Angers add extra spice to a red-hot contest.

High-class filly Laurel to miss rest of the campaign

Laurel will miss the rest of the season due to the injury which saw her ruled out of Royal Ascot.

John and Thady Gosden’s lightly-raced daughter of Kingman was due to line-up in the Duke of Cambridge Stakes at the summer showcase, but was a late absentee having suffered setback the weekend before her intended engagement.

Connections did have their sights on a quick return in the Tattersalls Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket later this week.

But it appears the issue is more serious than first envisaged with the Group One-placed filly set to remain on the sidelines for the rest of the current campaign and a decision on her future still to be made.

“Unfortunately she is going to miss the rest of the season,” explained Barry Mahon, European racing manager for owners Juddmonte.

Laurel (Left) finishing second to Fonteyn (right) in the Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket last autumn
Laurel (Left) finishing second to Fonteyn (right) in the Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket last autumn (Tim Goode/PA)

“Initially it looked like it was going to be an insignificant thing, but it turned out to be a bit more than we thought.

“She’s on her way back to the farm for a rest, she definitely won’t run again this season and it is to be decided whether she stays in training next year or not.

“She’s a very lightly-raced filly and John and Thady both said to me last week they would love to keep her in training next year.

“She’s a high-class filly who could win a Group One and she’s only run five times in her life so I can sort of understand their point and maybe that is the right thing to do. But we will speak with Prince Khalid’s family and see what they would like to do and unfortunately she won’t be running again this season.”

Dettori and Courage Mon Ami land brilliant Gold Cup victory

Frankie Dettori recorded a fairytale victory on his final Gold Cup ride, with the aptly-named Courage Mon Ami showing plenty of grit to down Coltrane in a titanic battle through the final furlong of the Royal Ascot showpiece.

It was a ninth Gold Cup for the Italian, who will hang up his boots at the end of the year.

Courage Mon Ami was having only his fourth lifetime start, having won his three previous races for John and Thady Gosden.

Stepping up in trip, the 15-2 chance was settled near the back of the pack as Subjectivist, the winner two years ago, made most of the running.

But Dettori took a risk and waited on the rail before sweeping through beaten horses and switching outside Coltrane’s withers.

The four-year-old son of Frankel kept finding to beat the 11-4 favourite, who was ridden by Oisin Murphy. Subjectivist stuck on well to finish a gallant third.

“Unbelievable! I thought it was a bridge too far from handicaps, but I had the perfect race,” said a jubilant Dettori, who returned to a tremendous reception and even gave the Queen a kiss at the presentation ceremony.

“He’s still a baby, but when Coltrane came back he picked up again. I can’t hear myself talking!”

Frankie Dettori jumps for joy
Frankie Dettori jumps for joy (David Davies/PA)

He went on: “I didn’t expect it. The last five years I had Stradivarius so the pressure was on, this one I thought was a bit of a chancer, coming from handicaps, but John was confident.

“I didn’t believe it, but I said to him he’s pulled a rabbit out of the hat. He’s a great trainer and he does things like that. Sometimes if I don’t believe it I just go along with it!

“I rode him cold and it just happened. I got the splits when I wanted to and in fairness he showed a turn of foot.

“In the last half a furlong I couldn’t get rid of Oisin and I thought ‘no, we’ve got this far, please keep going!’.

“Nine Gold Cups, what can you say? I’m speechless, to be honest.”

John Gosden said: “He’s been mature at home but he didn’t run at two, he was a backend three-year-old winning on the all-weather and Mr Oppenheimer was very patient. He has a stud to run which is very expensive, hence this horse has been gelded so he sold him.

John Gosden has an excellent record in the Gold Cup
John Gosden has an excellent record in the Gold Cup (David Davies/PA)

“He won well in a handicap and while we weren’t coming here for fun, it was Thady and Peter Shoemark’s (racing secretary) decision to enter him, not mine.

“The form is solid – you’ve Coltrane in second, a former winner in third and Emily Dickinson in fourth, so it was a superb performance.

“It was a great ride by Frankie, he saved every inch and slipped through and showed his nerves were better than ours.

“Whether he’d have ridden him if Haskoy had run I don’t know. I can’t claim him, I’ve never retained him, I never have and he rides for me when he can. He might well have ridden the filly as she had the St Leger form, how could he have ridden this? There were too many questions

“Luckily for him I was there as back up. I got the call and as soon as she wasn’t right, he’s like Lester Piggott that way.”

He added: “Rab Havlin had ridden him in all his other races, he’s like the guy who sets the car up for the Formula One driver. He’s been doing it for years and is patient about it. He just wishes Frankie would get the odd cold and flu!

“The owners had Gregory win the Queen’s Vase yesterday and it would be wonderful if they both ran in the Gold Cup next year, I’m sure the owners would run both as they are very sporting – but that’s a year ahead.

“This day last year wasn’t pleasant, there was a disagreement between owner, trainer and jockey. Things get heated, it wasn’t pleasant but we sorted it out within five days. In a 30 year marriage we’ve only had one argument which isn’t bad. I adore him, we adore each other and he’s a phenomenal character.

“Emotionally he can go to another level and this place brings the best out in him. He lets the crowd lift him, you see it in football and cricket matches, he responds to it. He’s not so good anymore on wet afternoons on a Monday.

“He’s 52 and he has always said he’s one accident away from retirement. He’s no fool, he’s wanted to go out at the top and he’s achieved that and that’s essential. I never wanted to see him like a boxer coming back in the ring taking punishment. We wanted him to go out at the top and that is what has been achieved.”

Late setback rules Laurel out of Duke of Cambridge engagement

Connections of Laurel will look to the Tattersalls Falmouth Stakes after she was frustratingly ruled out of the Duke of Cambridge Stakes with a late setback.

Trained by John and Thady Gosden, the daughter of Kingman was towards the top of the market for the one-mile Royal Ascot Group Two – a race which had been her main target for the first half of the season – but her name was missing from the 10 declarations on Monday.

A winner of three of her five starts, she would have had a fine chance of bouncing back from a below-par effort in the Lockinge where she was tasked with taking on colts for the first time.

However, she suffered an issue over the weekend which will keep her on the sidelines during the Royal meeting, with the focus now switching to getting her back to full fitness for her next assignment, which could come on July 14 at Newmarket’s July Festival.

“She’s just had a little setback over the weekend and this morning John and Thady weren’t 100 per cent happy with her, so unfortunately we couldn’t declare her,” said Barry Mahon, European racing manager for owners Juddmonte.

“It’s just a bit of wear or tear and it was 50-50, but you are on the big stage and when you are not 100 per cent happy it’s not worth taking the risk. So we said we will give her an easy few days and probably aim for the Falmouth at the July meeting.”

Mahon added: “It’s frustrating as this is the race we had in mind for her all year, but the filly’s welfare always comes first and once the trainer wasn’t 100 per cent happy that was it, there was no question.”

Target for Mostabshir at Royal Ascot not firmed up yet

Impressive York scorer Mostabshir will head to Royal Ascot for his next start – but connections are still to decide if it will be the St James’s Palace Stakes or Jersey Stakes for the talented son of Dark Angel.

Trained by John and Thady Gosden and a half-brother to Clarehaven’s eight-time winner Mostahdaf, the three-year-old made a taking debut at Kempton in November before being somewhat underwhelming when put on trial for the 2000 Guineas in the Craven.

However, he left that performance well behind him when striding out on the Knavesmire, surging to a commanding five-length success and reaffirming his team’s lofty opinion of him.

Now it is whether to take the leap into Group One company for the St James’s Palace Stakes at the Royal meeting or drop back in trip to seven furlongs for the Jersey.

“We’ve left him in the St James’s Palace and we may or may not make an entry for him in the Jersey, we’re going to discuss that nearer the time and see how he is,” said Angus Gold, racing manager for owners Shadwell.

“I saw him last night and he looks very well. John and Thady and the team are very happy with him and it will be Ascot and one of the races next all being well.”

On the prospect of stepping into Group One company to remain at a mile for the St James’s Palace, he added: “It would be a huge step up into a Group One and we will see nearer the time.

Dante Festival 2023 – Day Three – York Racecourse
Mostabshir ridden by William Buick (second right) coming home to win the Darley Novice Stakes at York

“He was obviously very impressive at York and touch wood he seems to have come out of it in one piece.

“He’s out of a very good mare and his brother and sister improved as they got older so hopefully he keeps going the right way.”

Another Shadwell-owned colt who is a possible for the summer showpiece is Enfjaar following his successful reappearance at Chelmsford.

The Roger Varian-trained colt downed Derby contender Military Order amongst others in a red-hot Newmarket maiden last October and having confirmed the promise of that victory on his return with a professional six-length victory, could be in line for a step up in trip for the Hampton Court Stakes.

Enfjaar ridden by David Egan (left) wins the Weatherbys Print And Design Maiden Stakes at Newmarket on debut
Enfjaar ridden by David Egan (left) wins the Weatherbys Print And Design Maiden Stakes at Newmarket on debut (Tim Goode/PA)

“He did it well (at Chelmsford), but I haven’t really spoken to Roger since,” continued Gold.

“There is a thought we might step him up in trip and possibly look at the Hampton Court, but plans are still up in the air with him and I have to catch up with Roger. It was mooted as a possible, but we got no further than that.

“With any luck he is a progressive horse and if we can keep him in one piece we will have some fun with him.”

Queen For You puts lofty reputation on the line at York

Queen For You created a deep impression when scoring on debut at Ascot but now faces a real fight to wear the crown at York on Friday, as a stellar cast has assembled for the Oaks Farm Stables Fillies’ Stakes.

John and Thady Gosden’s daughter of Kingman is out of Fallen For You – a Coronation Stakes winner for the Clarehaven yard – and is a half-sister to six-time Group winner Glorious Journey, so is clearly bred to be a smart operator.

The manner of her two-length success, in what appeared a decent maiden, suggests she is on track to become an above-average filly herself.

She is pitched into Listed company for just her second start, a path taken by her training team in the past, including last year when they saddled the runner-up Grande Dame.

Thady Gosden said: “She won nicely first time out at Ascot and was a little green, which she was entitled to be

“She seems to have come forward for the run and although it is a big jump up into Listed company, we’d be hopeful. It is a much more competitive race and a step up in class, but we hope she will do herself justice.”

Equally impressive in her first start was Charlie Appleby’s Silver Lady, who romped the best part of four lengths clear of the opposition at Newmarket last month.

The form of that race was given a timely boost when the third scored at Beverley earlier this week and the daughter of Sea The Stars, who is out of Group One winner Lumiere, looks packed with potential ahead of this contest, better known as the Michael Seely Memorial Fillies’ Stakes.

Silver Lady looked a smart prospect at Newmarket
Silver Lady looked a smart prospect at Newmarket (Tim Goode/PA)

Appleby said: “Silver Lady was impressive on her debut at Newmarket and came out of the race well.

“We feel that this is the right next step to test her credentials ahead of the summer.”

Sir Michael Stoute won this 10 years ago with Pavlosk, and looks to repeat the dose with Stormy Sea, who built on an encouraging Kempton bow at two when returning to the track at Haydock recently.

A half-sister to the Freemason Lodge handler’s Champion Stakes winner Bay Bridge, she surged over four lengths clear in her first try over a mile at the Lancashire track and now Ryan Moore takes over in the saddle.

“I haven’t ridden her on the track but she clearly did it very well on her return at Haydock and I’d expect this half-sister to Bay Bridge to be featuring here,” the jockey told Betfair.

“That said, it is clearly a very competitive race full of similarly unexposed fillies of potential, so I imagine a few will be fancying their chances.”

Sir Michael Stoute seeks victory with Stormy Sea
Sir Michael Stoute seeks victory with Stormy Sea (Mike Egerton/PA)

Representing Jessica Harrington, Sounds Of Heaven brings smart form from Ireland to the table, while Ralph Beckett’s Juliet Sierra has to concede 5lb to all rivals following her victory in the Group Three Dick Poole Stakes at two. She is the most experienced runner in the field and also the only one to run in Group One company.

“It’s an extremely hot race and the initial plan with Juliet Sierra was to go to the 1000 Guineas and we were just not happy with her scope the week before, so we gave her a quiet week the week of the Guineas,” said Barry Mahon, racing manager for owners Juddmonte.

“To be honest, options are few and far between and she carries a penalty for her Group Three win at Salisbury last year.

“You would prefer to be running a nice filly like her without a penalty and maybe starting off at seven (furlongs) and working up to a mile, but when you go through the programme book, it was hard to find a race.

“We’re starting there, she’s fit and well and a filly we like. I wouldn’t be confident giving a penalty to some of the fillies in that race, like the Appleby and Gosden fillies, but she is a nice filly and we’re hopeful she will run a nice race.”

Owner Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum is well represented with both Kevin Ryan’s Glenlaurel and Andrew Balding’s Clochette lining up in the yellow silks with black spots, while William Haggas is another double-handed in the contest as he saddles both the reappearing Newmarket two-year-old winner Orchid Bloom and eye-catching Newbury maiden scorer Fakhama.

Connections have high hopes for the latter, with Angus Gold, racing manager for owners Shadwell, saying: “She is nice. She won first time at Newbury. She is very well bred – a beautiful filly. I’ll be disappointed if she doesn’t go on.”

Middleton a ‘good starting point’ for Free Wind

Free Wind will bid to justify the decision to supplement her for the Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Middleton Fillies’ Stakes when she lines up at York on Thursday.

It cost connections £11,200 to add the daughter of Galileo to the 10-furlong event and she now has the chance to scoop her third success at Group Two level.

Trained by John and Thady Gosden she was seen just once last season, when galloping to victory in the Lancashire Oaks at Haydock in July, where a bump she received in running did enough to subsequently curtail her campaign.

She now drops back in trip on her return, attempting to enhance a fine record of five wins from just seven starts.

“She has shown good form over a mile and a half to a mile and six (furlongs), but York is a nice, galloping track and we feel it is a good place to start her off,” said Thady Gosden.

“She won up at Haydock, but during the race she got squeezed up on the rail and unfortunately it affected the rest of the season for her.

“But she has been good at home, she has won five out of six on the turf and she has enough speed to win over 10 furlongs. She has always had plenty of ability and this will tell us more where she goes afterwards.”

Aristia (right) finishing second in the Middleton Stakes in 2022
Aristia (right) finishing second in the Middleton Stakes in 2022 (Tim Goode/PA)

Richard Hannon’s Aristia is the only Group One winner in the line-up, having taken the Prix Jean Romanet at Deauville last season. She also has a fine record here on the Knavesmire and finished second in this contest 12 months ago.

On that occasion Aristia had to play second fiddle to William Haggas’ Lilac Road and this time the Somerville Lodge handler is represented by Sea Silk Road, who has some smart form to her name including when finishing second in the Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot last term.

One of the most intriguing runners in the field is Toskana Belle, last year’s German Oaks heroine, who now begins life in the care of Roger Varian.

As well as Classic success at Dusseldorf, the four-year-old also went down narrowly in the Grade Three Jockey Club Oaks Invitational Stakes at Aqueduct when trained by Andreas Wohler, and Varian is keen to see his new recruit step out onto the racecourse in the UK for the first time.

He said: “She’s a nice filly and has been working well. She has some strong three-year-old form from Germany and America last year, and we’re looking forward to getting her started.

“I think 10 furlongs on a track like York is a nice starting point for her and will give us a good direction moving forwards.”

Rogue Millennium caught the eye when a staying-on third in the Prix Allez France at ParisLongchamp and represents Tom Clover, while Ryan Moore gets the leg up aboard Ralph Beckett’s State Occasion, who was a track and trip scorer in a handicap here during last year’s Ebor Festival.

“She is the lowest-rated in here, but what she does have going for her is her best performance came over course and distance last season and she likes decent ground,” the jockey told Betfair.

State Occasion on her way to winning the Assured Data Protection EBF Fillies’ Handicap at York
State Occasion on her way to winning the Assured Data Protection EBF Fillies’ Handicap at York (Mike Egerton/PA)

“She also goes well when fresh, so if she is primed for this, perhaps more so than the others, then she is not without a chance. She does have a tough task on what we know, though.”

Beckett added: “She is ready for it and she likes the track and the trip. It will be tough, but she’s ready for it.”

Hughie Morrison’s Stay Alert and Karl Burke’s Poptronic complete the eight-strong field.

Queen Anne the target for reappearance of Inspiral

Inspiral will head straight to Royal Ascot after bypassing the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes at Newbury.

The Group One-winning filly, trained by John and Thady Gosden, had topped the ante-post market for the Group One mile contest at the Berkshire track.

However, she was a surprise omission for the feature event at the confirmation stage on Monday.

Owned by Cheveley Park Stud, the daughter of Frankel won the Coronation Stakes and the Prix Jacques le Marois in her three-year-old campaign, adding to her success in the Fillies’ Mile as a juvenile.

While the Gosdens will instead be represented by Laurel, who is one of 16 possibles for the race won by the brilliant Baaeed last season, Inspiral will make a belated four-year-old debut.

Cheveley Park Stud’s managing director Chris Richardson explained: “There is no issue with her. Mrs Thompson was adamant that she wanted the filly to go straight to Royal Ascot, as we did last year.

“She looks great, but she is not quite there, is the general feeling. It is like last year, so rather than rush her, we decided to wait.

“It has been cold and miserable and it has just taken time for these fillies to come to themselves.

“We just felt she blossomed in June last year and we didn’t really want to rush her, so the Queen Anne will be her likely target.”

New Gosden recruit Zellie makes British bow at Goodwood

Zellie will make her debut for John and Thady Gosden in the William Hill Conqueror Fillies’ Stakes at Goodwood on Saturday.

Formerly trained by Andre Fabre, the daughter of Wootton Bassett was a four-time winner at two including when landing the Prix Marcel Boussac on Arc day in 2021.

However, she failed to reach the same heights at three and although a more than respectable fourth behind Cachet when making the trip to Newmarket for the 1000 Guineas, she was well held in both the Prix de Diane and in her final start of 2022 in the Prix du Ranelagh.

Switched to Clarehaven in the off season, she is now handed a Listed assignment over a mile on reappearance, with connections looking forward to seeing what their new recruit has to offer.

“She has some very good form in the past. She was fourth in the Guineas last year and it is obviously her first run for us,” said Thady Gosden.

“It’s a very competitive race and Potapova is a very smart filly who ran well throughout last year. But it’s a nice place to start her over a mile.

“She has some good form, but it is her first run of the year and we’ll have to see how she gets on.”

Sir Michael Stoute’s Potapova proved highly consistent last term, finishing second to the reopposing Roman Mist in the Snowdrop Fillies’ Stakes before filling the same position in the Princess Elizabeth Stakes at Epsom and going on to land the Atalanta Stakes later in the year.

Potapova (right) finishing second at Epsom last summer
Potapova (right) finishing second at Epsom last summer (John Walton/PA)

This one-mile distance appears her optimum, while it is also the yardage Kevin Philippart De Foy’s Lightship has thrived over of late – winning two Kempton handicaps before chasing home the high-class Laurel at the Sunbury track when chanced at Listed level.

Richard Hughes’ Candle Of Hope blew away the cobwebs in the talkSPORT Spring Cup Stakes at Lingfield in March and is one of two runners for the King on coronation day, with Henry Candy’s Araminta completing the line up, thrown in at the deep end by her handler following an impressive display at Newbury on debut.

“It was one of those days at Newbury when you couldn’t really trust the results. It was really specialist ground and she coped with it well,” said Candy.

“I do think she is a nice filly, but I think the opposition is pretty strong and will have much more experience than her. We’re just dipping our toe in the water. There aren’t too many opportunities, so we thought we would give it a go.”

Saga and Hope aiming to crown racing’s coronation celebrations

Coronation fever heads to the racecourse on Saturday where only a few hours after the King is crowned in Westminster Abbey, two runners will attempt to carry his colours to a fitting success.

It had been hoped the King would have a runner in the 2000 Guineas in scenes reminiscent of 1953 when, just days after her coronation, the late Queen’s Aureole took part in the Derby at Epsom.

However, the John and Thady Gosden-trained Slipofthepen will instead be aimed at the French version of the one-mile Classic with hopes of a coronation winner resting on Clarehaven’s Saga in Newmarket’s Howden Suffolk Stakes and Richard Hughes’ Candle Of Hope, who will bid for Listed honours in the William Hill Conqueror Fillies’ Stakes at Goodwood.

Candle Of Hope before the Denford Stakes at Newbury last year
Candle Of Hope before the Denford Stakes at Newbury last year (Steve Paston/PA)

The daughter of Cable Bay was beaten less than two lengths in her reappearance at Lingfield and John Warren, racing manager to the King and Queen, is hoping the stars will align and add to the coronation celebrations.

He said: “Candle Of Hope is a tough, genuine filly who will probably be at her best when the ground is quick.

“Their majesties will obviously be overwhelmed with events, but they are fully aware of what their horses are doing.

“All we can hope is that we get a little luck that could add to a wonderfully historic weekend.”

The King and the Queen Consort watch the action at Royal Ascot
The King and the Queen Consort watch the action at Royal Ascot (Aaron Chown/PA)

Saga, meanwhile, came close to providing the late Queen with a final Royal Ascot victory when beaten a head in the Britannia Stakes in the summer and will attempt to go one better when he reunites with Frankie Dettori for the competitive Rowley Mile handicap at 3.55pm.

“He went very close in the Britannia and has always been a horse with plenty of ability,” said Thady Gosden.

“Stepping up in trip on his last start of last year he ran well, he wasn’t beaten a long way and he seems to have done well over the winter.

“He’s been gelded since and it’s a fairly sharp one-mile-one at Newmarket. Obviously it is a very competitive field and there’s a couple of near enough Group horses in there, so we will have to see how he gets on.”

Classic ticket in Coppice’s sights at Newmarket

Frankie Dettori gets the leg-up on Coppice when she puts her Qipco 1000 Guineas aspirations to the test in the Lanwades Stud Nell Gwyn Stakes at Newmarket.

Trained by John and Thady Gosden, she is a full -sister to Clarehaven’s Coventry winner Calyx and created a taking impression when scoring on debut at Kempton last October.

A general 7-1 chance for the fillies’ Classic on May 7, connections are now keen to see if she can make the leap from maiden company to Group level in this seven-furlong assignment.

“She’s a lovely filly and won her maiden very well at the back-end of last year on the all-weather,” said Barry Mahon of owners Juddmonte.

“She’s wintered well and the team at Clarehaven are happy with her. She’s a full-sister to Calyx and it’s a good family – there’s plenty of speed in the family.

“She has the double-edged sword of stepping out of maiden company and her first time on grass, which is never ideal. But she is a nice filly and hopefully she can run a good race that might lead us to a Classic somewhere if she runs well.

“We’re on a learning mission with her to see where her ability lies and with it being her first start on grass, it will be interesting.”

Coppice is joined by stablemate and Kempton scorer Inner Space – who is the mount of Robert Havlin – while Charlie Appleby’s Fairy Cross completed a fine two-year-old campaign by beating a useful cast to claim the Prestige Fillies’ Stakes at Goodwood.

Fairy Cross (centre) ridden by jockey William Buick on their way to winning the William Hill Prestige Fillies’ Stakes at Goodwood
Fairy Cross (centre) ridden by jockey William Buick on their way to winning the William Hill Prestige Fillies’ Stakes at Goodwood (Steven Paston/PA)

The daughter of Dubawi had to settle for second behind Mawj in Dubai most recently, but the Moulton Paddocks handler is confident of a bold show on the Rowley Mile.

“I’m pleased with her,” he told www.godolphin.com. “She’s come forward for that last run and she has done well at home. She should be a key player in the Nell Gwyn.”

Girl Racer won on her only start to date and looks an exciting prospect for William Haggas and owners Barnane Stud, while Clive Cox’s Karsavina holds a similar profile having won a soft ground maiden over track and trip at the back-end of last term.

“She really impressed with her maiden success over course and distance last autumn,” said Cox.

“She’s a filly that has strengthened over the winter and we’re pleased that she has done well and given us every indication she has taken a step forwards, so we’re looking forward to coming back to Newmarket.

“She coped well with conditions last autumn and course and distance form is quite valuable. We like her and it’s a wonderful starting point for the season.”

George Boughey won this last year with Cachet en route to picking up the first Classic of his career with the filly in the 1000 Guineas and will be hoping lightning strikes twice for himself and owners Highclere with Believing.

The Mehmas filly was last seen finishing third in the Bosra Sham over six furlongs last October and is one of two in this Group Three contest for the Saffron House handler alongside stable newcomer Queen Olly – who was a place ahead of Believing in second last time and represents Amo Racing.

“She won well on debut at York last year and then ran well at Ascot. She never really ran a bad race last year, barring Goodwood, and finished off her season well in the Bosra Sham over six furlongs,” explained Tom Pennington, racing and operations manager for Amo.

“George is happy with her and the soft seven furlongs should suit – she likes cut in the ground so it looks ideal for her.”

Queen Olly returns to the winner's enclosure at York (
Queen Olly returns to the winner’s enclosure at York (Nick Robson/PA)

Amo Racing are also represented by Richard Hannon’s Mammas Girl, who is as big as 50-1 for the the 1000 Guineas, but produced an eye-catching display when romping home in a Newmarket maiden on debut.

“It makes sense to come here. She won over course and distance very impressively at the back end of last year,” continued Pennington.

“She was visually good. She was keen early, got into a bit of trouble in running – the others got first run and Sean (Levey) had to pull her wide – but the turn of foot she showed was pretty special and as Richard always says, for one of his to win first time they have to be quite good.

“The form of that race hasn’t really been tested yet but Richard is happy with her and she is showing all the right signs. She may come on for the run though I would say.”

Dettori kicks off final British campaign at Newmarket

Frankie Dettori could be the star of the show on the opening day of Newmarket’s Craven meeting as he begins his final domestic campaign in the saddle.

The evergreen Italian announced his intention to hang up his boots following one last season in December and has since embarked on something of a world tour, spending Christmas and the early part of 2023 riding in the United States, with fleeting appearances at events such as the Saudi Cup and Meydan’s World Cup night.

He is now back in Newmarket as this season’s Classic contenders prepare to step out in the various trials and Dettori could hit the ground running on day one of three on the Rowley Mile.

The 52-year-old’s first taste of the action will be in the Close Brothers Handicap where he will don the royal blue silks of Godolphin aboard John and Thady Gosden’s Unforgotten, while he looks to have a fine chance of getting on the scoreboard with hot Clarehaven prospect Covey in the Alex Scott Maiden Stakes.

The Frankel colt bumped into the Greenham-bound Zoology when going down by a neck on debut at Southwell and Barry Mahon, of owners Juddmonte, believes he could develop into a smart colt this term.

He said: “You don’t expect to run into a 90-something rated horse in a novice at Southwell, but unfortunately he bumped into one.

“He ran Zoology all the way to the line, it was a big run and hopefully he can improve.

“I think he can be a very nice horse. He has always been a very impressive physical, he was just a bit immature last year.

“He was prone to respiratory infections and a couple of times when he was close to the races, he would give a few coughs and he just never made it to the track for that reason. I do think he can develop into a nice colt.”

On the return of Dettori, Mahon added: “The main man is back from California. He has had a good winter out there and rode plenty of winners and hopefully he is looking forward to being back here and getting going again.”

In the bet365 Earl Of Sefton Stakes – the feature of the seven-race card – Dettori will partner the King’s Reach For The Moon as he makes his return.

Frankie Dettori will again ride Reach For The Moon - here winning The bet365 EBF Novice Stakes at Newbury Racecourse
Frankie Dettori will again ride Reach For The Moon – here winning The bet365 EBF Novice Stakes at Newbury Racecourse (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

Once thought of as a Derby candidate, the Gosden-trained four-year-old has been gelded over the winter following an interrupted 2022 which saw the son of Sea The Stars hit the track on just three occasions.

He reappears sporting first-time blinkers with connections looking forward to the run.

“We are pleased with how Reach For The Moon has wintered and we are hoping for a bold show,” said the King’s racing manager John Warren.

Simon and Ed Crisford’s unbeaten Poker Face is the likely favourite for the Group Three contest, but it is no surprise that the first meeting of the year at Newmarket sees strong Godolphin representation in the form of Charlie Appleby’s course winner Ottoman Fleet and stablemate Blue Trail.

“Ottoman Fleet ran very consistently in Dubai, being placed in all his starts, and he’s come back in great shape. He’s a past winner on the Rowley Mile and he’s got to have a good chance.” the Moulton Paddocks handler told www.godolphin.com.

“Blue Trail was last seen winning emphatically by 11 lengths at Meydan and we know he’s a horse with an engine. If he can put it all together, he has the ability to win a race such as this.”