Tag Archive for: Soprano

Conditions key as Boughey outlines Cachet options

George Boughey will wait until later in the week before deciding whether to send Cachet to France for Sunday’s Prix de la Foret or wait for the Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket the following Saturday.

Last season’s 1000 Guineas heroine did not run between Royal Ascot last summer and this year’s St Leger Festival at Doncaster, an absence totalling exactly 15 months.

The Highclere Thoroughbred Racing-owned filly could finish only fourth in the Group Three Sceptre Stakes on Town Moor, but Boughey was far from discouraged given the length of her absence and the fact underfoot conditions were more testing than ideal.

Having been pleased with what he saw from his Classic winner in a racecourse gallop on the Rowley Mile on Tuesday, Boughey is not ruling out a trip across the Channel for a Group One assignment on Arc weekend – but will be keeping an eye on the weather before making a final call.

“I was pleased with Cachet this morning and she is a lot tighter than she was on her seasonal debut. Mathematically she is a lot fitter on the scales,” said the Newmarket handler.

“The plan had been to go to France for the Foret as she would have loved the seven furlongs around the bend there and there is a stronger favourite in the Sun Chariot (Inspiral) than the Foret.

“However, the weather looks like scuppering that so we will probably aim her at the Sun Chariot now.

“The ground was too soft for her at Doncaster and hopefully it will be much quicker at Newmarket. We know she stays the mile and she should run well.”

Another Boughey-trained filly to be put through her paces on the Rowley Mile on Tuesday was Soprano, who will be stepped up to Group One level in Saturday’s Juddmonte Cheveley Park Stakes.

Although winless since making an impressive start to her career at Newmarket in May, the daughter of Starspangledbanner has since been placed in the Albany at Royal Ascot, the Star Stakes at Sandown, the Sweet Solera at Newmarket and the Dick Poole Fillies’ Stakes at Salisbury.

With regular work rider Charles Eddery in the saddle, Soprano looked the part in her morning gallop and Boughey feels she merits a place in the Cheveley Park field.

He said: “I’m delighted with her. She worked with a decent four-year-old that is a five-furlong horse rated in the 90s and she showed plenty of pace. 

“Charles Eddery, who rides her regularly, was delighted with her so it is all systems go to the Cheveley Park. She looks better than ever.

“She is a very balanced filly, which is so key at Newmarket, and she won on her debut at the track. I think she has got to have a lively chance.”

Boughey favouring Prix de la Foret option with Cachet

George Boughey is readying his Classic heroine Cachet for a tilt at the Prix de la Foret at ParisLongchamp this weekend following a pleasing workout on the Rowley Mile on Tuesday morning.

Last season’s 1000 Guineas heroine did not run between Royal Ascot last summer and this year’s St Leger Festival at Doncaster, an absence totalling exactly 15 months.

The Highclere Thoroughbred Racing-owned filly could finish only fourth in the Group Three Sceptre Stakes on Town Moor, but Boughey was far from discouraged given the length of her absence and the fact underfoot conditions were more testing than ideal.

In the immediate aftermath of that effort the Newmarket handler was in favour of sending Cachet back to the scene of her Guineas triumph for the Sun Chariot Stakes on Saturday week, but the likelihood of a sound surface in Paris this weekend has prompted a change of plan.

“I was pleased with Cachet this morning and she is a lot tighter than she was on her seasonal debut. Mathematically she is a lot fitter on the scales,” said Boughey.

“The ground looks like it will be decent in France and that is where we are leaning towards at the moment, plus there is a stronger favourite in the Sun Chariot (Inspiral) than in the Foret.

“The ground was too soft for her at Doncaster, but it should be a lot better in France at the weekend. It could end up raining in Newmarket and I don’t want to miss a chance like this.

“She will like the seven furlongs around the bend at Longchamp and we will make plenty of use of her. She is in good form and should run well.”

Another Boughey-trained filly to be put through her paces on the Rowley Mile on Tuesday was Soprano, who will be stepped up to Group One level in Saturday’s Juddmonte Cheveley Park Stakes.

Although winless since making an impressive start to her career at Newmarket in May, the daughter of Starspangledbanner has since been placed in the Albany at Royal Ascot, the Star Stakes at Sandown, the Sweet Solera at Newmarket and the Dick Poole Fillies’ Stakes at Salisbury.

With regular work rider Charles Eddery in the saddle, Soprano looked the part in her morning gallop and Boughey feels she merits a place in the Cheveley Park field.

He said: “I’m delighted with her. She worked with a decent four-year-old that is a five-furlong horse rated in the 90s and she showed plenty of pace. 

“Charles Eddery, who rides her regularly, was delighted with her so it is all systems go to the Cheveley Park. She looks better than ever.

“She is a very balanced filly, which is so key at Newmarket, and she won on her debut at the track. I think she has got to have a lively chance.”

Newmarket date on Soprano’s agenda

Soprano will bid to hit the right note at Newmarket later this month where she will attempt to register her first Group-race success.

George Boughey’s youngster was a fast-finishing third in Salisbury’s Dick Poole Stakes on her most recent run, but connections were left frustrated after their charge reared in the stalls and gave away plenty of ground at the start before storming home to be beaten just one and a quarter lengths in the hands of Ryan Moore.

She will now attempt to set the record straight in either the Al Basti Equiworld, Dubai Rockfel Stakes on September 29 or shoot for Group One gold in the Juddmonte Cheveley Park Stakes a day later on the Rowley Mile.

“It was just really unfortunate and such a shame,” explained Harry Herbert, managing director of owners Highclere Thoroughbreds.

“She seemed to anticipate the gates and they didn’t open and she sort of got a bit of a fright, went up and then the starter let them go which was infuriating.

“Ryan probably thought he was just going to come home in his own time and then suddenly realised he had an awful lot of horse under him, so it was a hell of a performance under the circumstances.

“I think everyone can see she would have won if she had broken on level terms.”

He went on: “We’re looking at either the Cheveley Park or Rockfel and I think we’ll see the entries for both first.

“At the moment, if you were talking to George, he would probably be edging more to the Cheveley Park. But we want to take our time and see who is doing what and the ground and everything.

“Fingers crossed she is taking her races so well and she’s so tough and as long as George is happy, we will go to Newmarket for one of those two races.”

Soprano burst onto the scene at Newmarket earlier in the season, but since being upped immediately in class for the Albany at Royal Ascot, she has been thwarted in four subsequent outings when running in Pattern company.

Soprano on her way to scoring at Newmarket on debut
Soprano on her way to scoring at Newmarket on debut (David Davies/PA)

Connections feel Soprano certainly does not lack talent and are confident there is plenty to look forward to with the versatile daughter of Starspangledbanner.

“She’s a very very good filly and very special,” continued Herbert.

“She’s had the most extraordinary year where things just haven’t gone right for her. She could have had a few Group races by her name, but that’s racing and sometimes the cards don’t fall quite right for whatever reason.

“Everyone can see how talented she is and she has a size and scope to her so should be even better next year.”

As well as Soprano, Highclere also have Believing housed at Boughey’s Saffron House stables and Herbert was thrilled with her third-placed effort in the Betfair Sprint Cup.

Supplemented into the Haydock Group One at a cost of £20,000, the daughter of Mehmas defied her odds of 66-1 to earn just shy of £46,000 for making the podium.

“She’s such a tough and talented filly and she had worked so well coming into this race and ran a blinder,” said Herbert.

“She showed incredible natural speed and finished her race off really well. Had she been a bit closer to the two in front of her who were racing away from her, who knows, she might have got closer still.”

Believing holds an entry for Ascot’s Qipco British Champions Sprint Stakes on October 21 which will form the centrepiece of the filly’s end-of-season programme, but a tilt at ParisLongchamp’s Prix de l’Abbaye on October 1 will now also be considered – despite the progressive speedster again needing to be supplemented.

Believing has progressed throughout the season
Believing has progressed throughout the season (PA)

“Ascot would be the main target and we will look at the Abbaye,” continued Herbert.

“We would have to be forking out again because she’s come forward at such a rate of knots and we didn’t put her in initially. So we would consider supplementing and see how the land lies nearer the time before making a decision about the Abbaye.

“She’s a very, very good filly, a fast filly, and like her father, has this most incredible attitude for the game.

“The way she holds her head is extraordinary and reminds me so much of Mehmas, who stuck his neck out and was really tough. She’s definitely inherited that trait and is a really exciting filly for her shareholders.

“Those horses who give their all are worth their weight in gold. She goes on any ground, has a wagon load of speed and, touch wood, she’s been so far very sound. Everyone had a great day at Haydock and hopefully there is a lot more to come.”

Soprano sets the standard in competitive Dick Poole

Soprano gets another opportunity to break her Group-race duck in the Ire-Incentive, It Pays To Buy Irish Dick Poole Fillies’ Stakes at Salisbury on Thursday.

An impressive winner on her introduction at Newmarket in early May, the Highclere Thoroughbred Racing-owned filly has since been placed in the Albany at Royal Ascot in June, the Star Stakes at Sandown in July and the Sweet Solera on the July Course last month.

Having seen the George Boughey-trained daughter of Starspangledbanner knock on the door on a few occasions now, Highclere’s managing director Harry Herbert is hoping she can finally enjoy her day in the big-race sun in Wiltshire.

“She seems in great shape after Newmarket. She ran a very good race that day and was just beaten by a better filly (Fallen Angel) on the day,” said Herbert.

“She’s working very well and Ryan Moore can ride her so it’s all systems go.

“I think a stiff six furlongs will really suit her and she’s got a wonderful action the filly, so she should really lap up the ground.

“All these races are pretty hot, but we go there thinking that she’ll be pretty competitive.”

Miaharris puts her unbeaten record on the line for trainer Owen Burrows and jockey Oisin Murphy.

Miaharris (right) winning at Newbury
Miaharris (right) winning at Newbury (David Davies/PA)

Having supplemented her debut success at Sandown with a narrow victory in Listed company at Newbury last month, the Zoustar filly steps up to six furlongs as she goes in search of the hat-trick.

Burrows said: “We’re very happy with her and it looked as though she would appreciate the step up to six from her last run, so we’ll see.

“I wouldn’t mind to have been drawn in a little bit more, but it is what it is (stall 15).

“I’m not concerned about the ground really. She handled ground on the easy side of good at Newbury and it was similar at Sandown I think. It’s going to be a bit quicker at Salisbury, but I don’t have any worries about that.

“She’s always looked a talented filly. She was bought with Royal Ascot in mind, but as a typical breeze-up filly she just fell apart a bit and fair to play to the owner (Olly Harris) who has been very patient. Fingers crossed he’s going to reap the benefits now.”

Clive Cox saddles three runners in the Dick Poole at Salisbury
Clive Cox saddles three runners in the Dick Poole at Salisbury (John Walton/PA)

Clive Cox is triple-handed, with the well fancied Symbology joined by a pair of bigger priced stablemates in Onthemoneyhoney and Unbreak My Heart.

York maiden winner Symbology has since finished third in the Princess Margaret at Ascot and the Lowther Stakes at York, while Onthemoneyhoney faces a rise in grade following a debut win at Windsor.

Unbreak My Heart won a minor heat at Bath on her second start before finishing a distant third in the Listed Empress Fillies’ Stakes at Newmarket.

Cox said: “I was really pleased with Symbology in the Lowther and I think she’s still progressing.

“It was a very pleasing effort at York and she’s come back well from there, hence the reason she’s turning out again on Thursday, and she’ll appreciate the dry conditions.

“Onthemoneyhoney won her only start and from a ratings perspective she’s got a lot to find, but she’s in excellent form and with the way the ground is I think she deserves a chance to run.

“Unbreak My Heart won on quick ground at Bath, they’re all in good order and a lack of alternative choices mean we’re going to give it a kick here.”

Soprano tries seven furlongs again in Sweet Solera Stakes

Soprano is given another chance to showcase her talents over seven furlongs in the Molson Coors Sweet Solera Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday.

George Boughey’s youngster started off her career at the minimum distance and was in full voice on debut when impressing in a Rowley Mile maiden.

She was then upped to six furlongs for the Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot and ran with real credit to finish third, a performance which signalled a step up to seven furlongs on soft ground for the Star Stakes at Sandown, where the daughter of Starspangledbanner again finished on the podium.

The filly is owned by Highclere Thoroughbreds for whom Boughey trained Cachet to win the 1000 Guineas and having been keen in the early stages before weakening inside the final furlong in her Esher outing, the Newmarket-based handler is eager to see how Soprano performs having blown away some of her freshness.

“She’s in good form and worked well with another filly of Highclere’s earlier this week,” said Boughey.

“She was a little bit weak late on at Sandown, having been a little bit fresh and gassy early doors.

“Her work has always suggested she’ll get the seven and she’s certainly worth another try at that trip on the right ground.”

Disputing favouritism with Soprano is Karl Burke’s Fallen Angel, who was a length ahead of the Boughey-trained contender when a silver medallist at Sandown, while Charlie Johnston’s course-and-distance winner Carolina Reaper represents the connections who landed this 12 months ago with Lakota Sioux.

Roger Varian’s Jabaara slightly disappointed at Royal Ascot but has always been held in high regard, while Charlie Appleby’s Wild Goddess showed real improvement when upped in distance to score decisively over track and trip late last month.

“Wild Goddess improved significantly from her debut at Haydock to win her novice stylishly, and we feel that she has come forward again since,” the Moulton Paddocks handler told Godolphin’s official website.

“Like most of the field, we are trying to establish our level for the season but we are hopeful she can be very competitive.”

Ed Walker’s Queen’s Reign also hit the target in good style over course and distance on her second appearance, with Richard Hughes’ Les Bleus another heading to the July Course on the back of a win at the venue when last sighted.

Jonathan Portman’s Cry Fiction completes the collection of eight fillies heading to post for this Group Three contest.

Via Sistina to seek Romanet riches at Deauville

Via Sistina will head to France in search of further Group One glory in the Prix Jean Romanet at Deauville on Sunday week.

Hugely impressive on her seasonal debut in the Dahlia Stakes at Newmarket, George Boughey’s filly subsequently struck gold at the top table in the Pretty Polly Stakes in Ireland.

She was beaten into third when a hot favourite to double her top-level tally in the Falmouth Stakes back on home soil last month and having sidestepped last week’s Nassau at Goodwood, she is being readied for a trip across the Channel.

Boughey said: “Via Sistina is in great shape. It was a little frustrating watching the Nassau without having her in it in that (soft) ground, but it was never really the plan after we went to the Falmouth and she’s getting ready to run in the Romanet at Deauville on August 20.

“She’d had two quick runs and we’ve got to pick our battles – you can’t run in every race – and it’s been the plan to run in the Romanet for a long time should the ground be right for her.

“It’s the last four-year-old and above fillies only race for her this year and we’re very pleased with her. She worked yesterday (Monday) morning, Jamie Spencer sat on her and was very happy.”

Having come up short over a mile in the Falmouth, Via Sistina will return to a mile and a quarter at Deauville and looks set to stick to longer distances for the rest of the campaign.

George Boughey is targeting another Group One win with Via Sistina
George Boughey is targeting another Group One win with Via Sistina (David Davies/PA)

“We wanted to experiment over the mile in the Falmouth, but she was tapped for toe and we’ll go back up in trip,” Boughey added.

“She’s entered in the 10-furlong (Champion Stakes) and the 12-furlong race (Fillies & Mares Stakes) on Champions Day at Ascot and she’ll be in the Prix de l’Opera over 10 (furlongs) on Arc day.”

More immediately the Newmarket handler is hoping to run his high-class juvenile filly Soprano on the July course in this weekend’s Molson Coors Sweet Solera Stakes.

Third in the Albany Stakes over six furlongs at Royal Ascot, the daughter of Starspangledbanner occupied the same finishing position when a hot favourite to successfully step up to seven in the Star Stakes at Sandown a fortnight ago.

Despite that reverse, Boughey is keen to give his younger star another chance over the longer trip in Saturday’s Group Three feature if conditions are deemed suitable.

He said: “The ground is a bit of a question mark and has been for a while, but it’s been dry in Newmarket the last few days and if it stays that way she will certainly be turning up on Saturday.

“She worked very well this morning and it’s all systems go really.”

Soprano aiming to hit high note in Star Stakes

Soprano is set to make a belated return to the track at Sandown on Thursday when she takes on nine rivals in the European Bloodstock News EBF Star Stakes.

The George Boughey-trained filly, who was third in the Albany at Royal Ascot, was due to run in the Duchess of Cambridge Stakes at Newmarket, but missed that engagement due to a medication mix-up at home.

The daughter of Starspangledbanner will now be upped to seven furlongs for the first time, as long as the Sandown ground is suitable, with jockey William Buick maintaining the partnership.

Harry Herbert, managing director of owner Highclere Thoroughbred Racing, said: “She will go to Sandown unless the ground turns very soft or something – I wouldn’t want to run her on very soft ground.

“She has such a beautiful action but we do think a trip up to seven furlongs would really suit her, so it makes sense at this stage. Then we will see where we stand.

“On ratings she’d be miles clear of everything else, but like all these races, they deserve to attract horses like Shuwari, Fallen Angel and Expensive Queen – they are horses who could be anything.

“Ratings don’t mean an awful lot at this stage, it is more what lurks in the once-raced fillies.”

The current ground conditions at the Esher track are described as good, although further scattered showers are expected over the next 48 hours.

Should she fail to make the line-up, connections also have the option of sending her to Ascot on Saturday for the Group Three Bateaux Princess Margaret Stakes.

That race is over six furlongs, however, and Herbert feels she will be better off over further.

“We will take it one step at a time,” he said. “If she were to be successful on Thursday, we would be looking at races possibly like the Moyglare in Ireland, you have got the Newmarket race over seven, a Group Two (Rockfel Stakes).

“Going over seven furlongs was pretty much the chat from William Buick at Royal Ascot. He said that if the pace had been better, she probably would have gone pretty close, but definitely he felt she was crying out to go further.

“She is a lovely filly, with plenty of size and scope to her, so she should get better as she gets older. She is a gorgeous filly and it is exciting to see her back on the track.”

Soprano tuned up for big Newmarket performance

George Boughey’s Soprano has the Duchess Of Cambridge Stakes in her sights after an encouraging Royal Ascot performance.

The chestnut daughter of Starspangledbanner won on debut in a Newmarket maiden in May, beating subsequent Hilary Needler winner Midnight Affair, and was then an admirable third in the Albany Stakes.

On the latter occasion she was two lengths behind the winner, Porta Fortuna, and a length behind Aidan O’Brien’s Matrika, since successful in the Group Two Airlie Stud Stakes at the Curragh.

Soprano will also be making the step up from Group Three to Group Two level when she heads to the July course on Friday.

Harry Herbert, of owners Highclere Thoroughbred Racing, said: “She’s in great form, she runs in the Group Two at Newmarket – the Duchess of Cambridge.

“That’s very much the plan, with Ryan Moore booked to ride.

“There’s been a really good form boost and she’s a very smart filly.

“I think she will be even better over further which is exciting for the future, but she’s in good form and I think a stiff six at Newmarket will suit her.

“She ran such a blinder at Royal Ascot, William (Buick) said that had things gone a bit differently, had she broken better and been a bit nearer the pace, then she might have gone very near to winning.

“We’ll see, she deserves to take her chance and she’s very exciting.”

Soprano to step up after Albany effort

Soprano could be set for a step up in trip after her fine third to Porta Fortuna in the Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot.

The George Boughey-trained filly was well supported in the six-furlong Group Three contest following her smart debut win over the minimum trip at Newmarket.

However, she did not have the ideal draw and despite staying on nicely under William Buick, the daughter of Starspangledbanner could not reduce a diminishing two-length deficit at the line.

Harry Herbert, managing director for owners Highclere Thoroughbred Racing, believes she will develop into another top-class prospect.

“We were really excited by that,” he said. “She looked like a really good filly. She had run and won on debut like a very good filly, and she’d done well physically entering the Royal meeting.

“As William Buick said afterwards, if she’d have just broken a bit better and been drawn a bit better, she would definitely have tickled them up.

“She is a beautiful filly and she’s got size and scope. She needs to go further. We haven’t decided where to go, but we will plot a course.

“It is very exciting, because it looks like she deserves to play at the top table. We’ve been fortunate to have some wonderful fillies in recent years, and she looks like being another one.”

Highclere appear to have another smart filly on their hands in the shape of Truthful.

Truthful returns to the Haydock winner's enclosure
Truthful returns to the Haydock winner’s enclosure (PA)

Trained by William Haggas, the three-year-old by Sea The Stars made a winning debut at Salisbury last month, taking 10-furlong fillies’ novice race and followed up over an extended 11 furlongs at Haydock 12 days ago.

Herbert believes she will step up in class now. He said: “She is lovely filly. She is two for two and we’ll probably step up to black type next time.

“She looks like she could be very special. There is lots to look forward to.

“I don’t know where she goes next. It is hard to know, when you are rated like she is, whether you still stick in a valuable handicap or whether you move to Listed company.

“She was being considered by William for the Ribblesdale after one run, so I’d like to think she’ll be heading to a black type race next time.”

Herbert is the son of the late Queen’s legendary racing manager Lord Porchester and his brother-in-law John Warren currently fills that role.

The King and Queen, attending their first Royal Ascot since the coronation, saw their colours carried to victory by Desert Hero in the King George V Stakes, which Herbert felt was a major shot in the arm for British racing.

“It was an absolutely fantastic Royal Ascot in regards to the overall event,” he added.

“I thought it was extraordinary and of course it was a sort of turning of the page from the late Queen, and the King and Queen so obviously enjoying it and having a winner was wonderful.

“That winner was quite simply one of the greatest things that could possibly have ever happened, great for British racing and the whole event.

“It was remarkable. They enjoyed every bit of it, right through the five days and having a winner, and we all know how hard that is – there are so few races and they’re such competitive races – that to hit the back of the net at Royal Ascot is incredibly difficult.

The King and Queen were in attendance throughout the five days
The King and Queen were in attendance throughout the five days (David Davies/PA)

“It is hugely important that the King and Queen have invested in the sport, absolutely vital. We all know how international Royal Ascot is, the Australians are over here, the Americans are over here, some Japanese are over here.

“Everywhere I have ever gone, racing the world, it is the one place everyone wants to go to, and to ideally have a runner and, if at all possible, a winner.

“It was a fantastic event and I thought it was great that it went off so brilliantly all round.”

Boughey delighted to secure Buick for top juveniles at Ascot

William Buick has been booked to ride a pair of George Boughey’s top two-year-olds at Royal Ascot next week.

The Newmarket handler is “delighted” the champion jockey will partner Asadna in the Coventry Stakes and Soprano in the Albany Stakes, both of whom are at the forefront of the market for the respective races.

Both worked nicely on the watered Rowley Mile gallop on Tuesday, as the Classic-winning trainer put the finishing touches to his preparations for the five-day meeting, where he is expected to have approximately 20 runners.

“The two-year-olds will probably be leading the charge,” said Boughey. “They are the shortest prices, so I’m not telling anyone anything new.”

Asadna is vying for favouritism with River Tiber for Tuesday’s Coventry Stakes on the back of a scintillating 12-length debut success at Ripon under Buick.

He worked well in a recent racecourse gallop and appears to have thrived since.

“Asadna was very good at Chelmsford in a piece of work the other day. Oisin Murphy rode him there and William rode him this morning and was very happy,” said Boughey.

“He looked very good this morning. He has a super attitude. I think we will watch him walk round the paddock ahead of the Coventry like he is here in the paddock. He would go there with a good chance.”

Asadna/Newmarket
Asadna will run in the Coventry Stakes after a good piece of work at Newmarket (Simon Milham/PA)

He went on: “He has just got an amazing temperament. He doesn’t sweat, he doesn’t do anything wrong. He’s a very sound horse. He just loves his work. He is not ‘showy’ in the morning, but when he went to Chelmsford the other day, he worked like a good horse.”

Buick added: “He did it nicely. It was nice ground on the watered gallop and I was very happy with him.

“He did everything I asked of him and his prep for Ascot has gone very well. Today was a good bit of work for him, but he seemed pretty smooth and he was his usual self. He was very impressive when he won and he has very good credentials. I’m looking forward to him.”

Highclere-owned filly Soprano landed a hot five-furlong maiden at Newmarket and had that form franked when runner-up Midnight Affair took the Hilary Needler at Beverley on Saturday.

Soprano/Newmarket
Soprano heads to the Albany on the back of a nice piece of work at Newmarket (Simon Milham/PA)

Partnered by Charles Eddery, she worked upsides Asadna and looked on good terms with herself ahead of Friday week’s Albany bid, for which she is currently a general 4-1 second-favourite behind Jabaara.

“They worked well. It was good work together,” said Boughey.

“Soprano was very good at Newmarket. She goes there with a good chance.

“William will ride Asadna as it doesn’t look like Charlie (Appleby) has got anything for the race. William will also ride Soprano in the Albany, which we are delighted about. He has won on both of them.

“William has ridden most of ours for a while now. It is great to have him on the big day, because usually he has to get off, so we are lucky to have him.”

Graceful Thunder, who took a five-furlong Sandown novice on debut, will head to the Queen Mary, following a decent piece of work under Kevin Stott, while Boughey’s juvenile team is completed by Muqtahem, who showed promise on debut before scoring at the second attempt at Pontefract. He breezed nicely under Pat Cosgrave and heads to the Windsor Castle.

Muqtahem/Newmarket
Muqtahem will tackle the Windsor Castle (Simon Milham/PA)

“The two-year-olds are still learning,” added Boughey. “We worked six, four of them who will go to Ascot.

“I didn’t find anything out, necessarily. They are just teaching each other as they go along. Asadna, Soprano, Muqtahem, Graceful Thunder, they are all going to their respective races and it was all pretty straightforward work, but they all pleased me.”

The 30-year-old struck twice at the Royal meeting last year, with Missed The Cut taking the Golden Gates Handicap and Inver Park scoring in the Buckingham Palace Stakes.

Boughey admits he faces higher expectations now. “I’d bite your hand off for winner at Royal Ascot,” he added.

“I never thought that I would be a Royal Ascot-winning trainer.

“Since we had two last year, now we have to try to find another one this year – and it is very, very hard.

“We have got a strong team going there, but no one realises quite how hard it is. You need the draw right, you need the ground right. It has been quick ground for the last three weeks and it might go and be soft ground, and all our quick ground horses are kaput and you only have two bullets to fire who want soft ground.

“There is a lot of water to go under the bridge, but I’m very happy with how they are at the moment.

“If one goes in, there will be a big party, anyway.”

Boughey confirms Coventry target for Asadna

George Boughey has confirmed Asadna firmly on course for the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot next month following his sensational debut victory at Ripon last weekend.

A 160,000 guineas purchase from the Tattersalls Craven Breeze-Up Sale, the Mehmas colt put his rivals to the sword in North Yorkshire to record a remarkable 12-length success.

While trainer George Boughey was hoping his youngster would run with credit on his introduction, the Newmarket handler admits even he was taken aback by the nature of his performance.

He said: “Asadna was great on Sunday. It was a little bit unexpected, but his work’s been good since he came from the Tattersalls Craven Breeze Up. We hoped that he might go close, but to go and put his head down and stride away like that was impressive.

“Even watching him, I felt he got a little bit lost as they started to quicken and he’s a six-furlong horse. Ascot is tailor-made for him. I think the way he does quicken on fast ground and is able to relax, you can put him anywhere in the race.

“He is right towards the top end of the market in the Coventry and we’ll obviously now head to Royal Ascot in search of a £125,000 Tattersalls Craven Royal Ascot Breeze Up Bonus.

“He’s got a very good mind – he just eats, sleeps and trains. I’m slightly worried half the time because he’s lying down, he’s a very relaxed horse.”

Soprano looked the part on her Newmarket introduction
Soprano looked the part on her Newmarket introduction (David Davies/PA)

Another Tattersalls purchase for whom Boughey holds Royal Ascot aspirations is Soprano, who impressed on her racecourse bow at Newmarket and is being targeted at the Group Two Albany Stakes.

The daughter of Starspangledbanner was bought for 100,000 guineas on behalf of owners Highclere Thoroughbred Racing, for whom Boughey trained Cachet to win last year’s 1000 Guineas.

Boughey added: “Soprano was very impressive on debut, and it didn’t really come as a huge surprise. She’d been showing up well at home and she’d done plenty of work through the dip at Newmarket.

“We wanted to start over five furlongs because it gave us a bit more time to let her have a bit of downtime before bringing her back up to try to have a tilt at the Albany Stakes.

“She’s a very straightforward filly and one we’ve got high hopes for through the summer and into the backend of the year.”