Classic ‘conundrum’ for Meade with Newbury runner-up Statement

Martyn Meade will not rush into making a decision on whether Statement will contest the Qipco 1000 Guineas following her narrow defeat at Newbury on Sunday.

A winner on her final juvenile start at the Berkshire circuit in October, the Lawman filly returned to action in the Group Three Dubai Duty Free Stakes – better known as the Fred Darling.

And while she was sent off at 18-1, she came mighty close to causing an upset – going down by just a short head to hot favourite Alcohol Free in a thrilling finish.

Meade said: “We were in front just before the line and just after the line, so it is frustrating.

“She ran up to expectations, which is really good. We always thought she’d improve from her two-year-old career and luckily she did – it certainly wasn’t surprise to see her run so well.”

The trainer admits it is not ideal that his filly had such a hard race just a fortnight before a potential bid for Classic glory on the Rowley Mile – and insists he will only let her take her chance if he is confident she is in peak condition.

“It’s never great coming second as they just tend to have a bit harder race than you would like,” he added.

“If the other horse hadn’t been there, she would have won easily and that would have been great – but as it transpired, she had to work hard to finish second.

“It’s obviously only two weeks until the 1000 Guineas and that’s the big conundrum. We’re just going to take it day by day and see how she comes out of it.

“She’s a really top-class horse and we really think a lot of her. I appreciate there is only one Guineas, but you can’t go into it lightly and I’d hate to run her back too quickly and end up struggling for the rest of the season.

“We’ll just see how she is. If she’s bucking and kicking then we’ll probably have a go, but if not, you’ve got the French Guineas the following week and races like the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot.”