Watch galloping clues and interviews plus read the views of leading connections ahead of the Qipco British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes at Ascot on Saturday. And click here for the full racecard and Timeform comments plus the latest betting.
The older sister of two-year-old sensation Too Darn Hot may have lost her 100 per cent record in the St Leger, but nevertheless ran a tremendous race to finish second despite her obvious lack of experience.
Our experts analyse the St Leger at Doncaster
“She got the idea of what she was supposed to be doing in the last furlong at Doncaster,” said Gosden.
“She is still a very a big, immature filly. Frankie said he set her to sleep and he couldn’t wake her up again, but I loved the way she finished.”
One of her main rivals is Godolphin’s Kitesurf, who finished with a flourish to win the Prix Vermeille at ParisLongchamp last month.
Kitesurf got up in the closing stages to win the Prix Vermeille at ParisLongchamp
“She has been in great form since her win in the Vermeille,” trainer Andre Fabre told www.godolphin.com.
“For a brief moment we were tempted to go the Arc route, but the interval between the Vermeille and Ascot works well.
“I think she’ll handle the conditions, but this will probably be heavier (on the round course) than she has previously encountered, so it’s not a certainty either.”
Hydrangea showed a great attitude to win last year's Fillies & Mares
“Magical is in good form and we were very happy with her at Longchamp,” said O’Brien.
“She just had a bad draw in the Arc, but came out of it well and we’re looking forward to seeing her running again over a mile and a half.
“Hydrangea’s had a bit of a break and she seems to be in good form. It’s a while since she ran, but she seems to be in good form.
“She probably had a better preparation last year when she had a busier time than she did this year. She hasn’t run since the King George this year.”
Dean Ivory is hoping Flaming Spear’s run at Ascot just two weeks ago, when he was fifth to Raising Sand, will not have left its mark when the six-year-old bids to defy top weight in the Balmoral Handicap.
“It’s not long ago we last ran him, when he didn’t get the clearest of runs,” said Ivory.
“He seemed to handle the soft ground the other day when he ran there. You would not know how much that race took out of him until he runs on Saturday.
“He’s been lightly-raced and we’ve looked after him. I’d rather have it on the softer side than anything else.”
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