York preview: Frankel filly Franconia in fine heart for York mission

Sun 26 Jul 2020

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John Gosden reports Franconia to be in good order as she bids to maintain her unbeaten record on turf in the British Stallion Studs EBF Lyric Fillies’ Stakes at York.

The Frankel filly will be out to make up for lost time in Sunday’s mile-and-a-quarter Listed prize, after being forced to sidestep an outing over course and distance in the Group Three Musidora Stakes this month because of a bad scope.

After finishing second on her on her sole start at two at Chelmsford in November, the Khald Abdullah-owned filly made her turf debut a winning one with a clear-cut success in a Listed event at Newbury on her return to action this season.

She's a little bit hot: Watch what Frankie Dettori had to say after Franconia's victory

Gosden said: “She scoped with mucus before the Musidora. She has always been a little bit inclined that way, and I just wasn’t happy with her.  It was what we call a ‘three-out-of-five’ mucus – so we decided not to run.

“She is like her sister Winsili and is very full of herself at home. She is quite a character, but she seems in good form.

“It was a good effort to break her maiden in a Listed race, but she now has to carry a penalty for that victory in this race. The race at Newbury is working out quite well.”

Andrea Atzeni believes a drop down in class and trip, combined with a return to a more conventional track, will suit the Roger Varian-trained Gold Wand – who was last sighted finishing down the field in the Oaks at Epsom.

Atzeni said: “I think a mile and a quarter on a flat track like York will suit her perfectly, because she won over that trip at Newbury – which is a similar track.

“She is a filly that we like quite like. We took a chance in the Oaks, because we thought she would be competitive in that race. But it just never happened for her, as she probably didn’t have enough experience.

“Back down in grade on a galloping track like York will suit her, and hopefully we can see how good she is. She didn’t have a hard race in the Oaks and she came out of it fine. We are very pleased with her.”

Charlie Appleby hopes Beautiful Illusion take a step up in class in her stride and add to her two all-weather victories earlier in the year by going one better than on her turf debut at Haydock last time out.

“She won her first two starts and was second on her handicap debut to a filly that has been subsequently Group placed,” he said.

“She deserves to take her chance and she will not look out of place. She has got a bit to find with some of them, but we took some encouragement from her first start on turf last time.

“She is a straightforward filly – and like a lot of these fillies, we are now seeing if she is good enough to get some black type. We feel she is a nice filly, and it looks as though a mile and a quarter is her trip.”

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