Roger Varian has warned The Platinum Queen will likely improve for the run on her eagerly-anticipated reappearance and stable debut in the Betfred Temple Stakes at Haydock on Saturday.
The Cotai Glory filly’s quality is not in question, following a fantastic juvenile campaign last season for trainer Richard Fahey and owners Middleham Park Racing.
During a busy first year The Platinum Queen won four of eight starts, including a Group One victory against her elders in the Prix de l’Abbaye, while she also finished second in the Nunthorpe at York.
Having since changed hands for 1.2million guineas, the three-year-old will carry the colours of Katsumi Yoshida on her first start for Varian, who while happy with the filly, is expecting the run to “put her right” for a likely appearance at Royal Ascot next month.
“She’s ready to start and looks a picture, (but) she will likely need a run,” he said.
“She’s obviously new to us, but Richard Fahey has been very helpful I have to say.
“She’s quite a highly-strung filly, so we’ve had to feel our way with her through the spring and a lot of the horses are just coming forward from their first outing.
“I think she’ll run a nice race, the track and the speed test should suit her and I think the run will put her right.”
Varian has a second string to his bow in the five-furlong Group Two in the form of Mitbaahy.
The son of Profitable won at Listed and Group Three level last term before finishing down the field behind The Platinum Queen on Arc weekend in Paris.
Varian added: “He’s a really nice horse and he should improve again as a four-year-old. I think he could be a really exciting sprinter for the season.
“Again, he’s likely to come on for the run and he’d probably prefer a bit more give in the ground, but we’re trapping on, it’s nearly June and these horses have got to get their season started.
“He’s a nice horse we like for the months ahead, it’s a good starting point and the run will probably straighten him up.”
Another key runner making her seasonal debut is the Karl Burke-trained Dramatised.
The three-year-old was brilliant in winning the Queen Mary at Royal Ascot and was last seen being beaten just a length into second place in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint, a race in which The Platinum Queen failed to fire.
Burke said: “She looks in great shape and she’s ready to run. Obviously it’s a prep run for Royal Ascot, but I expect her to run a nice race.
“I’ve been very happy with her at home. It’s her first time taking on older horses and it won’t be an easy race, but hopefully she can acquit herself well.”
One horse for whom there are no fitness fears is Live In The Dream, who proved he is capable of mixing it at Pattern level when narrowly beaten by Vadream in the Palace House Stakes at Newmarket last month.
Trainer Adam West said: “I’m very pleased with him, he had a nice, easy time after Newmarket, he bounced back last week and is now back to the same sort of level he was going to the Palace House.
“Newmarket wouldn’t have suited him as well with that dip and the stiff finish, but we’re now we’re on an even keel, fast track and hopefully we’re going to be there or thereabouts.
“We weren’t originally going to go to the Palace House, but his confidence was so high after his two wins at Lingfield and Pontefract we thought we’d give it a crack and this has been the plan since.”
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