Several Classic contenders are set to put their credentials to the test as Newmarket ushers in the new Flat season with the first day of the Craven Meeting on Wednesday, 13th April.

Maqaasid heads 17 fillies entered in the seven-furlong £50,000 Group Three Lanwades Stud Nell Gwyn Stakes (4.10pm), the leading trial for the Group One QIPCO 1000 Guineas over a mile at Newmarket on 1st May.

The John Gosden-trained daughter of Green Desert triumphed in the five-furlong Group Two Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot last year and ended her juvenile campaign with a creditable third behind Hooray in the Group One Adnams Cheveley Park Stakes over a furlong further at Newmarket on 1st October.

She could be joined in the Lanwades Stud Nell Gwyn Stakes by fellow Hamdan Al Maktoum home-bred Darajaat, who ended a progressive 2010 for trainer Marcus Tregoning with a staying-on third in the Group Three Cornwallis Stakes at Ascot in October.

Angus Gold, racing manager to Hamdan Al Maktoum, revealed: “We have given Maqaasid an entry in the Lanwades Stud Nell Gwyn Stakes and she will also be entered at Newbury next weekend. We will make a decision about which trial to go for in due course.

“John Gosden seems very happy with her and says that she is in good shape at the moment. She showed a lot of speed last season and we have to find out whether she can stay further this year.

“She is related to Ghanaati, who won the 1000 Guineas in 2009, but realistically you would have to be concerned about her getting a mile judged on the speed she displayed in the Queen Mary Stakes. It could depend entirely on her mental state and whether she relaxes enough in her races to allow her every chance of staying the trip.

“She was bumped when she was fourth in the Lowther Stakes at York in August but she didn’t have too many excuses in the Cheveley Park Stakes – she got a bit far back but she ran on well and got the trip fine. We are stepping up to seven furlongs now and we will just have to wait and see.

“We also gave Darajaat an entry in the Lanwades Stud Nell Gwyn Stakes and I will speak to Marcus Tregoning before making any decision regarding her participation.

“She is another very quick filly and she will also have to show us that she stays further if she is going to progress to be a Classic contender.”

Other notable entries in the Group Three Lanwades Stud Nell Gwyn Stakes include Listed Bosra Sham Fillies’ Stakes heroine Sweet Cecily, Redcar Two-Year-Old Trophy winner Ladies Are Forever, and Sing Softly, who comfortably took a Listed contest at the Curragh for trainer Aidan O’Brien on 3rd April.

An eight-race card on the first day of the Craven Meeting also features the inaugural running of the £150,000 Tattersalls Millions 3-Y-O Sprint (3.00pm) and a pair of Listed races – the £30,000 Bet At European Free Handicap (3.35pm) and the £30,000 Blue Square Feilden Stakes (4.45pm).

About Steeplechasing

Writer, horse-racing fan, cyclist, consultant, entrepreneur. Worked at Aintree, SiS, The Tote, Ladbrokes. Created scoop6. Now run Gamtrain Ltd

Posted on April 7, 2011, in General and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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