Ollie Sangster will saddle his first Group One runner when stable star Shuwari attempts to get back to winning ways in the bet365 Fillies’ Mile.
The daughter of New Bay created a taking impression in her early outings and got the better of subsequent Moyglare Stud Stakes scorer Fallen Angel to claim Listed honours at Sandown on just her second start.
That piece of form was key to the youngster being sent off the 13-8 favourite for the Rockfel Stakes at Newmarket two weeks ago, when she lost her unbeaten record at the hands of Carla’s Way.
However, the manner in which she made smooth headway to try to chase down the winner from a position in rear offers plenty of encouragement ahead of this step up to a mile.
Sangster said: “She ran a very good race and we were very happy in the circumstances. She has come out of the race well and I’m looking forward to Friday.
“She’s a straightforward horse who relaxes and settles well and I can’t see the step up in trip being a problem.
“It’s nice to have a chance in a race like this and hopefully she will run well for us.”
A place behind Shuwari in third in the Rockfel was Aidan O’Brien’s Ylang Ylang, who was installed as the early ante-post favourite for next year’s 1000 Guineas after winning her first two contests but has had her momentum checked the last twice.
She will once again be partnered by Ryan Moore, who told Betfair: “She was taken off her feet a bit on quick ground over seven furlongs here last time, so the step up to a mile will suit and she has form on soft if we get a lot of rain.
“I’d like to think she is the filly to beat if returning to the form of her Leopardstown win. We have always thought of her as a Group One filly.”
Ylang Ylang is one of two in the race for the master of Ballydoyle alongside stablemate Brilliant, while the Irish challenge is bolstered by Noel Meade’s Caught U Looking, who enhanced her reputation with a half-length success in the Weld Park Stakes last month.
The improving youngster needed every yard of seven furlongs on that occasion and her handler is now keen to test her over further.
Meade said: “She won at Leopardstown very well and she carried on and won a Group Three. She just about won it and didn’t win by any long way, but she is by Harzand and I think the step up to a mile will be a help.
“Her sire was a good mile-and-a-half horse and you would imagine that is where she will be going (next year). She certainly stayed on well at the Curragh and went through the line well and was only getting going at the end of the seven furlongs. I would say seven is as short as you would like to go, so you would be hoping she will run a nice race.
“I’m a little bit concerned by very fast ground but hopefully we get a bit of rain that would help.”
Frankie Dettori has won this a record seven times and fresh from announcing the extension of his riding career, he will team up with Michael Bell’s Ambiente Amigo, who has caught the eye when winning minor races at Lingfield and now takes a vast step up in grade.
Meanwhile, Ralph Beckett appears to have a strong hand saddling both impressive Sandown scorer Classical Song and Ascot victor Seaward and Rossa Ryan is relishing the chance to partner the former for the first time.
He said: “I know the Beckett team like her and Ryan (Moore) liked her the last day and she looks a very good, honest, genuine sort. The signs look right to have a pop at it.”
The field is completed by Andrew Balding’s May Hill Stakes runner-up See The Fire.
The daughter of Sea The Stars is out of her owner Jeff Smith’s Juddmonte International Stakes winner Arabian Queen and is held in high regard by connections.
“We’re looking forward to running in the Fillies’ Mile and we were very pleased with her second in the May Hill,” said David Bowe, Smith’s racing manager.
“She still ran a bit green and has come on since then mentally.
“We’re hoping that she will do us proud and she is obviously a really smart filly and we’ll see how she fares.
“She has a really stout pedigree and she has the looks to go with it. She’s a beautifully proportioned filly and just neat and tidy for a two-year-old.
“We’re very pleased with her all round. We’re very lucky that both her and Ghostwriter seem to be in good shape for the obvious next year. We don’t want to tempt fate and get too excited, but it’s nice to have a couple of nice horses on the books and we’re in good shape.”