Via Sistina is fully on course for an outing on Qipco British Champions Day, with George Boughey warning his star filly has been training better than ever.
The five-year-old is yet to finish outside the first three since joining Boughey last October and has taken her form to the next level this season, emphatically claiming the Dahlia Stakes on reappearance before scooping Group One honours at the Curragh in the Pretty Polly Stakes.
Creditable placed efforts in both the Falmouth Stakes and Prix Jean Romanet have followed and Boughey opted against sending his thriving mare to ParisLongchamp for the Prix de l’Opera in favour of heading to Ascot in peak condition.
The Saffron House handler is now hoping for some assistance from the weather to enable Via Sistina to showcase her best at the Berkshire track.
Boughey said: “The ground has always been a big thing for her and I think she will be at her best if the ground is slower. But it would also be no surprise to see her take chance on normal sort of ground.
“I can’t imagine it is going to be fast. I’ve long wanted to run her at Ascot and it usually comes up very soft. It doesn’t like it’s going to come up very soft, but there is every chance the weather could break and we will be hoping.”
“She’s training as well as she ever has and is in great form and this has been the plan for quite some time.”
Via Sistina has the option of taking on the colts over her Group One-winning distance of 10 furlongs in the Qipco Champion Stakes or having just a second crack at a mile and a half if staying among her own sex for the Qipco British Champions Fillies And Mares Stakes.
Boughey believes Via Sistina’s versatility means he could have a tough call to make ahead of Ascot’s end-of-season showpiece on October 21.
He added: “We’ll just sort of monitor both of them and see how we go and hopefully we will see her in one of them.
“I’ve always thought she has been very versatile and I think there is every chance if she did turn up in the mile-and-a-half race, then she might have been favourite for a Group One over a mile, a mile and a quarter and a mile and a half in the same season which I’m not sure many will have done.
“She is versatile and the way she travels off the pace is probably conducive to staying a bit further so all options are open and it’s a nice decision to have to make.”