Charlie Appleby hopes he still has a Classic contender on his hands after Soliloquy runs in Wednesday’s Lanwades Stud Nell Gwyn Stakes at Newmarket.
Second in a maiden at Headquarters in August, she made no mistake next time out at Ascot.
The Dubawi filly is not engaged in the 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket but does hold an entry in the Irish equivalent.
“She’s got a nice profile going into it,” said Appleby.
“She was placed at Newmarket and went and won her maiden at Ascot which has worked out quite well, on soft ground.
“She’s a filly that has done very well through the winter, her work has being very pleasing.
“It’s stating the obvious really but everyone is in the same boat at this time of year, you hope they progress into Classic contenders or else you might be looking at handicaps for them.
“It’s the right starting point for her and we are just trying to find out where we are with her.
“At this time of year you might think you have half a dozen Classic types, but by the end of it if you’ve got one, you’re delighted!”
Mark Johnston runs both the Lowther winner Threading and the consistent Nyaleti.
“Threading has not run since the Cheveley Park in September, but she should be pretty straight for this reappearance,” said Johnston.
“The big question marks with her are the disappointment of her last run and this new trip. She is very well, but I am not sure how she will go over this seven furlongs or the mile of the Guineas, so that’s why we are running her in a trial rather than going straight for the big one.
“Nyaleti may have needed her comeback run at Newcastle a bit, though it may have been freshness rather than lack of fitness that got her beat. But the way she ran there (over a mile) looked very much like she wanted to come back in trip.”
Ed Vaughan’s Hikmaa signed off last season in the best possible fashion by winning the Listed Radley Stakes at Newbury after two solid runs in Group company.
“She’ll be our first runner on turf this season but she had a racecourse gallop at Chelmsford a couple of weeks ago,” said Vaughan.
“She’s in good form, she’s as fit as I can get her for her first run so we’re hoping she runs well.
“We have put her in the Fred Darling as well, but the only thing is she hasn’t quite come in her coat as yet.
“What’s in her favour is that she has run well at the track previously.
“To have won a Listed race with her already, given she cost just 10,000 guineas, is half the battle.”
Charlie Hills is represented by Juliet Foxtrot, who created quite an impression when winning at Goodwood by seven lengths but could finish only fifth on her final outing.
She is owned by Khalid Abdullah and his racing manager Teddy Grimthorpe said: “She won very well at Goodwood and then when we ran her in the Group Three in Ireland, I think the ground was a bit too soft for her.
“We’re hoping she’ll bounce back. Charles is very happy with her.”
Aidan O’Brien runs Dramatically, Roger Varian’s Oh So Sharp winner Altyn Orda and the John Gosden-trained Nawassi are others among a classy 12-runner field.