TDN Weekend

Classic Pointers In Nell Gwyn

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Brave Anna (blue cap) | Racing Post

It is 11 years since Speciosa (Ire) (Danehill Dancer {Ire}) went on to 1000 Guineas glory after winning the G3 Lanwades Stud Nell Gwyn S., but it would be no surprise to see Wednesday’s edition at Newmarket throw up a Classic heroine with some proven and potential class acts in attendance. Last year’s G1 Cheveley Park S. first and second Brave Anna (War Front) and Roly Poly (War Front) are back at headquarters from Ballydoyle, while Sunderland Holdings’s Sea of Grace (Ire) (Born To Sea {Ire}) appears the leading British-trained representative and ‘TDN Rising Star’ Pamplemousse (Ire) (Siyouni {Fr}) comes in from France with a weight of expectation behind her. The latter made a striking impression on debut when successful by 4 1/2 lengths over 6 1/2 furlongs on the Polytrack at Chantilly on Apr. 4 and hails from the in-form Andre Fabre stable. If successful, she will become the first French-trained filly to prevail since Flying Water (Fr) (Habitat) in 1976. Hugo Lascelles, racing manager for owner Lady Bamford, said, “She was very good first time out and has come out of the race very well. She has travelled down to Newmarket fine, but we are very much on a fact-finding mission with her. Andre really wants to find out which way to go with her in the long term, but he has been very pleased with her progress.”

Roly Poly, who also captured the G2 Duchess of Cambridge S. over six furlongs at the July meeting here, has a three-pound swing with her stablemate Brave Anna who denied her a short-head in the Cheveley Park and goes well fresh. Last seen finishing ninth in the GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf at Santa Anita in November, she also comes from a stable which has started 2017 with a flourish. Trained in Ireland last term, Sea of Grace drops back from a mile after winning the G3 Flame of Tara S. at The Curragh in August. “I am excited getting Sea of Grace on to the track and if she has any pretensions to being a 1000 Guineas candidate, she will need to run a good race,” her new handler William Haggas said. “I have had her since November and she is in good shape, she’s a very straightforward filly. She was a group winner as a 2-year-old, so her form is fine and I know that she was held in high regard by Mr. Oxx. It looks to be a strong enough race, as you would hope a proper trial would be, and we should find out if she is a genuine Classic contender. I am keen to run her at Newmarket to see how she handles the course, although I am convinced that she will be better at a mile. She could stay a bit further, so I have put her in both the Prix de Diane and the Prix Saint-Alary so that we have options over a mile and a quarter.”

Not to be left out of equations is the G3 Oh So Sharp S. scorer Poet’s Vanity (GB) (Poet’s Voice {GB}) and trainer Andrew Balding said, “She’s quite a big filly and I think this run will do her the power of good. She looks very well and has trained very well, but this is a prep run for what lies ahead later in the season. I think she will come on a great deal for it.”

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