Connections hope Peeress will be peerless in Lockinge

Last updated at 14:07 18 May 2007


Connections of top-class mare Peeress are excited about the prospect of seeing the six-year-old back on the racetrack in tomorrow's Juddmonte Lockinge Stakes at Newbury.

In tune with previous sporting decisions by the Cheveley Park Stud, they

have

delayed her departure to the paddocks while she is still competing at the

highest level.

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And her form last season showed she is certainly capable of that, with a

couple

of near-misses following her victory in this Group One event 12 months ago.

With underfoot conditions in her favour, she is likely to be sent off

favourite

to become the first back-to-back winner since Soviet Line in 1995-96.

"Peeress is ready for a run both physically and mentally and the ground

has

come in her favour," said Chris Richardson, managing director of the stud.

"It will be nice to get her back on the track and get her competing back

at

the top level again.

"She was a little unlucky last season not to add to her win in the

Lockinge

but that's racing for you.

"After winning a Group One in May we thought she would go on and add to

that,

and she probably should have done, but there you go.

"It's an exciting decision that Mr and Mrs Thompson (Stud owners) have

taken

to keep her in training and we are looking forward to the season.

"She's been working well. She is better with a bit of give underfoot and

she

will have a similar campaign to last year but slightly dictated by what

moisture

there is the ground.

"She goes on quicker ground but she is definitely better with a bit of

cut."

Godolphin have enjoyed success in the one-mile event with the likes of Cape

Cross (1998), Fly To The Stars (1999) and Aljabr (2000) and rely on recent

Italian recruit Ramonti this time around.

The five-year-old had some top-class form in his homeland, including a

win in

the Italian 2000 Guineas and a success at Group One level.

"This is Ramonti's first race for us and he has done very well so far. He

had

a nice winter in Dubai and looks fresh and happy. He's ready to go,

although he

will improve from the race," said handler Saeed bin Suroor.

"I wouldn't want to see the ground become too soft at Newbury, as he

prefers

decent ground.

"It will be a very tough race on Saturday with some good horses in there,

but

we are looking forward to it, and hope Ramonti can show his class.

"If he runs well at the weekend, we would consider the Queen Anne Stakes

at

Royal Ascot," he told www.godolphin.com.

Pam Sly believes Speciosa will acquit herself well tomorrow.

Last year's 1000 Guineas winner made an encouraging seasonal debut when

second

to Manduro at Newmarket on ground that was probably a shade too firm for

her.

"It was a bit quick there. The ground wont be too bad tomorrow," said the

Singlecote trainer.

"She's still quite big but she's well.

"She's drawn in the middle (four) which should be fine - no problems with

that. They will go whichever side they want to.

"I think she should be in the first three or four, but we'll need more

than a

bit of luck to win."

Michael Bell is at a loss to explain why Red Evie is going in to the race a

relatively unconsidered 10-1 chance.

After progressing rapidly through the ranks last season she beat Peeress

in the

Matron Stakes at Leopardstown on the only occasion they met.

"I think it will be very similar ground to what she won on last year

there so

that won't be a problem," explained Bell.

"She's an extremely lazy worker but she looks in great physical condition

so

there is no reason to expect that she won't perform well.

"You never know with fillies if they have retained their ability until

they

run but she certainly looks in great shape.

"It looks a warm race but I think she should be bang there. She has

beaten

Peeress the only time they met and she is favourite - I think that takes a

bit

of explaining.

"If one has won on the only occasion they have met and she is 10-1 and

the

other 7-4 favourite there is no logic to it, but there we are.

"The only time she disappointed she was over the top so we live in hope."

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