Sunday 23 July 2017

Bell waits on ground for Sariska

Michael Bell is ready to let dual Oaks winner Sariska make her reappearance in today's StanJames.com Dahlia Stakes -- provided conditions at Newmarket are suitable.

Having tasted Classic glory at both Epsom and The Curragh, the Pivotal filly signed off her 2009 campaign with a fine third place against the colts in the Champion Stakes.

The possibility of rain has prompted Bell to declare his stable star for today's Group Three prize, although her participation remains uncertain.

"There are conflicting forecasts and if one of the forecasts I've heard is correct she'll run and if it isn't she won't," said Bell.

"We've declared her and that's the trouble with 48-hour declarations, particularly with these unpredictable showers.

"It's just up the road for us so it doesn't really affect her routine too much, so we can afford to sit and wait and see what happens.

"If it's genuine good ground she'll almost certainly run. We do have the Middleton Stakes at York (May 13) as an option but if they do get significant rain on Saturday night, which looks possible, we'd like to run."

Meanwhile, Kevin Prendergast's Termagant will set off on the Classic trail in the Irish 1,000 Guineas at the Curragh on May 23 before a trip to Epsom.

The Powerscourt filly was unbeaten in two starts as a juvenile, securing a Group One prize in the Moyglare Stud Stakes at The Curragh in August.

Connections decided to bypass today's Guineas at Newmarket after a hard winter, but Prendergast still hopes she could turn into a real Classic contender.

"Termagant definitely has the Investec Oaks on her agenda," said Prendergast. "All being well, she will run in the Irish 1,000 Guineas and then go to Epsom.

"We are happy with her. She is just starting to come right now; we wanted to run her in the English 1,000 Guineas but she didn't come to hand in time.

"I don't know whether or not it was as bad in England but we had a terrible winter here.

"She did nothing wrong last year and all she has to do is repeat and improve on it and she could be thereabouts."

Michael Stoute's Hymnsheet will put her own fillies Classic credentials on the line in the Weatherbys Bank Cheshire Oaks at Chester on Wednesday. The Cheveley Park Stud-owned filly made a winning introduction over a mile at Yarmouth in October but is ready to step up in trip as connections consider a tilt at the Oaks in June.

Cheveley Park's managing director Chris Richardson said: "Hymnsheet is in the Oaks but the season is just beginning and it is too early to say at this stage whether she will get to Epsom.

"We like her but Sir Michael has been saying for some time that the fillies have needed some warmth and she is one that has needed it. She has been entered in the Cheshire Oaks, so that is the plan and after discussions with Sir Michael and the owners we will see how she is."

Sunday Independent

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