Collins plotting bold French foray with Majestic Queen
Tracey Collins is plotting an ambitious assault on France as she pledges to pitch crack sprinter Majestic Queen into Group One company.
On her first start since being acquired by Sheikh Mohammed for the princely sum of £825,000, Majestic Queen confirmed her status as a five-year-old still very much on the up when second in Sunday's seven-furlong Brownstown Stakes at Fairyhouse.
She lost little in defeat in being denied by the increasingly impressive Ainippe when conceding 8lb.
Already twice successful at that level and over that trip, the game daughter of Kheleyf is now to be aimed at the six-and-a-half-furlong Prix Maurice de Gheest at Longchamp on August 9, ahead of a possible tilt at the Sprint Cup the following month.
"The plan is to go to France for the Maurice de Gheest and she's also in the Haydock Sprint Cup," confirmed Collins, who would be striving for an first triumph at the highest level.
"She ran a very good race at Fairyhouse and was only beaten by a very good filly, and she's come out of the race very well."
More immediately, Lucida is a general 11/4 favourite to plunder her first Group One in tomorrow's Qipco Falmouth Stakes. Jim Bolger's 1,000 Guineas runner-up emerged with plenty of credit when surging home late to be third behind Ervedya and Found in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot.
In tomorrow's £200,000 mile contest, she faces eight rivals, including Michael Stoute's Ryan Moore-ridden 2014 winner Integral.
Ken Condon's Newsletter also runs at York tomorrow. A Listed winner at Nottingham in May prior to finishing second to Ainippe at the Curragh last month, she tackles 13 others in a competitive Group Three under Tony Hamilton.
Aidan O'Brien's Fields Of Athenry, the only Irish-based horse declared for Newmarket today, has been scratched from the Bahrain Trophy.
Moore and Stoute combine for the in-form recent course winner Gospel Choir in the Group Two Prince Of Wales's Stakes, with John Gosden responsible for the favourite Mahsoob. Unbeaten in four, Paul Hanagan's mount was last seen winning Royal Ascot's Wolferton Handicap.
Mahsoob has also been left in the King George VI & QE II Stakes.
Gosden's exceptional Derby and Eclipse hero Golden Horn is the standout entry of the 16 names to go forward for Ascot's mid-summer highlight on July 25, but the Newmarket handler, who won the 12-furlong Group One with Taghrooda last year and Nathaniel in 2011, has other potentially serious back-up in Eagle Top and Romsdal.
Hugo Lascelles, who represents Golden Horn's owner Anthony Oppenheimer and Eagle Top's owner Lady Bamford, said yesterday: "Both John Gosden and Mr Oppenheimer have told me that Golden Horn has come out of his win in the Eclipse very well.
"John and Mr Oppenheimer will see how he is before making the decision as to whether he goes to Ascot. There is plenty of time. It is the plan for Eagle Top to go again this year."
O'Brien could strive to emulate Gosden's feat with Taghrooda, having left his Oaks heroine Qualify in the King George along with fellow Group One-winning three-year-old filly Diamondsandrubies.
The Ballydoyle maestro's brilliant 2,000 Guineas and St James's Palace Stakes victor Gleneagles has been left in the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood, and a clash with Freddy Head's Queen Anne winner Solow still looks to be on the cards. A total of 21 horses remain in what is expected to be Gleneagles' first test against older rivals on July 29.
Meanwhile, jump jockey Brian Hayes has lodged an appeal against the Limerick stewards' decision to ban him for two days on Sunday for not reporting that his tack slipped on Abolitionist, despite the horse winning.
Hayes also received a two-day ban for hitting Abolitionist after the line, which he has accepted.