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Spacious nursing big ambition for Matron glory

Spacious will bid to secure an elusive first Group One success in Saturday's Coolmore Fusaichi Pegasus Matron Stakes at Leopardstown.

James Fanshawe's five-year-old has enjoyed an excellent career, with victory in Royal Ascot's Windsor Forest Stakes in 2009 backed up by four placed efforts at the highest level.

She demonstrated her well-being with a fine second to Music Show in last month's Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket and Chris Richardson, managing director of the owners Cheveley Park Stud, hopes she can taste Group One glory before she begins her new career as a broodmare.

"All being well she's going to Ireland and this race has been her long-range target," said Richardson.

"The ground looks to be in her favour at the moment and she seems to be in good form. We just want her to go and win a Group One.

"She's tough and genuine and has done well physically. She's continued to thrive and James is very happy with her, so we'll keep our fingers crossed she runs well.

"She'll be retired at the end of the year so she'll run this weekend, then probably at Newmarket at the back-end and then away we go."

Mick Channon's Music Show will again be in opposition this weekend and the trainer could not be happier with his charge at this stage.

"She's in great heart and obviously we're very hopeful, but it's a competitive race and they'll take no prisoners," said the trainer.

"She's in great form and has held her form brilliantly all year, so I've been very pleased with her.

"You never know at this time of year, fillies start changing their coats and it's the time of year when things start to change, but she appears in great form.

"She's a good-moving filly, so she doesn't want the ground bottomless.

"She doesn't mind a bit of cut in the ground and she doesn't mind top of the ground, she just doesn't want it really soft."

Paco Boy is set to head to France for Sunday's Prix du Moulin rather than tackle the Betfred Sprint Cup at Haydock 24 hours earlier.

Trainer Richard Hannon had been toying with the two options for the five-year-old, but the Wiltshire handler has opted to stay at a mile rather than drop back to six furlongs at the Merseyside track.

"We have weighed up the options and, while we don't have to declare until tomorrow, it now looks almost certain that we are going to give the Sprint Cup a miss and wait for the Prix du Moulin at Longchamp," said Hannon.

"I have always favoured France, but I have spoken to part-owner Derek Lucy-Smith and he agrees the Moulin is probably the right race for him.

"My worry about Haydock is that it could develop into a messy race as there will be a big field and they will most certainly split into two groups, so if you are drawn in the wrong place you could be in trouble.

"They will also go off very fast and while Paco Boy was quick enough to finish best of all in the July Cup at Newmarket last year, Equiano and Starspangledbanner are likely to go five-furlong pace at Haydock and we won't be able to ride a race on our fellow.

"In contrast, there will be a single figure field for the Moulin. There is no Goldikova and while Makfi could run, the ground will be vastly different to the very soft conditions he revelled in when beating us in the Prix Jacques le Marois at Deauville.

"Paco Boy finished a close third to Goldikova in the Moulin two years ago, and there is no doubt that he is a much better horse now, so we have to go there feeling upbeat."