Sunday 19 January 2020

Duty bids for Special Guineas double

Criquette Head-Maarek bids to land an audacious English/ French 1,000 Guineas double for the second time in her training career when she saddles Special Duty at Longchamp tomorrow.

The French trainer took both Classics with Ravinella in 1988 and is happy to go for the Poule D'Essai Des Pouliches with Special Duty.

She is back on home soil, having been awarded the Newmarket Classic in the stewards' room after finishing a nose behind Jacqueline Quest.

"I did the Guineas double with Ravinella and they are quite similar, both honest horses, of small size with a big heart and are big fighters," said the Chantilly trainer.

"This filly showed plenty of battling qualities at Newmarket and I hope she can do so again.

"She's fine, she looks well and she looks fresh so we are going to go to Longchamp. She seems to have taken the race at Newmarket very well.

"We are drawn 10 out of 10 on Sunday. That's not the best draw because the mile start at Longchamp is very close to the turn. That won't be an excuse though. If she's well enough she has a good chance."

The trainer's comments were echoed by Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager to owner Prince Khalid Abdullah.

He said: "Special Duty did a nice little breeze on Thursday morning and Criquette was very pleased.

"She had quite a tough race at Newmarket but has come out of that very well."

The owner is also represented by Full Steam, who opened her account at the second attempt in a conditions race at Chantilly last month.

"Full Steam is a nice Oasis Dream filly and won a B race in Chantilly very impressively," Grimthorpe added.

Irish Independent

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