Kiyoshi to swerve Guineas prep
Charlie Hills plans to give exciting filly Kiyoshi a racecourse gallop at Newmarket ahead of an intended tilt at the Qipco 1000 Guineas on May 4.
The trainer suffered a major blow earlier this year when champion juvenile filly Chriselliam had to be put down after she sustained a foot infection, but Hills feels he still has a major contender for the fillies' Classic.
Kiyoshi looked a potential world-beater when running away with the Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot last June and while unable to build upon that effort in two subsequent juvenile starts, she was far from disgraced.
She passed the post second to Rizeena in the Moyglare Stud Stakes at the Curragh, but was placed third by the stewards after causing interference, before signing off with a close third in the Cheveley Park Stakes.
The Hills-trained Just The Judge had a racecourse gallop prior to finishing second in last year's Guineas and Kiyoshi is set to tread the same path.
"Jamie (Spencer) came and sat on her (on Tuesday morning), she worked nicely and he was very happy with her," said the Lambourn-based handler.
"I think the plan is to take her to Newmarket for a racecourse gallop, just as we did with Just The Judge last year.
"Kiyoshi is a filly who runs well fresh and her form is rock solid.
"She was pretty special in the Albany, she beat Ihtimal in her maiden at Goodwood and is obviously closely matched with Rizeena.
"After she ran well in Ireland, we dropped her back from seven to six furlongs. We probably would have been better going up in trip, but it's just how things panned out.
"We're looking forward to stepping her up to a mile as hopefully we'll be able to ride more of a race on her."
Another Hills-trained filly who could potentially go down the Guineas route is Queen Catrine, who was placed four times at Pattern level last season.
Hills said: "Jamie sat on her as well and we're pleased with where we are at the moment with her.
"She's nice and forward in her coat and I think she probably will have a run in either the Fred Darling or the Nell Gwyn.
"We'll decide after that whether she goes to Newmarket as well, or she could go for the Irish Guineas or the French Guineas.
"She's a very tough and consistent filly who was placed in four Group races last season, so hopefully it will be an exciting season with her."
Hills' only entry in the 2000 Guineas is Cable Bay, last seen filling the runner-up spot behind War Command in the Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket.
However, he is unlikely to step up in trip on the Rowley Mile.
"I don't think we'll be aiming him towards the Guineas," said the trainer.
"We want to take our time with him and we're quite keen to stick at seven furlongs for the time being.
"Something like the Jersey (Stakes) at Royal Ascot might be a target."