Newmarket review: Maqsad wins Pretty Polly in great style

Maqsad wins at Newmarket
Maqsad wins at Newmarket

A review of the rest of the action from Newmarket on QIPCO 1000 Guineas day as Maqsad confirmed the impression she made at the Craven meeting.

Classic credentials on show

The Listed Tweenhills Pretty Polly Stakes went the way of the William Haggas-trained Maqsad (5/4 favourite), who really stamped her class on proceedings under Jim Crowley.

The Daughter of Siyouni won a mile maiden at the Craven meeting last month but stepped up markedly on that bare form, relishing the move up to 10 furlongs and pulling five lengths clear of John Gosden's Shambolic, who was tried in Group One company as a juvenile.

Haggas said on Racing TV: "I was impressed and she settled well. I was keen to go (over the trip) and she stayed well. She's out of a Galileo mare.

"The big question is the extra couple of furlongs. She's in the French Oaks, the Epsom Oaks and the Ribblesdale so we've got to sit down and think about it.

"Now she's won a Listed race it's definitely up in class again. I'm not so sure it was the strongest renewal of this race but we'll decide what to do."

Sky Bet cut her to 7/1 from 33s for the Investec Oaks and the firm's Michael Shinners said: "Maqsad is clearly making significant progress with every racecourse appearance and she oozed class under Jim Crowley.

"It will be very interesting to see if connections try her over a mile and a half with the Oaks a potentially tempting target now."

Worth the wait

David Lanigan celebrated his first turf winner of the year in style as Worth Waiting claimed the biggest success of her career in the Charm Spirit Dahlia Stakes.

After coming up short at the top level on her final start last year, the daughter of Bated Breath showed at Newmarket on Sunday she has taken a step forward over the winter, with a ready victory in the Group Two contest.

Racing front rank under James Doyle throughout the one-mile one-furlong contest, just outside the three pole the 3/1 shot moved into a lead she would not surrender on the way to a length win from Nyaleti.

Lanigan said: "She has trained well up to (this race) and she is a stronger filly this year.

"Ted Durcan rides her in a lot of her work. Even last year, before we went to the Aphrodite we weren't 100 per cent sure she would stay the mile and a half completely.

"I think she is so laid-back she helped herself last year. When we went to Deauville they crawled, then sprinted - then when we ran in the Group One at Chantilly, she blew like a filly that didn't stay a mile and a half, and I knew she was 100 per cent fit.

"When Ted got off her a week ago on the watered gallop, it was the first time in 11 years he has been riding for me that he got off one and was really happy with her - so I thought we are in the right spot. "

Injury at the end of her previous campaign meant Worth Waiting has proved well-named in her preparation for this summer.

"She had a chip taken out of a hind fetlock at the end of the season, and it took her a little bit of time to come right," added Lanigan.

"From her first run of the year, with natural progression, you would expect her to improve for the run. The main thing is to try pick up a Group One. I think we will leave her at a mile and a quarter for the moment."

That Group One victory may be secured abroad, with Lanigan earmarking races in America and Ireland for his stable star.

He said: "I thought if we went and won today, we would go for the Pretty Polly (at the Curragh). Long term, at the end of last year we thought the perfect fit for her would be the Beverly D. Stakes (at Arlington Park)."

Baghdad leaves it late

Baghdad moved a step closer to a return trip to Royal Ascot as he resumed winning ways in the Qatar Racing Handicap at Newmarket.

Having suffered a fractured cannon bone after winning the King George V Handicap at the Royal meeting last year, the Mark Johnston-trained Frankel colt went two places better on Sunday than on his seasonal return at Newcastle - running out a half-length winner of the mile-and-a-half contest.

Johnston said of the 9/4 winner: "Unfortunately he fractured a cannon bone after winning the King George V.

"He has had surgery on it, and it is great to see horses like that coming back from serious surgery."

Baghdad stayed on well under Silvestre De Sousa, ahead of John Gosden's Corelli, and Johnston added: "Clearly he is still on the upgrade. I don't know whether he needed it (at Newcastle) - but he got the job done today.

"Silvestre said he was quite keen early.

"Frankie (Dettori, on Corelli) slowed it up a bit - but he got to Frankie in the dying strides.

"He has seen that out today well - and with a strong pace, I still think a mile and a half is probably ideal. I would say we would look at the Duke Of Edinburgh back at Ascot."

Best of the rest...

On The Warpath (9/4 favourite) won the Longholes Handicap by three lengths under William Buick.

Charlie Appleby's gelding defied a mark of 102 in some style as he went one better than when beaten a length into second by Mubtasim over seven furlongs at the Craven Meeting last month.

Threat caused a 10/1 surprise in the Hot Streak Maiden Stakes over five furlongs.

Richard Hannon's charge showed an excellent burst of speed and saw it out well to see off odds-on favourite Electric Storm (2/5) by two and a quarter lengths.

Hannon said: "He is a very nice colt, and always has been.

"I thought he would run very well today. Our two-year-olds have needed it - and if they win first time out they are good. I'd like to think he is a Coventry (Stakes) horse - because I think he will be better going over six (furlongs).

"That was a smart race - coming here is quite punchy. There is the Olympic Glory Stakes at Newbury and the Woodcote at Epsom. He could go straight to the Coventry."

De Sousa and Johnston bookended the card with victory when Nayef Road, who holds Group Two entries in the Dante and King Edward VII Stakes, ran out a facile five-length winner of the Qipco Supporting British Racing Handicap.

Johnston said of the 9/4 winner: "The London Gold Cup was what (assistant) Charlie (Johnston) said straight-away.

"We will have to see what the handicapper does with him. He did look like the winner a long way out."


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