Views from connections and Man On The Spot verdicts for the Falmouth and Duchess Of Cambridge Stakes on day two of Newmarket's July Festival.
Falmouth Stakes - Views from connections
Colm O'Donoghue is chomping at the bit to ride Royal Ascot heroine Alpha Centauri in the Tattersalls Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket on Friday.
The Jessica Harrington-trained filly turned what looked a red-hot renewal of the Coronation Stakes, which included winners of the English, Irish and French 1000 Guineas, into an absolute procession.
She smashed the track record previously set by Barney Roy and is an odds-on favourite to add a third Group One to her tally.
"Luckily I rode her the other morning, so I haven't had to wait that long to get back on her," said O'Donoghue.
"She came out of Ascot well, thank god, and seems in very good form so I'm very much looking forward to it.
"I was always very comfortable throughout the Coronation, it was just a matter of how the race unfolded. She'd always shown us an immense amount of ability so I wasn't surprised she could travel through it like that.
"Obviously because of how strong the field that she beat looked, it was really very impressive."
Having won her first two starts at two before going down narrowly in the Albany Stakes, Alpha Centauri was well beaten on her final start last season and her first run this year.
Initially those below-par efforts were explained away by soft ground, but O'Donoghue has another theory.
"I don't put her defeats down to the ground. I think she was just so big last year, she was winning through pure ability but then started to develop," he explained.
"Now she's three, she's got that strength to carry her frame. She's very mature now, Mrs Harrington has given her all the time in the world and it has stood her in great stead."
Harrington herself has been pleased with what she has seen since Ascot.
"She's drawn one and she is in great form. The usual suspects have all turned up again," she said.
Second in the Coronation was Mark Johnston's Threading, albeit at a six-length distance.
"The Coronation Stakes was a great run by Threading, bar the fact that one horse absolutely trounced her," said Johnston.
"Arguably things won't be very different in the Falmouth Stakes - where if the two of them repeat their Ascot performances Threading will be second again - but I have a principle that I don't run away from one horse.
"There is some hope that Threading can improve upon her Ascot effort but the main reason for declaring her is that one should never run away from one horse.
"It is obviously a concern that Threading's two worst runs have been at Newmarket, albeit on the Rowley Mile rather than the July Course, and I have no idea why that might be."
The Middleham handler also runs Nyaleti, who arrives on a hat-trick having won a Listed race at Goodwood and the German 1000 Guineas at Dusseldorf.
"I don't think that the form of Nyaleti's win in the German Guineas was particularly strong and it may have been overrated," said Johnston.
"That said, I also think that many of Nyaleti's other performances have been underrated, such as when she beat the Derby winner, Masar, at last year's Royal Ascot, or when she finished half a length behind another Classic winner, Laurens.
"I will not be at all surprised if Nyaleti finishes in the first three on Friday and, in the longer term, this race fits nicely into her schedule en route to the Beverly D Stakes (in Chicago on August 11)."
Aidan O'Brien's Clemmie will need to bounce back to her classy juvenile form, having been well beaten by Alpha Centauri in her two races to date this season.
Man On The Spot Verdict
Aidan O’Brien bids for a third consecutive win but Clemmie finished well behind ALPHA CENTAURI in the Irish 1000 Guineas in May and the Coronation Stakes at Ascot three weeks ago. The latter beat the runner-up Threading by six lengths at Ascot and Jessica Harrington’s filly will take all the beating in this. Nyaleti arrives in good form having won the Group 2 German 1000 Guineas in May while Arabian Hope ran well for third in last year’s renewal but was well beaten at Ascot on her reappearance. Opal Tiara finished last of seven in 2017 but picked-up a Group 2 contest at the Curragh last time and Altyn Orda finished a respectable fifth in the 1000 Guineas here but will need more than that to figure in this company.
Duchess Of Cambridge Stakes - Views from connections
Trainer Mark Johnston believes Main Edition is the one to beat in the Duchess of Cambridge Stakes at Newmarket on Friday.
The daughter of Zoffany took her uneaten rally to three when winning the Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot and this Group Two contest over six furlongs can be described as a re-run, with five of the first seven taking each other on again.
"Main Edition has done absolutely nothing wrong," said Johnston.
"As the season progresses, so two-year-olds change but she is entitled to improve as much as any of her rivals and I think they have all got her to beat."
La Pelosa was only a neck away in second place on what was only her second start. Her trainer Charlie Appleby feels that race will have done her plenty of good.
"I have been pleased with the way La Pelosa has come out of her run at Royal Ascot," Appleby told www.godolphin.com.
"She made all at Kempton on her debut, but I think she learned a lot last time out, when she stayed on well in the closing stages, and the race should have brought her on mentally.
"A repeat performance of her last start should see her bang there."
Angel's Hideaway was only beaten two lengths in fourth place and connections of the John Gosden-trained juvenile are hopeful of another good run.
"She likes fast ground. She ran well and we will learn a bit more," said Chris Richardson, managing director of owners Cheveley Park Stud.
"We are pleased with her and she is bred to be a two-year-old.
"It's the logical race for her and we are competing against each other again, but she came out of the race well."
Michael Bell's Pretty Pollyanna, who was fifth, and Jessica Harrington's Chicas Amigas, who was seventh, are the others from the Albany in the rematch.
Further spice to an intruiging heat is added by the Aidan O'Brien-trained Gossamer Wings, who was only beaten a short head in the Queen Mary Stakes at the Royal meeting.
Man On The Spot Verdict
Main Edition remains unbeaten having won the Albany at Ascot three weeks ago. But she was all out to beat the Godolphin filly La Pelosa a neck and that pair are hard to separate. Angel's Hideaway, Pretty Pollyanna and Chicas Amigas were all beaten in the Albany and it’s difficult to see any of that trio reversing running but improvement is expected from GOSSAMER WINGS. Aidan O’Brien has won the last two renewals with subsequent Group 1 winners Clemmie and Roly Poly and his Scat Daddy filly should appreciate the return to 6f having just missed out in the Queen Mary at Ascot when finishing in front of Come On Leicester. Chaleur is upped in class having landed the odds in novice company last month while Alicia Darcy looks up against it.