Rizeena: charging home in the Queen Mary at Royal Ascot last monthPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Bullish Brittain sweet
on 'special' Rizeena
RIZEENA, the speedy juvenile who rocketed veteran trainer Clive Brittain back into the big time when landing the Queen Mary at Royal Ascot last month, bids to cement her status as one of Britain's leading two-year-old fillies when she tackles the Duchess of Cambridge Stakes at Newmarket on Friday.
The 6f Group 2, sponsored by Betfred and formerly known as the Cherry Hinton, has attracted eight runners of which Rizeena is likely to start favourite to bag the £45,368 first prize, despite shouldering a 3lb penalty for her success at the royal meeting.
"She was very good at Ascot and I’m really looking forward to the race," said the 79-year-old Brittain, who took out a licence in 1972.
"James Doyle has been down to ride her and was very pleased; he thinks she may well have improved again. The last furlong in the Queen Mary was when she really got going so the step up to six should be in her favour, and conditions should be very similar.
"Aidan O’Brien's filly [Bye Bye Birdie] looks an obvious threat but we've beaten plenty of them and we think Rizeena's a bit special."
Connections of the Iffraaj filly will be hoping she can emulate the achievements of Sky Lantern, this year's 1,000 Guineas and Coronation Stakes winner who contests the Etihad Airways Falmouth Stakes.
Like Rizeena, she will start favourite and her supporters will be hoping Richard Hughes can produce another excellent ride after guiding her to victory in the Coronation from a tricky draw.
"The ground's ideal - she'd go on the M4," said Hughes, speaking to Racing UK. "She looks a million dollars and is a better filly now than she was at Guineas time."
The ground at Newmarket is described as good to firm and clerk of the course Michael Prosser said after racing on Thursday: "The jockeys were all happy with the ground on day one which was good to firm.
"We will water overnight and put 6mm on from the mile-and-a-half start to the winning post and the run-off area beyond that. The weather is going to be sunny like today but perhaps a bit hotter."