Disappointing Threading looks to rediscover superstar juvenile form
Longines Irish Champions Weekend Fillies' Stakes (Listed) | 1m | 3yo | ITV4/RUK
Threading has a reputation to rebuild as the filly returns to the scene of her most impressive performance, seeking to rediscover the level that established her as a leading Qipco 1,000 Guineas prospect.
On her first two career starts, she took a Glorious Goodwood maiden by six lengths and won the Group 2 Lowther Stakes "like a superstar", according to trainer Mark Johnston.
But on her next two she could finish only seventh in the Cheveley Park Stakes and filled the same place on her seasonal return in the Nell Gwyn Stakes, form not good enough to justify a run in the fillies' Classic for which she was being aimed.
With a return to sprinting a future option, Threading has another start at a mile in a race in which she has the highest official rating of 108.
"Her last two runs have been very disappointing and we have no explanation as to why they've been so poor in comparison to her first two runs," said Johnston. "We need to see the old Threading.
"We were hoping she'd run well enough in the Nell Gwyn to contest the Guineas but it was not to be. She had to do better than that. It was very similar run to her end-of-season run last year which was disappointing."
Threading finished two places behind one of her reopposing rivals Juliet Foxtrot, who was one place behind Qipco 1,000 Guineas winner Billesdon Brook in the Nell Gwyn. The Charlie Hills-trained filly now reappears with a first-time hood.
Hills said: "Frankie Dettori said she wasn't there yet, so we've given her some time and she's done a couple of decent bits of work in the last week. I think this looks a suitable race."
Dance Diva was last seen finishing third in a different Guineas trial, the Fred Darling, and trainer Richard Fahey said about her chances on Friday: "The step up in trip will suit and she boasts good early-season form. I’m very happy with her."
New to the grade is Sheikha Reika, who was narrowly beaten by Nell Gwyn winner Soliloquy on her debut last season and got off the mark with a comfortable win in a Newmarket maiden last month.
Trainer Roger Varian said: "Sheikha Reika bumped into some high-class fillies last season and I was impressed with how she put the race to bed at Newmarket last time.
"She’ll need to step forward again, but a mile on fast ground seems her optimum conditions and I’m looking forward to stepping her up in class here."
Dark Rose Angel has to improve on a down-the-field appearance in a Listed race at Longchamp last month.
Trainer Simon Crisford said: "Her effort at Longchamp was disappointing but the race wasn't run to suit. She has been training nicely since and we're hoping for a much better effort this time."
The last filly in the field is Awesometank, who has improved with each start, and trainer William Haggas said: "She's rated 93 and has a bit to find, but she's very well and entitled to have a go at a race like this. If we can get some black type, I'd be thrilled."
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