Hannon: Ajrar looks on a par with my last two winners
german-thoroughbred.com Sweet Solera Stakes (Group 3) | 2yo | 7f | ITV4/RUK
Hat-trick on the cards?
They will be raising a glass to Richard Hannon in the track's very own Sweet Solera bar on the July course around 4pm on Saturday if the master of East Everleigh can land a hat-trick in the fillies' feature with Ajrar.
Following the successes of Nations Alexander (2016) and Tajaanus a year ago, Hannon is back with Ajrar, who had La Pelosa – a rival again – in arrears when runner-up in a Listed race at Sandown last time.
Hannon said: "I would hope Ajrar would be up to the level of our last two winners of the race and she ran a super race when second at Sandown last time, when she was a bit unlucky. A reproduction of that would see her go very close in this.
"As she's by Nayef I would expect any juice in the ground to suit her, and we are very much looking forward to the race."
Can Gosden filly call tune?
John Gosden has not won this for ten years, when the subsequent Group 1 winner Rainbow View burst onto the scene, although he has had a few near-misses since, most recently when Juliet Capulet played bridesmaid a year ago.
The Clarehaven trainer is back with another live shot with the unexposed Pennywhistle, who showed she can handle the course and distance when landing a little four-runner novice event on the July course last month.
Frankie Dettori skips the Shergar Cup to take the ride on the daughter of Iffraaj, although the softer surface is a step into the unknown.
Gosden said: "She should handle a little cut in the ground as she's bred to do so. It's a step up in class but she's happy in herself at home."
Will Godolphin rule again?
Godolphin had a good run in this not long ago when landing five renewals in a row between 2009 and 2013 and are back with La Pelosa, who is out to reverse Sandown form with Ajrar.
The Charlie Appleby-trained two-year-old won impressively on debut in May and ran an excellent race to be second to Main Edition – a rival again here – in the Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot. She has since been badly impeded in a Group 2 at the July course before her aforementioned Listed third at the Esher track.
Trainer Charlie Appleby said: "La Pelosa has run consistently well so far, with her only disappointment coming in the Duchess of Cambridge, when she lost all chance after being hampered.
"She'll appreciate any rain as we have always felt that she is a filly who wants a bit of cut in the ground."
He added: "She's getting weight from Main Edition, who narrowly beat her at Royal Ascot, while the ground was probably quick enough for her in the Star Stakes. If she can find a little more improvement from the ease in the ground it should make her very competitive.”
No filly has carried a penalty to success in this for more than a decade and Main Edition must defy the 3lb extra burden for her Albany Stakes win if she is to break the sequence.
Mark Johnston is hoping the daughter of Zoffany behaves better than she did the last time she was at the July course, when she finished out of the money in the Group 2 Duchess of Cambridge Stakes.
The trainer said: "Main Edition got hampered last time but she was beaten at the time and lost her chance at the start, where she got upset. We plan to have someone down at the start this time."
What they say
Richard Spencer, trainer of California Love
She stepped up on her debut when scoring over course and distance last time. This is another step up and we don't know how she'll handle the ground.
Roger Varian, trainer of Impulsion
Things didn't pan out for her at Deauville but she ran well over this course and distance previously. I hope we haven't seen the best of her yet.
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