Teppal in tip-top shape ahead of Coronation Stakes encounter
David Simcock has high hopes that his unbeaten Poule d'Essai des Pouliches heroine Teppal will come out on top when the winners of all of Europe's principal 1,000 Guineas clash in the Coronation Stakes for the first time since 2009, when Newmarket winner Ghanaati was victorious.
With little between Teppal, this year's Newmarket winner Billesdon Brook and Irish winner Alpha Centauri in a market headed in most lists by Clemmie, Simcock admits it's an open race.
However, while not yet convinced they are an outstanding crop, he argues that his filly possibly has more scope for improvement than the others.
He said: "It's always nice to have three Guineas winners in the Coronation Stakes and it's competitive, but I think it's fair to say they're three fillies who at the time weren't generally envisaged as likely Guineas winners.
"They've won their Guineas at the end of the day, and that's brilliant for all of us involved, but none of them looked stars at the time they went into those races.
"It probably tells you something about the three-year-old crop as a whole – and I mean colts as well. Maybe they aren't an exceptional crop this year."
He added: "Teppal has been good since Longchamp. She had an easy time for a couple of weeks afterwards and her training over the last fortnight has been very pleasing. We're looking forward to running her.
"It was good ground in France and she's a good-actioned filly, so I don't think fast ground would be a problem.
"She won there on the back of two novice wins, so you would like to think she would carry on improving through natural progression and getting more streetwise as much as anything."
Lightning Spear heads strong team
Simcock hopes to have eight or nine runners at Royal Ascot, including Gold Cup regular Sheikhzayedroad, and is hoping to get off to a good start with last month's short-head Lockinge Stakes runner-up Lightning Spear in the Queen Anne Stakes.
He said: "It would be fantastic for Lightning Spear and for everyone involved with him to get a Group 1 on the board at last, and he definitely deserves one.
"I'm much happier with him going into the race than last year [finished ninth behind Ribchester] and we're all excited about running him. The signs are good at home and I think you'll see a different horse."
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