The key questions as Meade targets Princess Elizabeth Stakes with Wilamina
Princess Elizabeth Stakes (Group 3) | 1m½f, 3yo+ | ITV/RUK
Will Wilamina build on her promising reappearance?
Wilamina finished runner-up to Breeders' Cup heroine Wuheida on her reappearance in a Group 2 at Newmarket last month in a performance that it could be argued represented a career-best effort.
Wilamina, who is lightly raced for a five-year-old and could yet be open to further improvement, produced a similarly promising performance on her return last year, when winning the Nottinghamshire Oaks, but she failed to really kick on and finished the campaign with a few below-par runs.
She has been giving Martyn Meade the right signs since her return, however, and the trainer is expecting a bold show.
He said: "It was a great run on her comeback – it's just a shame they supplemented Wuheida. I was delighted with her performance, which was probably a career best, and she has come on for the run. The ground should suit and this looks the ideal race for her."
Can Anna Nerium capitalise on this drop in class?
Two of the last three editions of the Princess Elizabeth have been won by three-year-olds and the main contender for the Classic generation is Anna Nerium, who won the Listed European Free Handicap before finishing a creditable seventh in the 1,000 Guineas.
Trainer Richard Hannon was not discouraged by Anna Nerium's performance in the Guineas, where she finished sixth lengths behind winning stablemate Billesdon Brook.
He said: "I thought she ran well in the Guineas, so the trip should be fine, and she won't have a problem with the ground."
Anna Nerium has already struck at Group 3 level but her task is made more difficult as a consequence – as she must shoulder a 3lb penalty.
What to make of the German raider?
Putting the form of Diaphora's three-quarter length Listed success at Hanover into context is not easy, but the suspicion is that more will be required to make an impact here.
However, the lightly raced filly carries plenty of confidence from trainer Markus Klug, who is expecting her to hit the frame, and the booking of William Buick is a sign connections mean business.
Klug said: "We think she's probably a bit better on soft ground but conditions aren't so important for her. She won a Listed race very well last time and she's improving. This looks like a difficult race but I hope she'll be placed at worst."
What they say
David O'Meara, trainer of Lincoln Rocks
She's in great form and handles the ground, while the trip will be no problem.
Roger Varian, trainer of Shenanigans
Shenanigans has run two excellent races in defeat this season. I think the extended mile will really play to her strengths, the ground shouldn’t be a problem and she has the best of the draw in stall one.
David Simcock, trainer of Soul Silver
She's in foal and will soon be off to the paddocks. She's a lovely filly but we're under no illusions as this is a tough task.
Hugo Palmer, trainer of Stage Name
This is a huge step up in class but she won her novice well and we're looking for black type. Soft ground is a bit of an unknown but her sire Famous Name won plenty of races on testing ground, while she's a strong-travelling filly so I don't expect the track to be an issue. Anna Nerium looks to have the most obvious claims - Guineas form tends to stand up well.
Richard Fahey, trainer of Dance Diva
I thought she ran well at York and the cut in the ground will help. If she handles the track she should give a good account.
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