Three questions that could decide outcome of the Lillie Langtry Stakes
Qatar Lillie Langtry Stakes | Group 2 | 3yo+ fillies & mares | 1m6f | ITV/RUK
Will God Given thrive for step up in trip?
Luca Cumani expects God Given to relish the step up to 1m6f in the Qatar Lillie Langtry Stakes at Goodwood on Thursday.
The daughter of Nathaniel stuck on bravely to finish a short head behind Horesplay in the Lancashire Oaks last time over 1m4f and, while she has yet to tackle this longer trip, the trainer is confident the four-year-old will thrive for it.
He said: "I think every indication she’s given so far in her career is that she should get the trip very well.
"She’s progressed from last year to this year. Her win at Haydock and second in the Lancashire Oaks were very good and I’d say she’ll still only improve.
"She’s versatile, she can come from behind or go from the front. One thing for sure is that she doesn’t give up easily. She’s very tough and game."
With regular partner Jamie Spencer suspended, Ryan Moore has been booked to ride.
Can Dettori return with a bang?
Frankie Dettori will be eager to get going at Goodwood after sitting out the King George and the opening two days on the Sussex Downs with a ban, missing key rides on Stradivarius and Without Parole.
His first ride back after a six-day break is Precious Ramotswe, who finished a length and three-quarters behind God Given last time in the Lancashire Oaks.
The John Gosden-trained filly is another by Nathaniel but, unlike God Given, she has successfully tackled this trip before when winning a Group 3 at York in May.
The trainer, who won this race in 2016 with California, said: "She won over the same distance at York in the Bronte Stakes and I expect her to relish the return to the trip.
"There's no doubt she wouldn't want the ground quickening up too much, but she's in very good form and will hopefully put in a bold show."
One from one for Varian?
Roger Varian will be breaking new ground when Pilaster, who steps out of novice company for the first time, becomes his first runner in the Lillie Langtry.
The three-year-old, who runs in the colours of Cheveley Park Stud, was backed as if defeat was out of the question on just her third start at Kempton last month and duly obliged, winning by an emphatic six lengths.
However, she will almost certainly have to improve to make the significant transition to Group 2 class a successful one.
What the others say
Marcus Tregoning, trainer of Dance The Dream
She’s a huge filly and she’s had a few setbacks along the way so we’ve taken our time and hopefully, whatever happens, she’ll be fresh for the autumn, which is often a good thing. She didn't really travel on her only start at Goodwood but still picked up some black type. We’re going a bit further this time and I hope it will suit. She should run well.
Ralph Beckett, trainer of Isabel De Urbina
She likes it there, although her last run over a mile and six didn’t work out. We’re still pretty convinced she’ll get the trip. It’s the right slot for her.
William Haggas, trainer of Maid To Remember
I like her and think she's really well. She's up in trip considerably having run very well over too short a trip at Newcastle. She's really improving and is a sporting each-way bet.
Hughie Morrison, trainer of Star Rock
The family stay, we feel she’s got every opportunity to stay and it’s a very good opportunity. I’m a bit nervous to run her so quick again and I hope it doesn’t dry out too much. There aren’t too many Group races for fillies worth £170,000 to the winner. I’m realistic about our chances. She did travel abroad 12 days ago so I’d be a bit concerned because I can’t say 100 per cent she’s in flying form.
David Simcock, trainer of White Chocolate and Lady Of Shalott
They're both nice fillies’ in their own right. It looks a competitive race but not spectacular. White Chocolate has run over a mile and six at Chelmsford before and ran perfectly well. I’ve got a feeling with her that the better the race she runs in, the better she’ll probably run. Lady Of Shalott has run creditably in both her races this year. She didn’t run bad in the Ribblesdale and she ran fine in the Lingfield Oaks Trial. She’s probably the better of the two.
Aidan O'Brien, trainer of Flattering
She seems in good form and we've always thought she would stay further than a mile and a half.
Andrew Balding, trainer of Maid Up
It's a big step up in class but the longer trip should bring some improvement and three-year-olds get a very healthy weight-for-age allowance. She's won at the course and the ground won't be an issue. She's in great shape.
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