Varian wary of deep conditions
Ajman Princess bids to continue her rich vein of form by registering her biggest win to date in the Betway Pinnacle Stakes at Haydock on Saturday.
The Roger Varian-trained filly had been one of the best maidens in Europe thanks to finishing second in the Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot last summer and it seemed as though she might be destined to always be the bridesmaid.
However, eight months off following a poor run in the Irish Oaks at the Curragh in July has done the trick.
Ajman Princess finally got off the mark when she outclassed moderate opposition in a four-runner affair at Lingfield on her comeback at the end of March and followed that up with a smooth Listed success at Goodwood.
Varian's main concern is that conditions might deteriorate should there be much more rain.
"Ajman Princess is a very talented filly who put the race to bed in fine style at Goodwood," the Newmarket trainer told www.varianstable,com..
"She was second in the Ribblesdale Stakes on easy ground, but Haydock looks set to be very testing and deep conditions would be a question mark."
Francis-Henri Graffard is not worried about the going for Bateel, a former David Simcock inmate who was second in a Group Three at Chantilly on her first start for new connections in April.
"We are happy with the condition of the filly. She had a very good seasonal comeback. She's in great shape and she likes the soft ground," said Graffard.
"She's ready to produce a good run."
Simcock is represented by Chinoiseries.
Wearing a hood for the first time, she was well beaten by Ajman Princess at Goodwood, but that was her first race for 19 months and only the third start of her career.
With Tony Martin's Laganore staying in Ireland for a race at the Curragh on Sunday, Irish hopes rest with the Henry de Bromhead-trained Island Remede.
"She seems in good form and had a good run the last day, so we're hoping for a good run," said De Bromhead.
"She's got form on soft ground, so hopefully that will suit her."
Zain Arion takes a big hike in class after winning a York handicap at odds of 20-1 last month.
"She'll love the ground and her homework is very good," said trainer John Butler.
"She's got a little bit on ratings to find, but we're very hopeful."