George Boughey believes Soprano has a “lively chance” in the Juddmonte Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday after reporting the progressive filly to be looking “better than ever” following an impressive racecourse gallop at the track this morning (Tuesday).
The daughter of Starspangledbanner continued her preparations for a tilt at the six furlong Group One contest at the weekend when taking part in the exercise over course and distance on the Rowley Mile, under regular work rider Charles Eddery.
Moving smartly upsides her work companion the Highclere Thoroughbred Racing-owned filly, who made a winning debut at the Rowley Mile back in May, cruised to the front before crossing the line with just over a length to spare.
Boughey said: “I’m delighted with her. She worked with a decent four-year-old that is a five furlong horse rated in the 90s and she showed plenty of pace.
“Charles Eddery, who rides her regularly, was delighted with her so it is all systems go to the Cheveley Park. She looks better than ever.
“She is a very balanced filly, which is so key at Newmarket, and she won on her debut at the track. I think she has got to have a lively chance.”
Although Soprano also holds an entry in the Group Two Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Rockfel Stakes at the same track 24 hours earlier, Boughey admits he is keen to stick to six furlongs for the time being.
He added: “I think staying at six furlongs is right. She is a strong stayer over that trip and she loves the track.
“There can be a speed influence in the Rockfel, but it looks like there are some stouter pedigrees in the Rockfel this year and I didn’t want her getting outstayed over seven furlongs by taking on horses that will stay a mile. We wanted to use her stamina over shorter.
“She has run over seven furlongs before and it would be lovely if she could get that bit further and aim for a Guineas preparation, but the fact we have put her in a Cheveley Park rather than Fillies’ Mile shows where we are at the moment.”
Last time out saw Soprano play up in the stalls before finishing an eye-catching third in the Group Three Ire-Incentve, It Pays To Buy Irish Dick Poole Fillies’ Stakes at Salisbury.
However, having loaded Soprano in the stalls at home since, Boughey is confident there will be no repeat performance.
He added: “It was a bit of a blip at Salisbury, but she was really good in the stalls on Monday morning when we put her in them so I don’t really see that being a problem.
“It was a massive effort for her to finish third at Salisbury given how she started the race. I think if the race was 50 yards longer she would have nearly been in front. She certainly deserves her place in the line-up here.”
While Soprano has a similar race record at two to stablemate, and last year’s QIPCO 1000 Guineas heroine, Cachet, the Newmarket handler insists that both are very different individuals at the respective stage of their careers.
He added: “She does have a similar race profile to Cachet at two, but I think Soprano is more mature at two though, as I think Cachet was still weak.
“This filly has taken a lot of work and has really bounced out of it. She is more the finished article compared to Cachet at this stage of her career. Hopefully she can step forward again.”
Meanwhile Cachet looks set to swerve an appearance in the Virgin Bet Sun Chariot Stakes over the same course and distance as her Classic success on October 7th in favour of an outing in the Qatar Prix De La Foret over seven furlongs at Longchamp this Sunday.
The daughter of Aclaim, who finished fourth on her return to action in the Group Three Japan Racing Association Sceptre Stakes at Doncaster was also put through her paces at the Rowley Mile today (Tuesday) when working over seven furlongs alongside a lead horse.
Boughey added: “I was pleased with Cachet and she is a lot tighter than she was on her seasonal debut. Mathematically she is a lot fitter on the scales.
“The ground looks like it will be decent in France and that is where we are leaning towards at the moment, plus there is a stronger favourite in the Sun Chariot (Inspiral) than in the Foret.
“The ground was too soft for her at Doncaster, but it should be a lot better in France at the weekend. It could end up raining in Newmarket and I don’t want to miss a chance like this.
“She will like the seven furlongs around the bend at Longchamp and we will make plenty of use of her. She is in good form and should run well.”