/ Racing

What A Name primed for big Guineas run

Updated: Saturday, 04 May 2013 10:52 | Comments

Mikel Delzangles is confident of What a Name's chances
Mikel Delzangles is confident of What a Name's chances

French trainer Mikel Delzangles is aiming for his second British Classic in three years on Sunday when What A Name lines up in the Qipco 1000 Guineas at Newmarket.

Despite having won a couple of Group Ones in his homeland previously, he was a relative unknown in Britain when Makfi, a cast-off from Marcus Tregoning and the Shadwell operation, landed the 2000 Guineas in 2010.

Since then, Delzangles has gone on to prove his talent on the world stage with Dunaden winning the Melbourne Cup and Hong Kong Vase and Flotilla being successful at the Breeders' Cup in November.

What A Name's price for the Guineas has been steadily contracting in recent weeks and now only Sir Henry Cecil's Hot Snap is preventing her from being favourite after she came through her prep run with flying colours.

"I'm really looking forward to it," said Delzangles.

"The filly looks in really good form but obviously it will be a tough race.

"This has been the plan since the end of last year and thankfully nothing has gone wrong to stop us.

"Her prep race in the Prix Imprudence was very good. She won but she didn't have to work too hard, it was just what we wanted.

"After that, I'm sure she'll have improved."

"The filly looks in really good form but obviously it will be a tough race," - Mikel Delzangles.

Sheikh Fahad Al Thani, who sponsors the race under his Qipco banner, is aiming to win the Classic himself with the Charlie Hills-trained Just The Judge but he stated earlier in the week What A Name - owned by his cousin, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Thani - was the biggest danger.

Just The Judge was bought after maintaining her unbeaten record in the Rockfel Stakes in October.

"We never intended to give Just The Judge a prep race unless she had a problem and she hasn't missed a day all winter long," said Hills.

"We took her to Newmarket for a racecourse gallop (on April 17) just to get the freshness out of her.

"You can't be afraid of the distance because she is already a three-time winner over seven furlongs but Sunday's extra furlong will definitely help her."

"It would be massive, a dream to win, especially since Just The Judge is owned in partnership by Sheikh Fahad Al Thani, who puts so much into racing through Qipco, and the Sangster family, who have had such a long association with my father."

Having come through her final serious piece of work last weekend, confidence in is high in the Hot Snap camp.

"I think she has certainly come on since then (Nell Gwyn). She definitely will need to, but her work was pretty professional on Saturday," said Teddy Grimthorpe, owner Khalid Abdullah's racing manager.

"Shane Fetherstonhaugh, who rode Frankel (in his work), rode her and was he very happy with her.

"She's coming into the race in great shape."

User contributions and/or comments do not, unless specifically stated, represent the views of RTÉ.ie or RTÉ.
Click here for Terms of use