/ Racing

Chigun represents Cecil team in Duke Of Cambridge Stakes

Updated: Tuesday, 18 Jun 2013 16:24 | Comments

Chigun's owners stumped up a hefty supplementary fee to add her to the Duke Of Cambridge
Chigun's owners stumped up a hefty supplementary fee to add her to the Duke Of Cambridge

Chigun bids to bring Henry Cecil's long-term plan to fruition as she shoots for glory in Wednesday's Duke Of Cambridge Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Cecil, who passed away last Tuesday, trained a staggering 75 Royal Ascot winners during his brilliant career and had this one-mile contest earmarked for his charge for some time.

Chigun was one of his final big-race winners when turning in a hugely impressive display in the Group Three Abu Dhabi Stakes at the Curragh last month and now runs in the name of the trainer's widow, Jane Cecil.

Rob Speers, racing manager for Chigun's owner Ibrahim Araci, said: "The filly has been in great form since the Curragh and we think she has taken a step forward since then. She is still lightly raced and still on an upward curve.

"It goes without saying if she could go and win tomorrow, it would be fantastic for the whole team at Warren Place.

"I think recent events put horseracing into perspective and Chigun is an absolute testimony to Sir Henry's ability to bring out the very best in his fillies.

"This race has been in the book for a while. She wasn't entered originally, but Henry was keen to come here after she ran so well in the Dahlia Stakes at Newmarket.

"We didn't take the decision to supplement lightly as it costs a lot of money, but she's in really good form and we're delighted to be carrying Sir Henry's plan through.

"She'll love the ground, she's a course and distance winner and, on official figures, she's the highest rated filly in the race.

"We're going there very hopeful and after what has been a very trying time for Lady Cecil and everyone at Warren Place, it would be amazing if the dream comes true and this filly can go and win."

Heading the market for the one-mile Group Two is David Wachman's raider Duntle, winner of the Sandringham Handicap at last year's Royal meeting.

The four-year-old went on to win the Group Three Desmond Stakes before being controversially disqualified for causing interference when passing the post in front in the Group One Matron Stakes.

She made a winning reappearance at Leopardstown a month ago and Wachman believes his filly can improve.

Wachman said: "She's in good form and she'll like the good ground, so we're hoping she'll put up a good show.

"I hope she's improved since her first run of the season, but it's a good race and is going to take a fair bit of winning.

"We'll give it our best shot and see what happens."

Thistle Bird won the nine-furlong Princess Elizabeth Stakes at Epsom on her latest start and trainer Roger Charlton does not expect the drop back to a mile to cause her any problems.

Charlton said: "She's in good form and I was pleased with how she performed at Epsom. She travelled well and settled well.

"I think she's quite adaptable and the straight mile at Ascot should be fine for her, as should the ground.

"It's a case of options, really. If there was a nine-furlong race or a 10-furlong race, then we'd consider those.

"I think she needs to step up a bit to win, but we'll give it a go."

Leading French trainer Alain de Royer-Dupre is hoping Sarkiyla can find the necessary improvement to make her presence felt, having gone down by just a head in a Saint-Cloud Group Two at the start of May.

"She ran well in Saint-Cloud and finished very close to the winner. Now she is running in a better level of race," said Royer-Dupre.

"She is in very good condition and she is ready to have a try at this kind of race.

"She is very easy to ride and is a nice filly."

Richard Fahey turns Ladys First out just four days after a disappointing run in York's Ganton Stakes.

Fahey said: "We put a hood on her the other day and she didn't run any race.

"She's fine, she's got to step up on what she's done so far, but she likes Ascot and probably should have won the Sandringham here last year so we were keen to come back."

With Ralph Beckett's Moonstone Magic a non-runner, a field of 10 is set to go to post.

Other contenders include Michael Stoute's Dahlia Stakes winner Dank and Roger Varian's interesting South African recruit Dancewiththedevil.

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