/ Racing

Cambridge heads to York for Musidora Stakes

Updated: Tuesday, 13 May 2014 17:25 | Comments

Charlie Hills will be hoping that Cambridge can become the seventh filly to pull off the Musidora-Oaks double
Charlie Hills will be hoping that Cambridge can become the seventh filly to pull off the Musidora-Oaks double

Charlie Hills is eagerly anticipating the return to action of Cambridge in the Tattersalls Musidora Stakes at York on Wednesday.

The once-raced filly won a Nottingham maiden on her only start as a juvenile, beating Ralph Beckett's Regardez, a subsequent winner whom she will meet again on the Knavesmire.

Talked up throughout the winter as an Investec Oaks contender, the Khalid Abdullah-owned three-year-old now has to prove herself on the track.

Hills said: "We are very happy with her and this race has been the plan all spring, so we're looking forward to it.

"We'll keep an eye on the ground as she wouldn't want it too testing. She does have an entry in the race at Newbury on Friday (Swettenham Stud Fillies' Trial), so we have that as a back-up option.

"She's a nice big, scopey filly. She only had the one race last year but fortunately the form has worked out pretty nicely.

"She has a nice middle-distance pedigree and should be better the further she goes.

"She's very rangy so we took our time and were patient. We always thought she'd be a better three-year-old.

"She's only won a maiden as yet but she shows some nice signs and should improve with more racing. It's nice to have a filly like her in the yard, she's very exciting."

Regardez is related to his Oaks winner, Look Here, but Beckett heads to York with stamina doubts about his filly.

"The one question I have with her is whether she'll stay," said the Kimpton handler.

"She's by Champs Elysees, who stayed a mile and a half well, but I trained her mother (Look So) and she was definitely better at a mile.

"I wouldn't say I'm sceptical, but I do wonder whether she will stay a mile and a half."

William Haggas sends the unbeaten Queen Of Ice from his Newmarket base and expects her to relish the soft ground.

"Queen Of Ice will act on the soft ground and is sure to be better for the step up to a mile and a quarter," said Haggas.

"She has won both her starts to date and deserves to take her chance up in a race like this."

Maureen Haggas, the Newmarket handler's wife, said that even if Queen Of Ice won the Musidora, a trip to Epsom would be unlikely.

She told At The Races: "She's in the French Oaks and I think that would be more likely than Epsom.

"She probably wouldn't handle Epsom that well as she's a big, gangly filly, so if she's good enough she has the French option."

John Gosden's string continue in good heart, but Eastern Belle will have to take a step forwards on what she has done in her three runs to dates.

Jockey William Buick said: "She was unlucky not win to her maiden at Newmarket, they split into two groups and she had to make the running on her side.

"She's a nice filly but it's a tough race and a step up on what she has done previously, so we'll know a lot more afterwards but she deserves to run."

Adding further quality is The Queen's Shama, trained by Michael Stoute.

Winner of a 10-furlong Lingfield maiden, she hails from a stoutly-bred Aga Khan family.

David Simcock's Madame Chiang is another unknown quantity having won her only start to date by four lengths.

The only Listed winner in the field is Phil Kirby's unheralded Lady Heidi, who beat the boys in the Silver Tankard at Pontefract last season.

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