The dual Group-winning juvenile, Illuminate, heads a strong entry of 26 fillies for the Group Three Lanwades Stud Nell Gwyn Stakes at Newmarket’s Rowley Mile Racecourse on Tuesday.
The £60,000 seven furlong contest is a traditional trial for Sunday, May 1st’s QIPCO 1000 Guineas and 17 of its entries also hold an engagement in that first fillies Classic.
It is the highlight of the opening day of the Craven meeting, which has been re-established as a three-day (rather than two-day) fixture for the first time since 2006.
Wiltshire trainer Richard Hannon has the strongest hand numerically, his three entries headed by the Duchess Of Cambridge Stakes and Albany Stakes heroine, Illuminate, who later proved her liking for the Rowley Mile when chasing home Lumiere in the Group One Connolly’s RED MILLS Cheveley Park Stakes.
Hannon is also represented by both Saturday’s easy Kempton Park winner, Marenko, and Great Page, successful in the Group Three Prix du Calvados at Deauville last August.
The race has an international flavour as it features two entries from Ireland and one from France.
Aidan O’Brien’s Coolmore, fourth in the Group One Dubai Fillies’ Mile here last October, and Joseph Murphy’s Only Mine – already a course winner having landed the Listed Bosra Sham Fillies’ Stakes – are the potential Irish raiders while Andre Fabre, the 27-time French Champion Trainer, has entered his Group Three Prix d’Aumale runner-up, Pleasemetoo.
Other notable possible runners are the Group One Dubai Fillies’ Mile second, Nathra, and Blue Bayou, successful in last August’s Group Three German-Thoroughbred.com Sweet Solera Stakes.
The other stakes race on the card is the Listed £37,000 1stsecuritysolutions.co.uk Feilden Stakes, a three-year-old nine furlong event which has been won by future champions twice in the past three years – by Golden Horn in 2015 and Intello in 2013.
Andre Fabre, trainer of Intello, has the Godolphin-owned Floodlight among its 21 entries this time around while John Gosden, Golden Horn’s handler, has entered both Von Blucher and Tathqeef.
The going at Newmarket is currently ‘good’ with showers forecast over the next few days.
Tuesday will be the first of 39 racedays at Newmarket during an important year in which it celebrates 350 Years as the headquarters of racing.
To mark the occasion all residents of Suffolk and Cambridgeshire will be admitted to the course free of charge on Tuesday.