Roger Varian is counting down the days until the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot with Eldar Eldarov following his hugely encouraging return at York last week.

The Dubawi colt was a nose winner of the Queen’s Vase at the Royal meeting last season and went on to claim Classic glory in the St Leger at Doncaster in September.

He had to concede weight all round on his his four-year-old debut in the Group Two Yorkshire Cup and powered home to be beaten just half a length in second place by St Leger third Giavellotto.

Varian is confident his charge will improve for the run and also views the step up from a mile and three-quarters to two and a half miles in next month’s Ascot showpiece as a positive.

“He’s great, he couldn’t have taken it (the run) better and I’ve been delighted with him this week,” said the Newmarket handler.

“His profile looks good for the Gold Cup and the St Leger form is starting to show its worth now.

“His run at York would excite anyone, whoever’s camp he was in. It was just a good run, he hit the line strong, he gave weight to the field and looks like he’ll improve over a bit further.

“We’re looking forward to it.”

Eldar Eldarov is a 4-1 shot with Paddy Power for the Gold Cup, making him their clear second-favourite behind Andrew Balding’s 3-1 market leader Coltrane.

Jamaica's young Reggae Girlz will have to wait to get their Concacaf Women’s Under-20 Championship campaign under way, as their opening Group A contest against Canada was postponed due to adverse weather conditions in the Dominican Republic on Wednesday.

The other Group A fixture featuring reigning seven-time champions United States and Panama was also called off with a new schedule expected to be announced in short order.

Coached by US-based Hugh Bradford, the 20-member squad is hunting an historic spot at the FIFA Women’s Under-20 World Cup next year after they defeated Anguilla 6-0, Bermuda 2-0 and Honduras by a similar scoreline on their way to the final leg of qualifiers.

They are scheduled to next face United States on Friday at 5:00pm, before closing against Panama on Sunday at 2:00pm.

Meanwhile, Mexico, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, and host nation Dominican Republic, will do battle in Group B.

After round-robin play, the two best teams from each group will advance to the competition’s knockout stage. The two finalists and the third-placed team will qualify for next year’s World Cup.

Jamaica's best placing in 12 appearance at these Concacaf Women’s Championship was a fourth place finish in 2006, when they lost a third-place playoff to Canada.

Squad: Andrene Smith, Shaneil Buckley, Una Moy Lue, Davia Richards, Liha Williams, Taijah Fraser, Tiny Seaton, Kaitlyn Ennis, Natoya Atkinson, Destiny Powell, Akeila Johnson, Janiel Mignott, Amelia Zanten, Liya Brooks, Avery Johnson, Maya Raghunandanan, Anaiyah Robinson, Njeri Butts, NjerI Lewis, Katie Oakley.

Cricket West Indies (CWI) has announced that following an assessment of a remodeled bowling action, Guyanese fast bowler Ronsford Beaton has been cleared to resume bowling in regional and international cricket.

Beaton’s bowling action was assessed by officials at Loughborough University in England, where it was found to be within acceptable limits.

The assessment was required after Beaton’s action was reported back in March by match officials during the West Indies Championship fourth round match between Guyana Harpy Eagles and Jamaica Scorpions at the Guyana National Stadium.

Following this, an assessment was conducted which found his bowling action to be illegal by officials at Loughborough University.

In line with CWI’s approved process for dealing with illegal bowling actions, Beaton underwent remedial work to remodel his action and video footage was sent to Loughborough University for analysis using an Opinion Report which was conducted earlier this month. The fast bowler has subsequently been cleared to resume bowling.


Cricket West Indies (CWI) Senior Men's Selection Panel has announced changes to the West Indies "A" Team squad currently in Bangladesh and the West Indies ODI squad set to play against the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in Sharjah.

For the ongoing "A" Team Series in Bangladesh, left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul will travel to Sylhet as cover for fellow left-arm spinner Gudakesh Motie, who has been ruled out of the remaining matches due to a lower back injury.

Motie, on the other hand, will travel to Dubai ahead of the West Indies' three-match One-Day International (ODI) Series against the UAE at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium. Although he will not participate in the matches, he will receive treatment from the medical staff with the aim of being available for the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup Qualifiers in Zimbabwe, starting on 18 June.

Off-spinner Kevin Sinclair, who is currently with the "A" Team in Bangladesh, will replace Motie in the 15-member ODI squad for the series in Sharjah. Additionally, experienced batter Johnson Charles has been called up as a replacement for Devon Thomas, who has been provisionally suspended from playing cricket due to charges brought by the ICC Anti-Corruption Unit under the Anti-Corruption codes.

Lead Selector, The Most Hon. Dr Desmond Haynes, expressed his thoughts on the changes: "We were forced to make some changes to the squads, and this has presented opportunities for players to come in. Sinclair has been in good form all year and has taken that to the 'A Team' series in Bangladesh. Permaul and Charles are experienced players, and they will be able to quickly adapt to the conditions and fit into the environment in Sylhet and Sharjah."

Haynes further added, "Motie is a key part of our plans for the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifiers in Zimbabwe, so we are hopeful he will make a full recovery for that tournament. The decision was taken to have him remain with the squad in Sharjah so he will be closely monitored and receive the best treatment available."

 Updated Squads:

West Indies "A" Squad vs Bangladesh "A": Joshua DaSilva (Captain), Alick Athanaze, Yannic Cariah, Keacy Carty, Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Tevin Imlach, Akeem Jordan, Brandon King, Jair McAllister, Zachary McCaskie, Kirk McKenzie, Anderson Phillip, Raymon Reifer, Kevin Sinclair, Veerasammy Permaul (cover for Gudakesh Motie)

West Indies ODI Squad vs United Arab Emirates: Shai Hope (captain), Brandon King (vice captain), Alick Athanaze, Shamarh Brooks, Yannic Cariah, Keacy Carty, Johnson Charles, Roston Chase, Dominic Drakes, Kavem Hodge, Akeem Jordan, Keemo Paul, Raymon Reifer, Kevin Sinclair, Odean Smith.

Match Schedule:

West Indies "A" Team vs Bangladesh "A":

16-19 May: 1st "Test" at Sylhet International Stadium – Match drawn

23-26 May: 2nd "Test" at Sylhet International Stadium 2 – ongoing

30 May to 2 June: 3rd "Test" at Sylhet International Stadium

ODIs vs United Arab Emirates:

4 June: 1st ODI at Sharjah Cricket Stadium, UAE

6 June: 2nd ODI at Sharjah Cricket Stadium, UAE

9 June: 3rd ODI at Sharjah Cricket Stadium, UAE

Ian Williams’ Enemy returns to Sandown for another crack at the Racehorse Lotto Henry II Stakes on Thursday.

The six-year-old spent his winter in the Middle East and returned significantly richer having won the Dubai Racing Club Classic at Meydan before a second-placed finish in the highly valuable Red Sea Turf Handicap in Saudi Arabia.

He then came home eighth in the Dubai Gold Cup back at Meydan in late March, after which he began his domestic campaign in the Group Three Ormonde Stakes at Chester’s May meeting.

Enemy was fifth behind by William Haggas’ Hamish in the Roodee feature, though Williams feels he fared well considering the testing conditions and will be more at home on better ground in Esher, where Frankie Dettori takes the ride.

“The ground probably got a little bit too soft for him at Chester last time, but he acquitted himself well and remains in good form,” the trainer said.

“Conditions should be more to suit on Thursday.”

Enemy was fifth in the Group Three race last season as Quickthorn prevailed for Hughie Morrison, but the run was luckless and Williams feels the gelding was not shown to best effect.

He said: “I don’t know that it’s not a deeper race but the way that race was won last year, he got a long way out and had a lot of ground to make up, so I think you can put a line through that.”

Elsewhere is Andrew Balding’s Nate The Great, second last season and fifth behind Silver Sonic and Enemy in the Red Sea at Riyadh.

Haggas’ Roberto Escobarr joins the line-up, as do Harry and Roger Charlton’s Sleeping Lion and Hiroo Shimizu’s French-trained Princess Anne.

All eyes will be on Blue Storm as James Tate’s two-year-old takes his chance in the Racehorse Lotto National Stakes at Sandown on Thursday.

It looks a red-hot renewal of the Listed five-furlong sprint, but Blue Storm is just one of an array of precocious youngsters to emerge from the first crop of former sprint king Blue Point.

The form of the colt’s Newmarket debut has been franked at all angles in the subsequent weeks, with the second, third, fourth and fifth all winning in style on their next starts.

And although buoyed by those results and excited to see his charge line up at the Esher track, Tate is refusing to get too carried away having seen the National Stakes scupper dreams in the past.

He said: “We were very impressed with him first time and the form couldn’t have worked out any better. He’s been impressing at home and it’s all positives really.

“Having said that I’ve ran horses in the National Stakes a few times and on paper it looks a strong renewal, so it’s a good job we’re bringing what we think is a good horse in to it.

“We’re happy with our horse and looking forward to Thursday night.”

Hugo Palmer won this two years ago and this time saddles Hackman, who was third behind Blue Storm at Newmarket but now reopposes having advertised his speed to win impressively at Chester, while Charlie Appleby’s On Point is another of Blue Point’s progeny arriving at Sandown having won on the Rowley Mile first time out.

Richard Hannon may be a fair way off matching his father’s impressive haul in this race, but landed the spoils in both 2014 and 2015 and has two worthy contenders once again in Dapper Valley and Love Billy Boy.

The form of Dapper Valley’s soft-ground Newbury win has a solid look to it, while the latter ran on strongly to land the spoils at Musselburgh on debut.

“Obviously we have two very nice horses who both won on their debuts and naturally they will come on a lot for their first runs,” said Hannon.

“I think fast ground will be more to Dapper Valley’s liking.

“Love Billy Boy has a lot of speed and won over a sharp five up north. It’s a very lucky race for David Sullivan (part owner), who has won it a couple of times, and they are keen to take their chance.

“It’s an extremely hot renewal and whatever wins it will be probably amongst the favourites for Royal Ascot if they go.”

Ralph Beckett’s Matters Most finished third to Dapper Valley at Newbury, but the son of Advertise – who cost 500,000 as a yearling – built on that racecourse bow to get off the mark at Salisbury last time and could have plenty more to offer.

“He’s in good shape, we’re looking forward to it and we’ll find out how good he is on Thursday night,” said Beckett.

Irish interest is provided by Tipperary scorer Son Of Corballis, with handler Kieran Cotter keen to get extra experience into the Raven’s Pass colt before a potential Royal Ascot tilt.

“There are limited opportunities for him here in Ireland over five furlongs and we just thought to give him this prep run before Royal Ascot,” said Cotter.

“The plan is to go for the Norfolk with him and we like him a lot, but we just need to get more of a line on him really and I suppose we’ll know more after Thursday.

“We think he’s smart and we’re confident enough to bring him over. He has a good temperament and is a smart sort, but we haven’t had that proper line on him just yet.”

Karl Burke is another handler saddling two runners and both Doncaster scorer Elite Status and Pontefract winner World Of Darcy created taking impressions, while Alice Haynes’ Shayekh completes a strong field of 10 going to post.

West Indies 'A' took charge of the second unofficial Test against Bangladesh 'A' at the Syhlet International Stadium Wednesday, thanks to Akeem Jordan's impressive five-wicket haul and strong batting performances from Kirk McKenzie and Keacy Carty.

Bangladesh 'A' resumed their innings from the rain-shortened opening day at 175-5 and were eventually bowled out for 237 in 65.3 overs. Shahadat Hossain, not out overnight on 28, fought hard to make 73, but Hasan could only add five runs to his overnight score of 12. Jordan, Anderson Phillip, and Jair McAllister combined brilliantly to claim the last five Bangladeshi wickets for just 62 runs.

Jordan finished with exceptional figures of 5-45, supported by Phillip with 2-67 and McAllister with 1-58. Kevin Sinclair also made an impact with 2-44.

In their response, West Indies 'A' started strongly despite losing opening partner Tagenarine Chanderpaul early. Kirk McKenzie, continuing his good form from the first Test, played an enterprising knock of 91, accompanied by Raymon Reifer's contribution of 37. The two built a crucial partnership of 116 for the second wicket. However, a sudden collapse saw the tourists lose three wickets for just seven runs in the following two overs.

McKenzie's innings of 91 came to an end after a brief partnership with Alick Athanaze, who took the score to 139-3 before falling lbw for 45. Brandon King's poor form continued as he was dismissed for a duck, marking his second consecutive failure in the series.

Athanaze and Keacy Carty then steadied the innings with a 79-run partnership, taking the team past the 200-run mark and within 19 runs of Bangladesh 'A's score. Athanaze's dismissal for 45 to Saif Hasan, who had earlier dismissed King, interrupted their progress.

Carty and Captain Joshua da Silva continued the recovery, guiding West Indies 'A' to 266 before Carty was unfortunately run out for a well-played 68. At stumps, da Silva remained unbeaten on nine, accompanied by Kevin Sinclair on one. West Indies closed the day on 268-6, holding a 31-run lead heading into the third day.

The first Test between the two teams ended in a draw due to rain interruptions.

Scores: Bangladesh 'A' 237 (Hossain 73, Jordan 5-45); West Indies 'A' 268-6 (McKenzie 91, Carty 68, Saif Hasan 2-37).


Owner-breeder Imad Al Sagar is targeting the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot and a possible Arc bid with Nashwa ahead of her reappearance at Saint-Cloud this weekend.

The John and Thady Gosden-trained Frankel filly enjoyed an excellent three-year-old campaign, claiming Classic glory in the French Oaks under Hollie Doyle before doubling her Group One tally in the Nassau Stakes at Goodwood.

She subsequently finished second in the Prix de l’Opera and fourth at the Breeders’ Cup, and with an initial plan to bring her back in last week’s Middleton Stakes at York shelved, Nashwa instead makes her return in the Group Two Prix Corrida on Sunday.

“Nashwa is in great form,” Al Sagar told Sky Sports Racing.

“We were targeting the Middleton at York as a prep race for main target, which is the Prince of Wales’s at Royal Ascot, but she is a big filly and takes a lot of time to come to hand, which she has now. Her work is superb and we’re heading to Saint-Cloud on Sunday, hopefully.”

The prominent owner said he had no doubts about bringing Nashwa back into training as a four-year-old and is hopeful there may even be more improvement to come.

He added: “It was a very simple decision as I know the family.

“Her dam (Princess Loulou) was at her best at four, so they thrive with age, and Nashwa is definitely no exception – she’s a stronger and bigger filly this year.”

Although his star filly seemingly failed to see out the mile and a half when third in the Oaks at Epsom, Al Sagar hopes her stronger physique will give her a chance to do so this season, giving him hope of a potential tilt at the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in Paris in October.

Considering future plans, he said: “She’s entered in the Eclipse and the Irish Champion Stakes. It is premature at the moment and we will have a better idea after the Prince of Wales’s if all goes well.

“Going back to the Oaks last year we went into unknown territory and she didn’t stay the mile and a half, but this year, being stronger, we think she might reach that target and she’s entered in the Arc.

“Nashwa is a very special filly with a great cruising speed and her temperament is phenomenal.”

After a year-long wait, Jamaica's England-born artistic gymnast Tyesha Mattis is excited to finally be back on the PanAm Gymnastics Championships stage, with the main objective being to repeat her World Championships qualification feat.

Mattis, who enjoyed a fairly successful debut season for Jamaica after switching allegiance, qualified for the World Championships on the back of a stellar performance at last year's Pan Am Championships in Brazil.  However, she was unable to take up her spot at the World event, which serves as an Olympic Games qualifier, due to financial constraints.

With that disappointment still fresh in her mind, Mattis is now eager to spring into action in Medellin, Colombia, as she hopes to surpass her performances from last year.

She will be joined by United States-based Kiara Richmon and newcomer Mya Absolam as Jamaica's representatives at the three-day championships scheduled to begin on Friday. 

The other team members Danyella Holmes and Jamilia Francis, both pulled out due to injury and a lack of readiness, respectively. 

"I am so excited to be out here to again represent my country, this is my first major competition for the season and a really important one on my list. So, I am itching to get going as I’m really looking forward to improving my performance from last year," Mattis declared.

That performance she refers to is the 48.467 she tallied All-Around, with scores of 12.867 on vault, 13.000 on uneven bars, 11.333 on the balance beam and 11.267 on her floor routine.

Though that, among others to date identify her as one of Jamaica’s best young gymnasts, Mattis, knows she still has a ways to go and needs to continue improving to bring her Olympic dream to fruition.

“You always want to get better, and I honestly believe there isn’t really anywhere to stop in terms of areas you can improve on, but I feel as ready as I can be," she said.

"My preparation has been really good, I have been working on some old skills I used to have in my routine, hoping to up my start value a little and those routines are going well. So all I can do now is try my best, I know I have put the work in and I’m just going to try my best to get everything out there," Mattis added.

The 23-year-old is no stranger to the big stage as she had success as a six-time British champion, two-time English champion, Australian youth Olympic champion and European Youth Olympic medallist before injuries derailed her budding career and forced her to step away from the sport in 2018.

But since returning and, by extension, switching allegiance to Jamaica, the land of mother Charmaine Clarke's birth, Mattis has shown that she is willing to put in the hours of gruelling work it takes to be an Olympic athlete.

Should she make the cut for the World Championships and go on to qualify for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, Mattis would join Toni-Ann Williams and the recently retired British-born Danusia Francis to achieve the feat.

"I think it’s safe to say I am much more motivated now than I was last year, I have set myself a few targets and I have been working really hard to make achieve them. My first goal is to qualify for the World Championships and have a clean competition and then getting to the Olympic Games is my ultimate dream," Mattis noted.

"But the journey starts here and so I just want to go out there and do my absolute best on the four apparatuses, but I need to do it slowly and smartly and then build from there. I just want to be able to jump high and flip better to make my start values higher and give myself a good chance of medalling," the cheerful personality ended.


St. Peters FC continued their impressive winning run in the 2023 SKNFA Premier League, racking up their 6th consecutive win after coming from behind to defeat Jones Group Sandy Point FC 2-1 on Sunday at Warner Park.

Sandy Point took the lead through T'Ondre Rouse in the 7th minute before Shomari Hanley equalized for St. Peters 10 minutes before halftime. Shevene Boston got the winner in the 69th minute.

In the second match of Sunday’s doubleheader, MFCR Old Road United Jets and Rams Village Superstars drew 1-1. Jardel Isaac got the goal for Old Road in the 9th minute before Dahjal Kelly equalized for Rams Village in the 22nd minute.

With this weekend’s results, Cayon Rockets remain at the top of the table, but only by three points as defending champions S L Horfords St. Paul’s United have narrowed the gap.

Cayon has 33 points from 14 matches while St. Paul’s United has 30 points. St. Peters are among the biggest movers as they are now in 3rd spot with 27 points after racking up six consecutive wins.

Old Road Jets remain in 4th with 24 points, Newtown United in 5th with 22 points, and Village Superstars in 6th with 21 points. Conaree FC are in 7th with 20 points and a game in hand, Garden Hotspurs are in 8th with 15 points, and Bath United is in 9th with 15 points.

In the relegation zone are Saddlers FC, Security Forces FC, and Sandy Point FC with 11, 5, and 2 points respectively.

Hat-trick hero Keithroy Freeman led S L Horsfords St. Paul’s to a 4-0 victory over Fast Cash Saddlers United on Saturday in the first 2023 SKNFA Premier League fixture to play on the island of Nevis. The match was the first of a doubleheader at the Nevis Athletics Stadium in Long Point.

Freeman’s goals came in the 45th, 46th and 79th minutes while the fourth goal came through Keshorne Warde in stoppage time.

Taju Clarke, a player with St. Paul’s, said the team prevailed despite not playing their very best.

“The performance you saw today was an overall good performance because we scored four goals and kept a clean sheet. There were instances when the game dropped off but our team, even though we fall off, we can regroup and score as many goals as possible,” he said before noting that the approach going forward would be to take it one game at a time.

He also had high marks for the Nevis Athletics Stadium as a venue for Premier League matches.

“The field is much better than most fields…despite it being open…it’s still a good venue,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Coach of Saddlers United, Samuel Phipps, suggested the performance of his team was below par.

“It was a really bad off day for us today. We lost 4-0. Nevertheless, I have to thank the guys for trying their best but again we gave up a soft goal just before halftime, and as soon as the second half began we gave up another soft goal, and that has been the trend since the first round. It was a tough loss,” Phipps said.

Meanwhile, Bath United eked out a 1-1 draw with league Leaders Flow 4G Cayon Rockets in front of a Nevisian crowd for the first time this season.

After a goalless first half, Malik Hendrickson gave Cayon the lead in the 74th minute before, eight minutes later, Jalden Myers converted a penalty to level proceedings.

Cayon Coach, Al Edwards, said the match was a tale of two halves.

“In the first half, we got frustrated and went away from the game plan. At half time we were able to look at some of the points that we needed to do and controlled much of the second half. The second half really belonged to us but we weren’t able to create much of the opportunities that we wanted,” he said, noting that it’s back to the drawing board for their next match. 

Coach Alex Claxton of Bath said it was important that the team picked up results from this match in front of the Nevisian fans.

“I think that it was very, very important that we pick up points from this game, knowing that it’s our first game at home,” he said. “This is something we were looking forward to and we are happy with the turnout and we wanted to make sure we didn’t disappoint our fans and our supporters,” he said.

The matches on Friday between Security Forces FC and Hobson Enterprises Garden Hotspurs and SOL IAS Conaree FC and Newtown United both ended in 0-0 draws.







Cricket West Indies (CWI) issued a statement on Tuesday in reaction to the news that wicketkeeper/batsman Devon Thomas has been provisionally suspended by the International Cricket Council for corruption.

The charges, according to a statement issued by the ICC early on Tuesday, involve "contriving or being party to an agreement to fix or attempt to fix, contrive or influence improperly the result, progress, conduct or other aspects of matches in the Lanka Premier League 2021."

“Cricket West Indies (CWI) has been made aware that charges have been laid by the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU), involving West Indies player Devon Thomas.”

The statement continued: “CWI is not directly involved in the process but remains firm in denouncing corruption in cricket, and fully supports the ICC ACU in its efforts to uphold the integrity of the sport.

While the matter continues, CWI will not make any further comments in respect of these charges.

In collaboration with ICC and the West Indies Players' Association (WIPA), CWI remains committed to sensitizing and educating our players and officials on anti-corruption in sports.”


Bangladesh “A” reached 175-5 off 49 overs at stumps on a rain-affected day one of the second four day “Test” against West Indies “A” at the Sylhet International Cricket Stadium on Tuesday.

Afif Hossain and Saif Hassan have top-scored so far for the hosts with 37 and 31, respectively.

Akeem Jordan has taken 2-24 in his 11 overs, so far, while Kevin Sinclair, who has also bowled 11 overs, took 2-37.

The West Indies have made two changes to their XI from the first Test with Gudakesh Motie and Yannic Cariah being replaced by Keacy Carty and Anderson Phillip.

Jack Davison will train Thunderbear “like a good horse” having seen him produce a career best in the Lacken Stakes at Naas.

Before finishing just over a length fourth with his sights raised on Sunday, the son of Kodi Bear had been campaigning in handicap company and was sent off an unfancied 50-1 for the Group Three contest despite scoring with real ease when last sighted on a raiding mission to Nottingham.

However, he outran his odds in the manner of a rapidly improving sprinter and his performance was not missed by the Irish handicapper, who has subsequently raised the three-year-old 9lb to a mark of 107.

Davison has previously enjoyed big sprint success with Mooneista, who is now trained by Joseph O’Brien, and is excited to see how far up the ladder Thunderbear can climb having finished so close to the well-regarded The Antarctic at Naas.

“It was a super run and he’s a progressive horse who is rated 107 now,” said the trainer.

“I’m really happy with him and he’s going to be a good horse for me now this year.

“He’s one of the best three-year-olds in the country over that distance now and I think there is more improvement there. He is a nice one to have in the stable this year and I’ll train him like a good horse. We’ll pick his battles a little bit and hopefully that will pay off.

“We’ve got plenty of options over six and seven furlongs, I just have to have a good think about where we go next.

“He has that much pace he could be effective over a stiff five and he’s ground versatile, so we have plenty of options and we’re looking forward to seeing where he ends up.”

Having seen his official rating sky rocket on the back of his Naas performance, handicaps are now off the table and with the Jersey Stakes the only realistic option available at Royal Ascot, Davison is leaning towards targeting the Irish sprinting programme for the time being.

He continued: “His mark has gone now for any of the handicaps, but I always knew he was a Group horse in the making.

“Obviously, being a gelding, he can’t run in the Commonwealth Cup. The Jersey Stakes is a possibility, but I would say it is likely we will stay domestic for the next couple of months.”

Kieran Cotter is looking forward to taking on the colts with Matilda Picotte when his 1000 Guineas third drops back to six furlongs at Haydock on Saturday.

The daughter of Sioux Nation had never raced over further than seven furlongs before striding out onto the Rowley Mile for the opening fillies’ Classic of the year, but gave a fine account when attempting to make all and kept on gamely for a spot on the podium.

Now she will drop back to the distance both her career victories have come at for the Betfred Nifty Fifty Sandy Lane Stakes where the opposition could include the likes of Aidan O’Brien’s Little Big Bear and last year’s Coventry Stakes winner Bradsell.

The outcome of her trip to Lancashire could determine whether Matilda Picotte then takes up her entry in the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot or has another crack at seven furlongs in the Prix Jean Prat at Deauville in early July.

“We’re the only filly in the race, but she has taken them (colts and geldings) on before,” said Cotter.

“I know we get 3lb, which is probably not a whole lot, but we don’t see anything there to be totally afraid of. Of course we respect them but we’re not afraid of them.

“She has proper six furlong pace so we’ll just see where the land lies with her before the decision has to be made whether she goes for the Commonwealth Cup or not as she could go for the Prix Jean Prat in France.”

Reflecting on Matilda Picotte’s 1000 Guineas endeavours, Cotter was thrilled with how his charge once again was able to outrun her odds to mix it with the very best.

He added: “The mile at Newmarket is probably the only mile we would have run her over. She had form at the track and we knew she would handle it very well.

“Not a lot of people know this, but the fillies race was almost four seconds faster than the colts and her time for the mile was faster than the winner of the 2000 Guineas the day before. Her second furlong was I think 11 seconds so she did phenomenally well to hold on for third.

“She’s competed at the highest level of company throughout her career and has acquitted herself exceptionally well every single time.”

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