As the highly anticipated Netball World Cup in South Africa gears up to begin, player security fears have shaken the competition. Jamaica's netball captain and West Coast Fever star, Jhaniele Fowler, fell victim to a robbery just 24 hours before the tournament's tip off.

The 34-year-old shooter took to Instagram to share the distressing incident, revealing that she had been robbed and faced attempts of intrusion into her room in South Africa. Fowler expressed her frustration, stating, "This is so unfortunate, this place isn't safe. First, they stole money from my purse, now people are trying to come in on us in our rooms. Really!"

Fowler's experience has heightened concerns about the safety and security of players during the prestigious event. With the World Cup set to begin on Friday, players and officials are anxious about ensuring the safety of all participants.

Despite the unsettling incident, Fowler remains focused on leading Jamaica to a first-ever world title. Speaking about Jamaica's World Cup campaign, she expressed their strong desire to "bring gold back to Jamaica." With Fowler's experience and leadership, the team is optimistic about their chances of winning the coveted title.

"Our aim is to be here until the end and be on that podium, but we have to take it one game at a time," said Fowler, emphasizing the team's focus on taking each match step by step.

A trip to the Breeders’ Cup could be on the cards for Manaccan, despite missing the Coolmore Wootton Bassett Nunthorpe Stakes at York after a setback.

John Ryan’s crack sprinter has been a real flag-bearer for the Newmarket yard and won four times last season.

A four-year-old son of Exceed And Excel, he signed off his previous campaign with victory in a Group Three on Dundalk’s all-weather surface and opened the new campaign with a narrow defeat under a penalty when placed behind Vadream in the Palace House at Newmarket in May.

However, he was a late withdrawal from the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot and plans to go up in class at York have also been shelved.

Ryan explained: “I’m going to leave him out of the Nunthorpe. He had a bit of a hiccup in training and it has meant me giving him a few weeks’ rest.

“Basically I’m not going to get the time, or by the looks of things, the ground that I want.”

He added: “Good, good to firm is his ideal ground. I know he has run on soft ground, but that’s not his thing. He is a lot better on good, good to firm ground, and that is not what it is going to be by then, the way we are going.”

Manaccan won three of his last four runs last season, including twice in Listed company, and Ryan is setting sights higher for the Newsells Park Stud-owned colt this term.

One target could include the Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Santa Anita in November.

Ryan said: “He would be rated high enough for a Breeders’ Cup and there are not too many horses of his calibre in the world, and it would be a thought in our mind.

“But at this point in time, we have to only think about what is around the corner, but unfortunately what is round the corner is only a few weeks away. He’s going to be a week short of where I want him to be.

“We’ll make another plan, simple as that. I’m not rushing him back. It is not life-threatening, not a long-term issue, but it just means he is not into full work at the moment.

“It has been a tough decision to make, but it is the right decision to make and it is better to make it now and let everybody know.

“The ante-post stuff means a lot to people now and, having had a discussion with the owners, the right thing to do is not to go to York. Why rush him when there will be other things to go for?

“It is just annoying, because it is a Group One, but it’s not going to fit, so the time to pull it is now.

“He’s all right and will be back to fight another day.”

Derby one-two Auguste Rodin and King Of Steel are among 11 runners declared for a star-studded renewal of the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Qipco Stakes at Ascot.

Despite the late withdrawal of last year’s Epsom hero Desert Crown, Saturday’s Group One showpiece looks the race of the season so far, such is the depth of the field.

Aidan O’Brien’s Auguste Rodin saw off Roger Varian’s King Of Steel by half a length in the premier Classic in early June, with Auguste Rodin subsequently completing the Derby double in Ireland, while King Of Steel dominated the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot.

There is little to choose between the pair in the betting ahead of a highly anticipated rematch.

Joining them at the head of the market are the Owen Burrows-trained Hukum, a dual winner over the course and distance and too strong for Desert Crown in the Brigadier Gerard at Sandown when last seen, and John and Thady Gosden’s Coronation Cup winner Emily Upjohn.

The latter is the only filly in the line-up and will be ridden by Frankie Dettori, who is chasing a record eighth King George success before his planned retirement later this year.

It is a measure of the strength of the race that defending champion Pyledriver is only fifth in the betting, despite an impressive return in the Hardwicke Stakes at the Royal meeting.

Auguste Rodin is joined by a trio of stablemates in Bolshoi Ballet, Luxembourg and Point Lonsdale.

The other hopefuls are Melbourne Cup fourth Deauville Legend (James Ferguson), last year’s Irish Derby and recent Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud scorer Westover (Ralph Beckett) and five-time Group Three winner Hamish (William Haggas).

Desert Crown will miss Saturday’s King George VI And Queen Elizabeth II Qipco Stakes at Ascot due to a leg infection.

The 2022 Derby winner, who was off with an ankle injury for a year following his Epsom triumph, was beaten on his return by Hukum in the Brigadier Gerard at Sandown in May.

Sir Michael Stoute’s charge had been working well in the build-up to a clash with that rival at Ascot and was also set to take on this year’s Derby one-two Auguste Rodin and King Of Steel, along with the high-class filly Emily Upjohn in a mouthwatering renewal of the mile-and-a-half contest.

However, the four-year-old will now be rerouted to next month’s Juddmonte International Stakes at York.

Bruce Raymond, racing manager to the colt’s owner Saeed Suhail, said: “Desert Crown doesn’t run, he has got a leg infection.

“The plan is to go to York, but that is as much as I know.”

Group One winner Dubai Mile has been ruled out for the rest of the season through injury.

The three-year-old was expected to make his debut for Martyn and Freddie Meade in Saturday’s Sky Bet York Stakes on the Knavesmire having joined from Charlie Johnston.

However, last season’s Criterium de Saint-Cloud winner suffered an injury during his final piece of work on Tuesday.

“We were preparing him to run in the Sky Bet York Stakes when he suffered a conjugal fracture on his near-hind fetlock, so it is an absolute tragedy,” Martyn Meade told the Press Association.

“We were giving him his last bit of work yesterday on our watered peat moss gallop, which was absolutely perfect for him, but it was just a complete freak accident.

“We managed to get him straight up Newmarket, where he has been operated on and it has been pinned. That appears to be a success.

“However, he is clearly out for the rest of the season, I would think. It always happens to the best horses. You wouldn’t believe it.”

The son of Roaring Lion progressed nicely through his juvenile campaign for Charlie and Mark Johnston.

Yet he had failed to build on that success in three starts this term. Although fifth to Chaldean in the 2000 Guineas, he was subsequently ninth in the Derby and finished eight lengths behind King Of Steel in the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Thereafter, he joined the Meades’ Manton Park Stud after a deal was secured to purchase a half-share in the colt from owner Ahmad Al Shaikh, with a view to a stallion career.

“We will have to assess how he recovers from that surgery and assess whether or not he will have a racing career or whether he will be going to stud,” Meade went on.

“It is heartbreaking really, also for Ahmed who is our joint-owner, who has been very good about it, I have to say. He has been very understanding.

“When it happens, it affects everyone, the lads who do them, they get very upset by it, understandably so. It is terrible for everyone. A huge blow.”

As the start of the much-anticipated Vitality Netball World Cup draws closer, Trinidad and Tobago’s competitive spirit is very much stimulated, as they are on a mission to regain their status as perennial title contenders.

In fact, the confidence exuded by Co-captain Afeisha Noel is just one indicator of the belief and unflinching desire in the Calypso Girls camp to not only achieve a rise in the ranking, but to go as close as possible to a podium finish on this occasion.

This, as the twin island republic remains one of only three teams to have lifted the Netball World Cup trophy in the tournament’s 60-year history. The other two are of course powerhouses Australia and New Zealand.

Trinidad and Tobago boast this unique distinction, having shared the title with Australia and New Zealand in 1979. Back then the tournament was played over two round-robin group stages with no play-offs, and after the three nations all finished with eight wins and one loss, they were declared joint winners.

They also placed second and third at the 1983 and 1987 editions but have lost competitive shape since then with their next best finish being a sixth at the 1995 staging.

However, Noel declared that they are now out to right that wrong, and a possible top four or top five finish, which would all but underline their resurgence for future success.

 “Being the only team from the Caribbean to have won a World Cup is really great and a legacy that me and my teammates represent. It's been nearly 50 years since that T&T win in 1979, and for some of that time, we were still at the top of world netball and we were still contenders, but that has changed and for a lot of reasons,” Noel said.

“We've found it difficult to get the whole team back to playing at that competitive level, and it's not for lack of trying. The slide didn't happen overnight, and it didn't happen with one team, or at one tournament. So, the comeback story won't be just one episode.

“So, we are heading into this World Cup as an underdog, but we will get back (to being title contenders), it may not be now, but that doesn't mean we won't give it our best shot. We will take every opportunity to step up that ladder back to the top of the podium. This World Cup is one of those steps in our journey back…or maybe even two...you never know,” she told Sportsmax.tv from the team’s base in Cape Town.

According to Noel, the Calypso Girls are now ready and raring to perform with much gusto and prove competitive throughout the tournament, having now adjusted to the conditions since their arrival in South Africa almost two weeks now.

Trinidad and Tobago, currently ranked at 10 in the world, is grouped in Pool D alongside Uganda, Singapore, and defending champions New Zealand.

“Things have fallen into place nicely. The first two days here in South Africa had the ladies a bit flustered and jet lagged, but we’ve overcome that. Being that we are Caribbean people, and are used to warm weather, we focus on working around and adapting to South Africa’s winter weather, so we are hyped and ready to get back on the court and have another productive session before game time,” Noel shared.

“We all have mixed emotions. Some are hyped and ready to go and there is some nervousness as well, but we're more excited than anything else. We have been grinding in our training sessions, but we are all in a good space heading into our first match up,” she noted.

That first match is scheduled for Friday against number two-ranked New Zealand, which will be followed by a clash against Singapore the following day, before they come up against Uganda on July 30.

Noel, who along with Shaquanda Green-Noel and Daystar Swift, are expected to lead from the front, pointed out that she is more anticipating a rematch with Uganda.

“The match up against Uganda is something of a personal one for me given that we lost to them at the Commonwealth Games last year. We went back over the tapes from that game and taking whatever lessons we can from our mistakes,” she revealed.

“As for Singapore, I’ve never played against them and even though it's obvious that they are ranked lower than us, we are not taking any team for granted because nobody came here just to shop for fridge magnets,” Noel ended.

Pat Cosgrave has left the UK to embark on a new challenge and will now call Saudi Arabia home as he continues his riding career oversees.

The 41-year-old, who was champion apprentice in Ireland in 2003, has won  Group One contests in Germany, Australia and the UK and has ridden over 100 winners for trainers Jim Boyle, William Haggas and George Baker in his career.

He is also no stranger to success further afield and liked up with Saeed bin Suroor to win the UAE 1000 Guineas in 2020 and was also aboard the Godolphin handler’s Gifts Of Gold on Saudi Cup Night in 2021 when the duo landed the valuable Red Sea Turf Handicap.

Cosgrave has now been handed the chance to become retained rider for 2022 Saudi Cup-winning owner Prince Saud Bin Salman Abdulaziz’s, an opportunity he has jumped at.

He said: “I’d only been back from Dubai (back in March) for a couple of weeks and was approached by Prince Saud Bin Salman Abdulaziz’s team about the opportunity.

“I knew how successful their operation was over there, particularly given they won the Saudi Cup back in 2022 with Emblem Road, but it was a tricky time to make a decision as racing was just getting going again in the UK.

“I thought about it for a little while and decided it was a good thing to do. The racing, as well as other sports in Saudi, seem to be getting bigger and better every year and it’s an exciting time to be getting involved.”

Cosgrave hit the headlines earlier in the year when he received a 28-day ban for easing up on 1-6 favourite Concorde in the final stages of a mile handicap at Chelmsford.

He added: “I have been going along OK in the UK. There were a couple of silly incidents that put me on the sidelines for a bit, but overall I was doing well, winning some decent handicaps and operating at a good strike rate.

“I was riding winners for the likes of George Boughey, Richard Hughes, George Baker and Jim Boyle, so things were going OK, and they were looking after me well, but it feels like the racing in Saudi is really progressing and I think it’s a great opportunity to take.”

Cosgrave is not the only member of the weighing room on the move, with Andrea Atzeni having been granted a part-season licence by the Hong Kong Jockey Club.

Atzeni’s licence in the far east runs from July 17 until February 12 next year and he is expected to be in Hong Kong for the start of the new season at Sha Tin on September 10.

The Classic winning rider said on his twitter account: “Looking forward to my new challenge!”

Hukum’s jockey Jim Crowley is excited to be part of Saturday’s King George VI And Queen Elizabeth II Qipco Stakes and hailed one of the deepest renewals in recent years as “great for the sport”.

The Group One Ascot showpiece looks set to feature Derby one-two Auguste Rodin and King Of Steel, last year’s Epsom hero Desert Crown, defending champion Pyledriver and the first two home from the Coronation Cup, Emily Upjohn and Westover among others.

The Owen Burrows-trained Hukum, who won last year’s Coronation Cup before injury sidelined him for a year, returned to defeat Desert Crown in the Brigadier Gerard at Sandown in May.

With the ground currently described as good, good to soft in places at Ascot and rain forecast on Wednesday evening, connections of the Shadwell-owned Hukum are growing increasingly confident that the six-year-old will handle the white-hot opposition.

Crowley is happier when he lets his riding do the talking and the former champion jockey knows the quality of the opposition could not be higher.

“All I can say is that Hukum is in great form. It is a very, very good race – the best King George I’ve seen on paper for a long, long time, and it is great to be part of it,” he said.

“The horse is in great form going into the race and that is all we can ask for. If he is good enough, he is good enough.

“It is great to be part of it and great to be riding a horse with a chance in it.”

Hukum goes into the contest as the winner of six of his last eight races. The two defeats came by a head to Hamish in the September Stakes at Kempton in 2021 and by a length and three-quarters to Shahryar in the 2022 Dubai Sheema Classic.

After making a pleasing return at Sandown and following sustained support in recent days, he is now vying for favouritism with Auguste Rodin and King Of Steel with some bookmakers.

Crowley has ridden in most of the top races around the world, yet sees the mile and a half midsummer spectacular as one of the most eagerly-anticipated in recent times.

“I’m the same as all the other jockeys, really – it is going to be very exciting for a lot of people to watch and it is going to be very exciting to ride in it, but on the other hand, it is very important,” he said.

“It is great for the sport – it is what people want, isn’t it? It is our version of the Arc.

“No-one is ducking it, so that means everyone fancies their chances. It is when they don’t fancy their chances they start ducking it.”

Crowley added: “We are very happy with him and very respectful of the opposition, because it is a very good race. Any rain would not be a negative, it would be beneficial to him.”

Hukum’s connections will be content, with almost their ideal ground conditions on the cards.

Ascot’s clerk of the course Chris Stickels is expecting overnight rain into Thursday.

Speaking at 4pm on Wednesday, he said: “The going is good on the straight course, and good (good to soft in places) on the round course. We had two millimetres of rain on Monday and have not had any since.

“We are expecting rain this evening and through the night. The ground would be getting quicker as we speak – it would be getting close to good to firm now in places – but obviously it is going to rain, so, we won’t see that change. We are expecting between seven and 15 millimetres.

“Until we get the rain we don’t know what the going will be but 12 millimetres will probably make us good to soft.”

Paddington’s rate of improvement compares to nothing Aidan O’Brien has seen before as his three-time Group One scorer attempts to keep his winning streak going in the Qatar Sussex Stakes.

The son of Siyouni has won six races on the bounce and having started the season winning a heavy ground Naas handicap has progressed to become one of the standout three-year-olds of the season.

Having landed the Irish 2,000 Guineas in May, he quickly asserted himself as the leading miler of the Classic crop when taking the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot, before stepping up in trip to down Emily Upjohn in a thrilling renewal of the Eclipse.

Now the outstanding Ballydoyle colt returns to the eight furlongs over which he made his name at the Qatar Goodwood Festival and O’Brien believes his rise to the top has no equal during his long and distinguished training career.

He said: “What he has done has been incredible. He’s gone from strength to strength with every run and it is very unusual.

“I know Ryan (Moore) is very impressed with him all the time and he looks a very serious horse at the moment. I think he’s standing up to a lot of scrutiny by the other horses that have gone by before him.

“It’s very unusual what he is doing and the ease with which he is doing it and the way he is doing it.

“It’s very hard to compare him but I’m not sure we’ve ever had a horse that has made that improvement in the way he is doing it, mentally, physically and confidence-wise and everything really. He just looks so natural.”

Having seen off Emily Upjohn over 10 furlongs at Sandown, Paddington could have another John and Thady Gosden-trained star filly to tackle on the Sussex Downs in the form of Inspiral, who the bookmakers feel has the best chance of knocking Paddington off track.

It will be the first time he will have faced older horses over a mile, but the master of Ballydoyle is eager to see a competitive contest so he can get a true feel for Paddington’s potential accomplishments.

“We always treat every horse with total respect, but we’re also delighted when the races are as competitive as they can be because that is what we all want to see,” said O’Brien.

“That is what we need to gauge our horses and know where we are going next.

“The more competitive it is and the better the horses are that are in there, the better it is for us and everyone else, we think.”

While Richard Quinn admits he is “getting bored in retirement and open to offers”, it gives him plenty of time to reflect on a his career that brought him three Classics and well in excess of 2,000 winners over a period of 28 years in the saddle.

Goodwood and tough stayer Persian Punch in particular, take pride of place for the 61-year-old, who was forced to retire for a final time in 2008 due to a persistent back injury.

Quinn is one of a handful of jockeys to ride more than 100 winners at Goodwood, a feat recognised by former clerk of the course Seamus Buckley, who had pictures of the riders who achieved that landmark adorning a wall at the West Sussex track.

“I loved Goodwood,” said Quinn. “It’s one of those very idiosyncratic tracks. They had these pictures on the wall – every one of them centurions.

“I was there, Pat Eddery was there, Frankie Dettori was there, Lester Piggott was there. Just to be on that wall, with all those people who have ridden 100 winners at Goodwood, I thought that was quite special.

“Seamus did that and he made it special. It was a really nice touch. He is a superstar.”

Quinn could be described in similar vein. One of the most stylish riders of his generation, he won the Oaks in 2000 on Love Divine and the St Leger twice, on Snurge (1990) and Millenary (2000).

He might also have ridden a Derby winner, having being the regular rider of Generous, but he was controversially replaced by Alan Munro before Epsom.

Yet the man who rode the first British all-weather winner, booting Niklas Angel to victory at Lingfield on October 30, 1989, says Persian Punch’s Goodwood Cup victory for master trainer David Elsworth in 2001 was one of his favourite highlights.

“It was a wet day and we came down the middle of the track,” recalled Quinn. “He stayed on and he was just a superstar horse.

“Owner Jeff Smith had Lochsong and then Persian Punch – two superstars who the public took to heart.”

Such was the gelding’s popularity that he even had his own fan club and website. No less than 13 of his 20 career wins were in Pattern company, and at the age of 10 he was just denied the Stayers’ Triple Crown of Goodwood Cup, Ascot Gold Cup and Doncaster Cup, by Mr Dinos at Ascot.

“He was a good horse,” said Quinn. “I was associated with him for such a long time, we travelled the country and to the Melbourne Cup twice, where he finished on the podium twice. It was a great experience and he gave me some great memories.

“Horses that are kept in training for six or seven years like him and Ibn Bey, you get really fond of them.

“When you are with these horses and you ride them year in, year out, you do get an attachment to them. You look after them, because you know there is going to be another day for them.

“For a time Persian Punch just lost a bit of confidence and David Elsworth, to his credit, was a superstar trainer and a genius. He dropped him out from Group company to conditions races, and that is when Martin Dwyer got on him and he got back up to Group level again.

“David did things by feel. He had an instinctive feel for the horse.”

Persian Punch won the Goodwood Cup again two years later and also won three Jockey Club Cups, the Doncaster Cup, three Henry II Stakes and two Lonsdale Cups, and was awarded the Cartier Award for top stayer in 2001 and 2003.

Quinn, who was champion apprentice in 1984 with 64 winners, spent 17 years with Paul Cole (1981-1998) before joining Henry Cecil in 2000 and was stable jockey at Warren Place for the next four years.

Persian Punch’s success was not Quinn’s first in the Goodwood Cup, having previously won the race with Tioman Island in 1994 for Cole.

“He just got beaten in the Northumberland Plate and he went to Goodwood and broke the track record on that occasion,” said Quinn.

“He was pretty much straightforward. He was a good ride and he didn’t do anything different to any other horse. You seemed to be rowing away, but he was very genuine and kept giving.”

The Scot was never one to resort to hyperbole or court attention and just quietly went about the demanding business of riding winners until a nagging back injury forced a shock retirement in 2006. Though he returned the following spring, he announced a permanent departure in 2008.

“I slipped two discs way back and that was the end of my career. When you are in pain, it affects your life completely,” he explained.

“When you are getting legged up and you twist round, it was so painful. But when I was on the horse, I was OK. It was just getting on it.”

Quinn was considered a reluctant self-promoter and an introvert, though he concedes a combination of factors led to this misinterpretation.

“I have a hearing impairment and a lot of the time I couldn’t hear what was going on,” he added.

“Also, back in the day when I was an apprentice, Lester Piggott was the main man. He didn’t talk to the press and we all thought that was the way to do it, it was normal.

“I was looking up to Lester, Joe Mercer and Greville Starkey and none of them were what you’d call media-friendly.”

Times have changed. Quinn’s style would be more suited to this era and he has always taken a keen interest in educating young riders.

“The good thing is, my style changed over the years and I used the whip as little as possible,” Quinn said. “I think that’s the way forward. It’s all about educating the young guys that you don’t have to use a whip.

“Once you have got a horse running as fast as it can, it doesn’t matter how many times you go to hit it. All it will do is come off a straight line and cause interference.”

In these interesting times, his words will echo through the weighing room and beyond, no doubt.

Sparks Fly will bid for a remarkable seventh consecutive victory in the British EBF 40th Anniversary Lyric Fillies’ Stakes at York on Friday.

The Dave Loughnane-trained three-year-old was rated just 59 when her winning spree began at Windsor in April, but five further victories have seen her mark rise to 98 and earned her a step up to Listed level.

She has won three times at Windsor, once at Thirsk, once at Chester and most recently struck gold north of the border at Ayr.

Sparks Fly will become winning-most Flat horse in Britain this season if she can bring up the seven-timer for owner David Lowe in Friday evening’s £70,000 feature on the Knavesmire.

“The owner is a very good owner – he’s very loyal and always gives his horses a chance. We gave her a chance to just fill her frame a bit and a chance to develop,” said Loughnane.

“All her siblings have been very early sharp two-year-olds; you’d expect her to be, but she wasn’t. We gave her the time and reaped a reward.

“She’s always been a bit of a stable favourite. She’s a lovely filly and a pleasure to have around the place – everyone always liked her.

“Obviously, it’s been a lovely journey to be part of and I don’t think we’re finished yet.”

The Shropshire-based trainer is hoping for some cut in the ground at York, adding: “The plan is, provided there’s ‘soft’ in the description, she’ll run.

“I’d go there quite bullish if the ground conditions are right. The way she’s won every race, she’s done it with complete ease. I don’t think we’re anywhere near the bottom of her yet.

“I think she’d be fine on good ground as well, but it’s not something we need to find out right now. Obviously, we’re on for a seven-timer, so we just need to tick every box at the moment.”

Sparks Fly is one of 10 fillies declared. Her rivals include the William Haggas-trained Golden Lyra, a Listed winner in France last season, and Richard Fahey’s Midnight Mile, who placed fourth in the Musidora Stakes at York in the spring.

Electric Eyes, trained by Karl Burke, is another major contender as she makes her first competitive appearance since finishing second in the Group One Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket in September.

Soprano is set to make a belated return to the track at Sandown on Thursday when she takes on nine rivals in the European Bloodstock News EBF Star Stakes.

The George Boughey-trained filly, who was third in the Albany at Royal Ascot, was due to run in the Duchess of Cambridge Stakes at Newmarket, but missed that engagement due to a medication mix-up at home.

The daughter of Starspangledbanner will now be upped to seven furlongs for the first time, as long as the Sandown ground is suitable, with jockey William Buick maintaining the partnership.

Harry Herbert, managing director of owner Highclere Thoroughbred Racing, said: “She will go to Sandown unless the ground turns very soft or something – I wouldn’t want to run her on very soft ground.

“She has such a beautiful action but we do think a trip up to seven furlongs would really suit her, so it makes sense at this stage. Then we will see where we stand.

“On ratings she’d be miles clear of everything else, but like all these races, they deserve to attract horses like Shuwari, Fallen Angel and Expensive Queen – they are horses who could be anything.

“Ratings don’t mean an awful lot at this stage, it is more what lurks in the once-raced fillies.”

The current ground conditions at the Esher track are described as good, although further scattered showers are expected over the next 48 hours.

Should she fail to make the line-up, connections also have the option of sending her to Ascot on Saturday for the Group Three Bateaux Princess Margaret Stakes.

That race is over six furlongs, however, and Herbert feels she will be better off over further.

“We will take it one step at a time,” he said. “If she were to be successful on Thursday, we would be looking at races possibly like the Moyglare in Ireland, you have got the Newmarket race over seven, a Group Two (Rockfel Stakes).

“Going over seven furlongs was pretty much the chat from William Buick at Royal Ascot. He said that if the pace had been better, she probably would have gone pretty close, but definitely he felt she was crying out to go further.

“She is a lovely filly, with plenty of size and scope to her, so she should get better as she gets older. She is a gorgeous filly and it is exciting to see her back on the track.”

Gold Cup hero Courage Mon Ami and his Queen’s Vase-winning stablemate Gregory both remain in contention for the Al Shaqab Goodwood Cup on Tuesday.

Courage Mon Ami provided jockey Frankie Dettori with a fairytale final victory in last month’s Royal Ascot showpiece, 24 hours after the Italian had steered Gregory to success in the same colours of owners Wathnan Racing.

Both horses were left in the Group One feature on the opening day of next week’s Qatar Goodwood Festival at the confirmation stage and John Gosden, who trains the pair in partnership with son Thady, is not ruling out the possibility of them locking horns.

He said: “At present, both horses will be left in the race and then we will make a decision nearer the time whether one of them runs or they both run.

“Gregory saw the mile and six furlongs out the other day and I think he will see the two miles out, too. I think he is very much a progressive sort. He is a three-year-old getting the weight in the race, which is a very big edge. We have done it before with Stradivarius.

“Goodwood has its own demands, you swing left right, up, down. It demands a lot of agility from a horse.

“Interestingly enough both horses have won there, though I have to say they looked a bit up in the air galloping at some stages, but they would have learnt a lot from those experiences previously at Goodwood.”

Courage Mon Ami and Gregory were both purchased by the Emir of Qatar’s Wathnan Racing before Royal Ascot, with Gosden keen to underline the significance to the owners of having big runners at the Qatar Goodwood Festival.

He added: “It is extremely important, as the owners put a great deal into the meeting. To me it has lifted the whole event, particularly with the sponsorship and presence there. To that extent I think it’s key and let’s hope we can at least be running well for them.

“Goodwood is a great meeting. Let’s face it, you have Royal Ascot, then the July Meeting, and then Goodwood followed by York. They are the huge summer meetings.

“They are very important to the whole fabric of British racing and, in a sense, the British sporting summer, which turned a little soggy in Lancashire with the cricket and the golf in pouring rain. We can’t put a roof on it like centre court at Wimbledon – we’ve just got to get on with it.”

The Gosden team will be well represented across the week at Goodwood, with top-class fillies Inspiral and Nashwa also set to be in action.

Inspiral, who was beaten a neck by Triple Time in the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot, is set to take on the brilliant colt Paddington in the Qatar Sussex Stakes on Wednesday.

Nashwa, meanwhile, will bid for back-to-back wins in the Qatar Nassau Stakes on Thursday week after notching her third Group One win in the Falmouth at Newmarket.

“Inspiral ran a great race on her return in the Queen Anne. She has come on for that and been in great form since,” said Thady Gosden.

“Paddington is a horse who has made rapid progression. He is a horse with plenty of speed and plenty of ability. He won the St James’s Palace and then went on to the Eclipse. That is quite an unusual route but it demonstrates how brilliant he is. It will be tough taking him on but a championship race like the Sussex Stakes is never going to be an easy race.

“Inspiral has a low action and plenty of speed. She is a very strong filly and hopefully the track will prove no problem to her at all.

“Emily Upjohn was taking on Paddington two furlongs below her optimum trip (in the Eclipse), whereas Inspiral will be taking him on at her ideal trip. Paddington is a three-year-old stepping into older miler company for the first time, which is always an interesting one.”

Of Nashwa, he added: “She has taken a bit of time to come to herself this year as can often happen with fillies who are going from three to four.

“You could tell in the couple of weeks after the Hoppings Stakes that she really had taken a step forward. She looked very well in herself before the Falmouth, relaxed during the race and quickened up past some smart fillies.

“She is going to a track that she knows, having won the Nassau last year. She seems in good order and stepping back up to a mile and a quarter shouldn’t be an issue. It is a fast mile and a quarter, which should hopefully play to her strengths.

“Blue Rose Cen is a brilliant filly and this year she has shown what she can do, having won both fillies’ French classics. It will be a different test for her coming over here and taking on some different fillies, but she is certainly a brilliant filly.

“We have to give her 8lb in the race, so we’ll have to see how things go.”

Charlie Fellowes is thrilled to have secured the services of Frankie Dettori to ride both of his two runners on the opening night of the 2023 Racing League at Yarmouth.

Having played a key role in Wales and The West’s victory last year, Dettori has switched sides for the third instalment of the team competition to become player-manager for the East.

Among the trainers able to call upon the Italian is Newmarket-based Fellowes, who is keen to make the most of a rare opportunity.

He said: “Frankie doesn’t ride for me very much, not through choice because I’m a huge fan.

“I think he’ll really suit both horses. They’re two nice, kind individuals who are not going to give Frankie a heart attack in his old age!”

The trainer and rider first team up on Thursday with Shahbaz, who is fitted with a visor for the first time in race three over a mile.

“Shahbaz, I felt, ran very lethargically when third at Ayr last time. He was slow out of the gates and I just didn’t like the way he raced,” Fellowes added.

“A few people commented that he wants further, but I really don’t believe he does. Every time we’ve tried him over 10 furlongs, in my opinion, he’s not got home.

“I really wanted to give him another try over a mile on a straight track, which is why we’ve gone to Yarmouth and any rain is a plus.

“I’ve put a set of visors on him, just to sharpen him up and hopefully help him travel a little bit kinder.

“I’m sure he’s ahead of his mark of 87 and I would just like to see a little more enthusiasm than we saw last time.”

The Bedford House handler has high hopes for Cumulonimbus, who bids to continue his profitable campaign in the seventh and most valuable race on the card, with a total prize fund of £100,000 up for grabs.

The four-year-old has already won at Newmarket and Haydock this season and was last seen finishing third in the Old Newton Cup at the latter venue just under three weeks ago.

Fellowes said: “The other horse is having a fantastic year and is a real pleasure to train.

“He enjoys his racing and I have no problem with a drop to 10 furlongs on a big, galloping track like Yarmouth and with him I don’t really mind what happens weather-wise as he goes on any ground.

“I suppose a bit of rain would make it more of a stamina test, but he’s very versatile, he’s got a fantastic way of going and I think he’ll run a big race on a track where he’s won before.

“It’s an unbelievable pot and I hope he can go and put in a big performance.”

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.