Queen Of Zafeen Tests Classic Aspirations In Spring Cup


06 March 2024

Exciting filly Queen Of Zafeen bids to maintain her unbeaten record in the seven-furlong Listed BetMGM Spring Cup at Lingfield Park on Thursday, March 7.


Jaber Abdullah’s daughter of Ten Sovereigns made a promising introduction at Southwell in January, when she edged out subsequent winner Solomon in a driving finish.


Queen Of Zafeen followed up impressively under a penalty in a Lingfield Park novice last month, a race in which she stormed clear to win by almost four lengths.


Her trainer Richard Hughes captured the Spring Cup three times as a jockey, most notably in 2008 with multiple G1 scorer Paco Boy.


Hughes said: “I am delighted with Queen Of Zafeen – she is just so straightforward. She does her job and then just eats and sleeps.

“I thought she could win the first day at Southwell. She was a little green and workmanlike, although in hindsight she beat a decent horse.


“I went to Lingfield thinking it would be very difficult under a penalty, purely going off of statistics, because she had never wowed me at home, so I was quite taken aback by the performance.


“What I saw that day I had never seen from her before. I think she clocked a shade over 21 seconds for the final two furlongs, which is quite unusual even allowing for a slow pace.


“It is lovely when they appear to save their best for the track. We have not changed her routine from race to race and hopefully she goes there with a live chance.

“I would imagine that she will get a mile. I hope so anyway because she will have an entry in a few of the Guineas and we will see how we go.”


Recent Al Rayyan Mile runner-up Orne sets the standard for John & Thady Gosden, although he has a 5lb penalty following his win in the G3 Horris Hill Stakes. Stable-mate Blown Away lines up after finishing fifth in a mile conditions race at Kempton Park last month.


Habrdi elevated his rating to 91 with three straight victories at the backend of last year, including wide-margin handicap wins at Wolverhampton and Chelmsford.


His trainer Jane Chapple-Hyam said: “Habrdi is doing really well. We have targeted this race with a view of going to Finals Day for the Burradon Stakes.


“I would have expected him to be in the first three at Lingfield, although he has got a wide draw [9] to deal with, which is not ideal. 


“He is a horse that I do think a bit of. We have given him some nice entries for the spring, including the German 2,000 Guineas, and his next couple of runs will tell us if he is up to it.”


Watch My Tracer is a notable contender for George Scott. The son of Dandy Man scored twice in novice company last year, either side of a creditable seventh in the G2 Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot.


James Tate and owner Sultan Ali, who landed the Spring Cup 12 months ago with Iconic Moment, are represented by recent Kempton Park scorer Ahlain.


The 10 runners also include the Andrew Balding-trained Lessay, who made a winning introduction at Kempton Park before a pair of runner-up finishes at the same track.

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