Wednesday, May 05, 2010



Cold weather may have scuppered County Kildare trainer Kevin Prendergast’s attempt to get his crack filly Termagant to Newmarket this weekend but the unbeaten Group One winner is bang on course for a tilt at the £350,000 Group One Investec Oaks over a mile and a half at Epsom Downs on Friday, June 4.

The filly landed both her starts last term, following up a good ground victory in a Leopardstown maiden in June with a fine triumph in the Group One Moyglare Stud Stakes over seven furlongs on heavy going at the Curragh on August 30.

Having sidestepped the 1000 Guineas on Sunday, the Joerg Vasicek-owned Termagent could emulate 2001 Investec Oaks heroine Imagine, who landed the Irish 1,000 Guineas en route to Epsom Downs glory.

Prendergast revealed this morning: “Termagant definitely has the Investec Oaks on her agenda. All being well, she will run in the Irish 1,000 Guineas in three week’s time and then go to Epsom.

“We are happy with her. She is just starting to come right now; we wanted to run her in the English 1000 Guineas but she didn’t come to hand in time. I don’t know whether or not it was as bad in England but we had a terrible winter here.

“She did nothing wrong last year and all she has to do is repeat and improve on it and she could be thereabouts.

“I wouldn’t think she’d have a problem getting a mile and a half. She is by Powerscourt, who was a good stayer, and is out of a mile and a quarter family, so that should be just the job.

“Ideally, she wants good, dry ground but as she showed last year, she can handle soft ground.”

Prendergast also has the Hamdan Al Maktoum-owned Nayef filly Alsalwa entered in the Investec Oaks.

He revealed: “Alsalwa had a little bit of a setback so I won’t know for about 10 days whether she has a chance of making it or not.”


Hymnsheet revealed herself as a filly with real potential when winning her only start at Yarmouth last term and the Cheveley Park Stud-owned three-year-old is being considered for a tilt at Classic glory in the £350,000 Group One Investec Oaks at Epsom Downs on Friday, June 4.

Hymnsheet could make her seasonal debut in the Listed Weatherbys Bank Cheshire Oaks over just short of the 12-furlong Investec Oaks distance at Chester on Wednesday, May 5.

It is still early days for the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Pivotal filly, who is a full-sister to the Group One Pretty Polly Stakes heroine Chorist, and connections are maintaining a guarded approach.

Chris Richardson, Managing Director at David and Patricia Thompson’s Cheveley Park Stud, revealed today: “Hymnsheet is in the Investec Oaks but the season is just beginning and it is too early to say at this stage whether she will get to Epsom. We like her but Sir Michael has been saying for some time that the fillies have needed some warmth and she is one that has needed it.

“She has been entered in the Cheshire Oaks, so that is the plan - all being well - and after discussions with Sir Michael and the Thompsons we will see how she is.

“Chorist stayed 10 furlongs but this filly will be going a bit further if we go for the Investec Oaks, so it is unknown territory, but we like her. She is well-bred and is a nice filly, so hopefully we will know more in a couple of weeks, once we get things rolling a bit.”

The last filly to win the Weatherbys Bank Cheshire Oaks en route to Investec Oaks glory was the Henry Cecil-trained Light Shift, successful in 2007.

Sir Michael Stoute has triumphed in the Investec Oaks on two occasions with Fair Salinia (1978) and Unite (1987).


The 2010 Classics get under way at Newmarket on Saturday, May 1, with the 2000 Guineas over a mile, followed a day later by the 1000 Guineas.

Sea The Stars landed the spoils last year before becoming the first horse since Nashwan in 1989 to add the Investec Derby at Epsom Downs. The Aiden O’Brien-trained St Nicholas Abbey is currently favourite for both races thanks to his sensational triumph in the Group One Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster in October.

Sunday, May 2, sees the first fillies’ Classic of the year take place on the Rowley Mile, the 1000 Guineas. Of the 18 fillies set to line up at Newmarket, eight also hold Investec Oaks entries; Group One Fillies’ Mile heroine Hibaayeb, Rumoush, Pipette, Devoted To You, Gile Na Greine, Pipette, Pollenator and Blue Maiden.


Sunday at Newmarket also features the Listed Pretty Polly Stakes. Lord Derby’s brilliant mare Ouija Board captured the 10-furlong contest before going on to a famous success in the 2004 Investec Oaks and the race often provides a useful insight to Epsom Downs in June.

Following hot on the heels of Newmarket’s Stan James Guineas Festival, Chester’s May Meeting runs from Wednesday, May 5, to Friday, May 7, and includes a pair of Derby Trials, the Group Three MBNA Chester Vase over a mile and a half and the Group Three Addleshaw Goddard Dee Stakes over 10 furlongs, as well as the Wetherbys Bank Cheshire Oaks for fillies.

Tickets for the Investec Derby Festival are now on sale. To buy tickets, call 0844 848 0197 or visit

For further information, please contact:

Rupert Trevelyan, Managing Director at Epsom Downs Racecourse, on 01372 726311

Andrew Cooper, Director of Racing at Epsom Downs Racecourse, on 07774 230850

Johnno Spence at JSC Sport on 07860 583307




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