Eddery seeking Vasily victory
Robert Eddery is hoping Vasily can continue his improvement when he takes a step up in grade at Newmarket on Saturday.
The well-bred four-year-old, by Sadler's Wells out of Group One-winning mare Red Bloom, was a good winner at Windsor last time and now goes for the Fly London Southend to Dublin Levy Board Handicap.
The Cheveley Park Stud-bred colt had disappointed on his seasonal debut at York but he bounced back in great style to beat New River by three and a half lengths over this trip of a mile and a half last time.
Eddery believes his charge, who was unraced at two and did not make his debut until last September, is finally getting his act together.
"He won well at Windsor and is settling down all the time and I'm very pleased with him," said the Newmarket trainer.
"My main worry now would be how soft the ground is as there's a bit of rain about.
"His first run this year at York was a non event. He got excited and very upset before the race. He blew his race before it started.
"He went to Windsor and he won nicely. He's come back and I think he's improved.
"Last year he was just a baby. I'm very pleased with him and he works likes a really decent horse."
Soft ground would be a plus for Western Pearl as her trainer William Knight feels the five-year-old mare needs further than this mile and a half.
The West Sussex wants to get a run into Western Pearl ahead of future targets that could include the John Smith's Northumberland Plate.
"She's going to have cut in the ground which is what she wants. Ideally I'd love another couple of furlongs," said Knight.
"She's in the Northumberland Plate and there might be a couple of races at Royal Ascot for her, but we just need to get a run into her.
"She'll be doing her best work at the end. I think she's probably at her best over a mile and six.
"The ground will slow the others down and I think she'll have a good chance."
A mile and a half is also short of Ermyn Lodge's best trip, but trainer Pat Phelan is keen to get a run into last season's Cesarewitch second before targeting staying handicaps.
After Newmarket, the six-year-old could go for either the Ascot Stakes at the Royal meeting in which he was runner-up last summer or the John Smith's Northumberland Plate at Newcastle.
"It's the shortest trip he's gone over for some time, but we need to get a run into him and it seemed the most appropriate place," said the Epsom trainer.
"He needs a run at this stage. Normally we've had him ready to go out earlier in the year.
"It's short of his best trip I suppose, but he's in good form and as an older horse, he will definitely need the run.
"He could go for the Ascot Stakes and he's in the Northumberland Plate. It will depend on how tomorrow goes, ground conditions - there will be many factors in the mix before we make a final decision."
William Jarvis does not want to see much more rain for Qushchi after she could not act on soft ground when well beaten on her first run of the season at Goodwood last month.
"She was disappointing at Goodwood, but she couldn't really operate on the ground. It was too soft for her," said the Newmarket trainer.
"I'm going to monitor things overnight to see how much rain we get at Newmarket, but we're keen to run her and she's in good form."
Mulaqen made a pleasing seasonal reappearance when winning an 18-runner handicap at York last month.
The four-year-old, trained by Marcus Tregoning, carries plenty of confidence as he attempts to follow up that success.
Angus Gold, racing manager to owner Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, said: "I was surprised by his performance at York, so it was lovely to see him win like that and to see how much he has improved from three to four.
"This is the next step for him, but I thought he travelled really well at York.
"I think everybody, including Marcus, was surprised by how well he quickened that day, as he's always looked a galloping horse.
"With a bit of rain, the ground at Newmarket should be gorgeous. I think he'll love it."