Pimpernel primed for Gwyn run
Mahmood Al Zarooni believes Pimpernel will benefit from the drop back in distance in the Lanwades Stud Nell Gwyn Stakes at Newmarket tomorrow.
The Godolphin trainer enjoyed a spectacular campaign in 2011, saddling Blue Bunting to win the 1000 Guineas and Irish Oaks, while he also struck at Group One level with Rewilding and Lyric Of Light.
He has enjoyed a fantastic start to this year, winning last month's Dubai World Cup with Monterosso and he is now looking forward to saddling his first major runners of the new season in Britain.
Pimpernel won four times during her juvenile year and ran well twice in Dubai last month, chasing home esteemed stablemate Gamilati in the UAE 1000 Guineas before placing fifth in the UAE Oaks.
"Pimpernel is in good form. She ran twice in Dubai and ran well, but I think coming back to seven furlongs will suit her better," said Al Zarooni.
"She is in good form and working well. Frankie (Dettori) knows the filly well and I hope she can run a good race. If she can perform well, the 1000 Guineas would be a possibility for her."
Al Zarooni also saddles the Mickael Barzalona-ridden Minidress, although he feels she will not come into her own until tackling longer trips.
"She is filly who will want further, but we are starting off over seven furlongs to see how she performs," the trainer added.
"She won on her debut last year before finishing fourth in a Group Three. She is a classy filly, but I think she is a mile-and-a-half filly really.
"However, sometimes in these races, they go off too fast and then the horses who stay better come through at the finish and that could happen.
"Like Pimpernel, if she can perform well, then she could be a possible for the 1000 Guineas also."
Owners Cheveley Park Stud also have two representatives in Starscope and Regal Realm.
John Gosden's Starscope ran out an impressive winner on her course and distance debut last October, while Regal Realm, trained by Jeremy Noseda, won the Group Three Prestige Stakes at Glorious Goodwood.
Cheveley Park managing director, Chris Richardson, said: "Starscope couldn't have done it any easier first time out and it was a bit of a surprise at the time as she was one of those who had shown enough at home to suggest she could run well, but she showed a lot more on the track.
"She has only had the one run so I think she will learn a lot from the experience of running in a race like this.
"She's running with a hood, not because she's quirky, but because she tends to get distracted by everything around her.
"When you go and watch her work, she tends to look at you and everything else rather than concentrating on what she's doing.
"She's a nice filly but she will improve as she gets more experience.
"With Regal Realm it is a question of whether she's trained on.
"She's in good form and Jeremy is happy with her at home, but she hasn't grown a lot during the winter and we're running here to find out where we stand with her.
"She was a nice filly early on last year before losing her way, so we'll see how she gets on tomorrow."
Peter Chapple-Hyam's Sunday Times was beaten just half a length into second in last season's Cheveley Park Stakes, but failed to reproduce that level of form when well beaten in the Rockfel Stakes.
Chapple-Hyam said: "Sunday Times is in good form. Like most of mine, she will need her first run but I am very happy with her.
"She has got stronger over the winter and she has started to come in her coat so is nearly there.
"I wasn't surprised by her performance in the Cheveley Park Stakes because I thought she would win the Lowther Stakes at York, but the ground is the key to her - we don't want too much rain.
"She did get the trip in the Rockfel Stakes, but she was probably a bit over the top so it was my fault.
"Seven furlongs will probably be ideal for her. She might hopefully get a mile but we will find that out on Wednesday. She would have to run well for us to consider the 1000 Guineas."
Excelette has been placed four times in Listed sprints for Bryan Smart and the Yorkshire trainer is keen to see how she fares over seven furlongs.
"She did well for us last year and has been working nicely at home, but the question with her is obviously the trip. We're taking a bit of a gamble on that front," said Smart.
"I'm very pleased with how she's going on the gallops, but she hasn't run further than six furlongs and she's going seven tomorrow, so we'll see.
"She is in the 1000 Guineas and we're going to learn a lot more about her tomorrow."