Progressive Regal Rose relishes Park life

Newmarket Cambridgeshire Meeting: Impressive two-year-old filly now favourite with some bookmakers for 1,000 Guineas

It has been a remarkable year for Michael Stoute and the worrying message for his rivals here yesterday was that next season promises to be equally bountiful. His Regal Rose won the Cheveley Park Stakes and now heads a three-pronged Stoute team at the head of the 1,000 Guineas ante-post lists. If she does not win the first fillies' Classic Karasta might. And then there is Enthused.

It has been a remarkable year for Michael Stoute and the worrying message for his rivals here yesterday was that next season promises to be equally bountiful. His Regal Rose won the Cheveley Park Stakes and now heads a three-pronged Stoute team at the head of the 1,000 Guineas ante-post lists. If she does not win the first fillies' Classic Karasta might. And then there is Enthused.

Yet the Newmarket trainer is showing no early triumphalism. A winter is the equivalent of a whole primary school education for a two-year-old and no-one, not even the master trainer, knows what will come out at the other side. He snorted when the bookmakers' prices about his fillies for the 1 ,000 Guineas here next May were put under his nose. "That doesn't excite me much," he said. "These are nice fillies, but we've got to hope they go the right way. Let's talk again after the Nell Gwyn and the Fred Darling [next spring's main 1,000 Guineas trials]."

Still, he will have enjoyed Regal Rose's performance, a joy denied Channel 4 viewers. The Cheveley Park was late off and run while Tony Blair was clearing his throat while televised political experts tried to guess what was coming.

It was no easier looking into the crystal ball at Headquarters, where Enthused was backed to 11-8 favourite while Regal Rose drifted to 11-2. Those prices soon looked awry. The second string was slowly away but soon cruising menacingly behind the leaders. Enthused never poked her head out of mid-division.

"It was a slow pace. We walked," Frankie Dettori, Regal Rose's jockey, said. "They pulled up in front and she hit the bridle, so I was running a bit keen. If I'd given her an extra grip then I might have been in trouble. I had to sit and suffer and, while it might have looked a bit awkward, I had her. But I was on the edge. From two out though I could just pick my spot. And off I went. It was only her second race so everything was a bit of a strange feeling for her. But as soon as we met the rising ground I gave her a crack and we're gone. I was very impressed. At this stage of her career she shows all the right things. She's got a good cruising speed and a turn of foot. And she's still learning as well."

The Cheveley Park has produced 1,000 Guineas winners in Sayyedati, Harayir and Cape Verdi in recent years and Regal Rose has the promising shape, at least, to join their number. "We jumped a big step bringing her to a Group One but she's always had a lot of talent," Stoute said. "She's always had a lot of natural talent and she's got a lot of scope."

Stoute was rather less jolly after the previous race, when his Eminence struck a pose like an artist's model soon after the stalls opened. This allowed Aidan O'Brien's Mozart to come crashing down the centre of the track to earn a top-priced quote of 20-1 with William Hill for next year's 2,000 Guineas. It also ruined an improbable victory for the Scandinavian filly Pretty Girl, the length runner-up. Norway's horses are considered with a degree of mirth in this racing community, but Pretty Girl all but demolished the chauvinism. She may be back to try again in the 1,000 Guineas.

Mozart's owner, Michael Tabor, is looking forward to the Dewhurst Stakes here in October for his colt, but before then he has Montjeu to enjoy in Sunday's Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. He does not consider Paris a foregone conclusion. "Experience tells me that won't be the case. This is the Arc," Tabor said. "It's certainly not a one-horse race because you would have to be impressed with Sinndar last time. I'm very excited but in racing you get shocks all the time. That's the beauty of it." If it was all that easy it wouldn't be a game. I'd be disappointed [if he lost] but I'm not sure about shocked. Maybe, wounded."

2001 1,000 GUINEAS: William Hill: 6-1 Karasta, Regal Rose, 8-1 Enthused, 12-1 Crystal Music, 16-1 others. Ladbrokes: 6-1 Karasta, 10-1 Enthused, Regal Rose, 12-1 Ameerat, 14-1 others. Tote: 6-1 Regal Rose, 7-1 Karasta, 8-1 Enthused, 14-1 others.

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