Regal Rose is ready to bloom in the Park

Newmarket Cambridgeshire Meeting: Sir Michael Stoute can take big race for two-year-old fillies with stable 'second string'

There will be cheering after the Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket today and Tommy Stack will enjoy listening, even if it is not provoked by Mala Mala, his filly. We have not seen much of Stack recently, but then we will be lucky to see him at all today. This is the man who rode Red Rum to win a historic third Grand National in 1977, the man who, in 1994, trained Las Meninas to win the 1,000 Guineas. All this, however, did not matter one day in December 1998 when Stack was found in a heap on his bathroom floor.

There will be cheering after the Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket today and Tommy Stack will enjoy listening, even if it is not provoked by Mala Mala, his filly. We have not seen much of Stack recently, but then we will be lucky to see him at all today. This is the man who rode Red Rum to win a historic third Grand National in 1977, the man who, in 1994, trained Las Meninas to win the 1,000 Guineas. All this, however, did not matter one day in December 1998 when Stack was found in a heap on his bathroom floor.

The former dual champion jump jockey in Britain had been struck by meningitis, leaving Stack in a coma for three weeks and hospital for three months. Stack was made stone deaf by the meningitis, but implants mean he can now hear some of the applause which has been the frequent background music in his life. He will certainly see many hands going together at Headquarters should Mala Mala succeed, and he will be in close company. "He'll be there, so will Mum [Liz] and me," James "Fozzy" Stack, the trainer's son, said yesterday. "It's a block booking. Dad's fine and knows he's lucky to be alive."

Mala Mala is a half-sister to the yard's 1998 Irish 1,000 Guineas winner Tarascon, and looks to have some of her sibling's ability. "She's a smart filly," Fozzy says, "and the six furlongs will probably suit her better than the seven of the Moyglare [Stud Stakes, in which she was third to Aidan O'Brien's Sequoyah]."

However, Mala Mala has chosen a high-calibre Cheveley Park in which to disport herself. Not only does Sequoyah once again represent the Ballydoyle garrison, but there are also great divas from the British scene in attendance. We cannot guarantee the 1,000 Guineas winner will be out today, but there is a grand chance we will see the filly which will start favourite.

Sir Michael Stoute's Enthused beat Khulan, who reopposes today, by a length and a half in York's Lowther Stakes, earning John Murtagh's assessment that she was the best two-year-old he had ever ridden. Yet it is by no means certain Enthused is the best two-year-old filly in Stoute's yard. Apart from Karasta, the May Hill Stakes winner, there are those who believe REGAL ROSE (nap 2.05) is Stoute's leading two-year-old filly and she can build on her Ascot debut victory.

Stoute's Irish and Yorkshire Oaks winner Petrushka was among the confirmations yesterday for Saturday's Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket, even though her preferred option is the Prix de l'Opera at Longchamp the following day. More likely to turn up for the knight on the blasted heath is Nooshman, the 11-2 favourite for the Cambridgeshire after an unlucky run in the Courage Best Handicap at Newbury.

The most notable absentee at yesterday's declaration stage for the first leg of the autumn double was Sir Mark Prescott's Forbearing. The mover with the Tote was John Gosden's Bound For Pleasure, who still needs one horse in the weights above him to come out to get within the safety limit of 35. That did not seem to bother those who forced the Manton runner into 8-1 from 12-1. Gosden also saddles the Grampas, but his Supply And Demand has been withdrawn. The most significant jockey booking was for the 12-1 shot Katy Nowaitee, who was to have been ridden by George Duffield until the veteran collected a five-day suspension at Pontefract last week. She will now be ridden by John Reid.

CAMBRIDGESHIRE HANDICAP (Newmarket, Saturday) : William Hill: 9-2 Nooshman, 8-1 Bound For Pleasure, 12-1 Katy Nowaitee, Man O'Mystery, Triple Dash, 14-1 Atlantic Rhapsody, Grampas, Milligan, 16-1 Air Defence, Bomb Alaska, Full Flow, Jathaabeh, 20-1 others. Ladbrokes: 11-2 Nooshman, 10-1 Bound For Pleasure, 14-1 Triple Dash, Man O'Mystery, Milligan, Air Defence, Katy Nowaitee, Jathaabeh, Lady Angharad, Blue Sugar, Atlantic Rhapsody, Grampas, Full Flow, 20-1 others. Tote: 5-1 Nooshman, 8-1 Bound For Pleasure, 12-1 Katy Nowaitee, Man O'Mystery, 14-1 Grampas, Milligan, Triple Dash, 16-1 Air Defence, Atlantic Rhapsody, 20-1 others.

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