In what is sure to be a nerve-wracking week for the hugely popular trainer, Sir Henry Cecil’s Wild Coco will step up to Group 1 company for the first time in her career. The recent Glorious Goodwood winner will attempt to prove herself at the highest level in the Darley Yorkshire Oaks at York’s Ebor Festival meeting on August 23, writes Elliot Slater.
The horse racing news is focused on Cecil’s superstar, Frankel, who will move up to 10 furlongs from a mile for the very first time in his stunning career, when he runs in the Group 1 Juddmonte International Stakes on the Knavesmire, 24 hours ahead of Wild Coco’s bid to enhance her own growing reputation.
The German bred and owned filly had been absent from the track for more than 11 months, when making her belated seasonal reappearance at Goodwood at the start of the month, but showed no signs of rustiness, as she handed out an impressive two-and-three-quarter length beating to French challenger, Jehannadarc, in the Group 3 iShares Fillies Stakes.
Although she was fresh through the early stages of the contest, Tom Queally’s mount still had plenty left in the tank when asked to go about her business, and won going away in the manner of a filly capable of holding her own at a higher level.
That theory will well and truly be tested at York, as the daughter of Shirocco could well face the likes of Dancing Rain, The Fugue, Shareta, and Was, amongst a strong entry for the feature fillies’ contest of the week.
It was at York last season that Cecil’s four-year-old ran her worst race of the campaign when sent off favourite in the horse racing tips for the listed Galtres Stakes, in which she trailed home a well beaten eighth of the nine runners behind Set To Music. Connections will hope that one year on there will be no repeat of that dismal performance.