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Collina primed for big run

Kevin Prendergast feels La Collina may be the forgotten horse in Sunday's Qipco 1000 Guineas at Newmarket.

A daughter of Strategic Prince, she had some top-class form as a juvenile last season, including beating Aidan O'Brien's 2000 Guineas hopeful Power in the Group One Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh.

Not many fillies beat the colts at that stage of their careers and Prendergast hoped she would follow up back against her own sex in the Moyglare Stud Stakes, but she could only manage a well-beaten third behind 1000 Guineas favourite Maybe.

Given there had been little between them when the pair met in the Silver Flash Stakes in July it is easy to forgive La Collina, especially as Prendergast feels she has a valid excuse for her last run.

"She's a runner this weekend and I think she'll run well. I suppose she has gone under the radar a bit," said the County Kildare veteran.

"I wouldn't want it soft though, she's much better on good ground. I've seen the forecast and they should have had most of the rain they are getting, so I'd hope it will be good ground by the weekend, that's what they are saying as it drains so well."

Charlie Hills is delighted with Gray Pearl as he prepares the lightly raced filly for Sunday's Classic.

An impressive winner of her Newbury debut last August, she was not seen again until running creditably when third behind the top-class Wading in the Rockfel Stakes. She went back to Newmarket for a gallop during the Craven meeting and did everything asked of her.

The trainer said: "I'm really pleased with her and her preparation. She had a racecourse gallop at Newmarket, which we were very happy with, and she seems to have come out of that really well.

"I don't think the softer ground at Newmarket will be a problem - I think she might prefer it that way - and the mile won't be a problem either."


From Belfast Telegraph