x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Maqaasid can go the extra distance for Gosden

The daughter of Green Desert turned in a solid performance at Newmarket two weeks ago when finishing third to Barefoot Lady in the Nell Gwyn Stakes over 1,400m.

Maqaasid and Richard Hills win The Queen Mary Stakes at Ascot last year. Alan Crowhurst / Getty Images
Maqaasid and Richard Hills win The Queen Mary Stakes at Ascot last year. Alan Crowhurst / Getty Images

NEWMARKET, England // Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid, John Gosden and Richard Hills team up with Maqaasid this afternoon in the hope of replicating their success in the 1000 Guineas 11 years ago.

The owner, trainer and jockey combined with Lahan in 2000, beating out 17 rivals to win the race.

With 19 runners going to post today, a shoot-out should suit their runner. Maqaasid turned in a solid performance at Newmarket two weeks ago when finishing third to Barefoot Lady in the Nell Gwyn Stakes over 1,400m.

The daughter of Green Desert had to give weight to Barefoot Lady, who also is in today's line-up.

Gosden said both fillies would carry an advantage into today's 1,600m contest.

"She ran nicely with a penalty in the Nell Gwyn and saw out the race well enough," Gosden said. "The great trainer Vincent O'Brien was always keen to give his horses a prep run.

"It's suddenly become a bit of a cult thing to come here without one. It happened when the springs were cold and everyone had to come fresh. It's a bit of a fashion now."

Six of the seven most favoured fillies in the Group 1 contest have yet to run this season, including Hooray, last season's European champion juvenile filly.

Since the European Free Handicap was established in 1978, only six champions have won the 1000 Guineas, although in an illustration of thoroughbred fragility 18 did not turn up and run over the Rowley Mile.

Maqaasid lowered the track record at Royal Ascot last season when winning the Group 1 Queen Mary Stakes over 1,000m. As a January foal, she was entitled to be more mature than her peers but Gosden said his charge has a fair chance of lasting the extra 600m here.

"We're going from five furlongs to a mile," Gosden said. "She has quite a lot of stamina on the dam's side so she could be a bit of a sleeper on that front."