x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Tough task ahead for Questing in Breeders' Cup

My Miss Aurelia and Awesome Feather are unbeaten and will be expected to give Godolphin horse in Santa Anita.

Questing will compete in the Breeders' Cup. New York Racing Association / AP Photo
Questing will compete in the Breeders' Cup. New York Racing Association / AP Photo

It is hard enough when you are up against one undefeated rival but Godolphin's Questing must get the better of two unbeaten fillies if she is to prevail in tomorrow night's Ladies Classic on the opening day of the Breeders' Cup meeting at Santa Anita.

Questing has proved to be a leading light in the Distaff division in America this season and she went down by a head to the undefeated My Miss Aurelia in September when runner-up in the Grade 1 Cotillion Stakes.

The two fillies eyeballed each other for much of that nine-furlong contest but Questing was conceding 7lbs to the winner and was out-sprinted to the line.

They both favour a prominent running style, which is perfect for the dirt surface that prevails at the Californian track.

Throw in Awesome Feather, who is unbeaten in her 10 career starts, and Royal Delta, the defending champion, who both like to stalk the speed, and there is sure to be multiple challengers for Questing to fight off.

"I hope Questing breaks from the gate cleanly and goes into the lead," Kiaran McLaughlin, the Godolphin trainer, said. "We want to be forwardly placed."

McLaughlin could barely hide his feelings at Questing's defeat last time and aimed a broadside at the Parx racecourse executive for keeping the dirt there in such a dry condition.

According to Bill Mott, Royal Delta's trainer, the Santa Anita surface has been treated better.

"I've heard that it was a little loose and cuppy, Mott said. "Maybe it's tightened up a little bit and it's in a little better shape and maybe a little faster since."

Sheikh Ahmed bin Rashid's Nahrain takes on Ridaisyna in the Filly and Mare Turf. The two fillies must duel with The Fugue, the fast ground specialist, and Zagora, who gave way to Nahrain last time in the Grade 1 Flower Bowl at Belmont Park.

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