Coolmore is narrowly preferred in a fascinating renewal of the Lanwades Stud Nell Gwyn Stakes at Newmarket.
A full-sister to last year’s dual 2000 Guineas hero Gleneagles and 2014 Classic heroine Marvellous, the daughter of Galileo is both bred and named to be a superstar.
She made a slow start to her career as a juvenile, suffering short-priced defeats at the Curragh and Leopardstown, but the application of cheekpieces helped her raise her game sufficiently to scoop Group Three honours in the Weld Park Stakes.
She came up a little short in a Fillies’ Mile dominated by stable companion Minding, but was far from disgraced in finishing fourth and looks the type to fare better as a three-year-old.
Aidan O’Brien’s charge has ground to make up on Fillies’ Mile runner-up Nathra, while Illuminate also brings strong juvenile form to the party, but with the Ballydoyle string looking more forward than is often the case at this early stage of the campaign, Coolmore gets the nod.
Tathqeef can provide John Gosden with a second successive victory in the 1stsecuritysolutions.co.uk Feilden Stakes.
Derby and Arc hero Golden Horn kicked off his campaign in this Listed event 12 months ago and while it would be fanciful to suggest Tathqeef can scale those heights, his very presence in this event is noteworthy.
The American-bred colt has made just one previous appearance and that was when justifying prohibitive odds at Wolverhampton in October.
It goes without saying he has far more on his plate at Headquarters, but Paul Hanagan prefers him to course winner Mustajeer and a bold bid is anticipated.
Hanagan also has strong claims aboard Tabarrak in the EBF Stallions NGK Spark Plugs Conditions Stakes.
Richard Hannon’s inmate chased home a smart sort in Tashweeq on debut and confirmed that promise with a runaway victory at Newbury.
He was only narrowly denied in a strong conditions event at Salisbury in September and can get back on the winning trail if fit enough to himself justice on his return.
EXETER: 1.50 Chase End Charlie, 2.25 Chartbreaker, 3.00 Big Society, 3.35 Retro Valley, 4.10 Brotherly Company, 4.45 Blazing Whale.
NEWMARKET: 2.10 Dufay, 2.45 Tabarrak, 3.20 Childesplay, 3.55 Tathqeef, 4.30 COOLMORE (NAP), 5.05 Not Touch, 5.40 Jufn.
SOUTHWELL: 2.00 Ghostly Arc, 2.35 Tilsworth Phyllis, 3.10 Seamster, 3.45 Wotnot, 4.20 Rocco’s Delight, 4.55 Tatting, 5.30 Northside Prince.
DOUBLE: Tathqeef and Coolmore.