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US raider Dothraki Queen part of top class QIPCO 1000 Guineas entries

2 Mar 2016

63 initial entries made the British Classic at Newmarket.

Legatissimo wins the 2015 QIPCO 1000 Guineas. Image courtesy of Racingfotos.com.

The £500,000 QIPCO 1000 Guineas has once again gained prize money parity with its male counterpart and its 203rd running at Newmarket’s Rowley Mile Racecourse on Sunday, 1st May looks set to be graced by only its second American-trained contender in the shape of Dothraki Queen.

This Group 1 fillies’ contest, which has had its value increased by 22 per cent since last year and is the second leg of the 2016 QIPCO British Champions Series, attracted 63 initial entries before it closed on Tuesday (1st March).

They include the outstanding European Champion Juvenile Filly, Minding, and the four rivals that chased her home – Nathra, Hawksmoor, Coolmore and Beautiful Morning – when she ran away with the Group 1 Dubai Fillies’ Mile over this course and distance in October.

Newmarket’s other Group 1 event for juvenile fillies, the Connolly’s RED MILLS Cheveley Park Stakes, is also well represented as its heroine, Lumiere, is entered along with her three closest pursuers back in September – Illuminate, Besharah and Alice Springs.

No less than 29 of the 63 entries come from overseas stables, including both Minding and the Group 1 Prix Marcel Boussac winner, Ballydoyle, from the 13-time Irish Champion Trainer, Aidan O’Brien, and Come Alive, Gherdaiya and Pleasemetoo from the yard of the French maestro, Andre Fabre, who completed his full set of British Classics when saddling Miss France to win this race in 2014.

Dothraki Queen hails from the Kentucky barn of Kenny McPeek, who first crossed the Atlantic way back in 2004 with Hard Buck, runner-up to Doyen in the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes, and has since twice saddled horses to be placed at Royal Ascot.

Kenny McPeek, trainer of Dothraki Queen, said;

“To win the QIPCO 1000 Guineas would be beyond special and Dothraki Queen has already shown enough class to justify giving it a shot.”

“She’s won a Grade 2 race and been runner-up in a Grade 1 so a win at the top level has to be her goal and going for the Guineas followed by the Epsom Oaks looks like a good option.”

“She certainly has the talent to be competitive over a mile – you don’t come to a gunfight with a water pistol!”

“People don’t know that I have been taking horses to England since long before Wesley Ward began to do so and almost every one of my runners there has pleased me.”

“I think that English racing is very special, I have always been attracted to the history of the sport – and it is a life goal of mine to win an English Classic.”

“Dothraki Queen has done most of her racing on dirt but she won her maiden by seven lengths on grass and the way that she moves, together with the number of top turf horses on the dam’s side of her pedigree, mean that I believe that her career is best served as a grass horse.”

“She shouldn’t have any trouble handling the conditions at the Rowley Mile as I have my own grass gallops on my farm in Kentucky that are a bit like Warren Hill in Newmarket.”

“In hindsight I wish that I had not run her after the Breeders’ Cup – she was over the top and ran flat – but she has rested and regrouped since then and is bigger and stronger now.”

“She has had three workouts at Oaklawn Park and is about a month off her first run of the season. After that we will make a final decision about shipping her over.”