Denis Coakley enjoyed one of his biggest days in the training ranks when saddling Miss Marjurie to win the 2015 edition of the Betfred Pinnacle Stakes and will be hoping to repeat the dose when Nell Quickly lines up in the Haydock Group Three on Saturday afternoon.
The four-year-old arrives on Merseyside looking to extend a three-race winning run and appears at Group level for the first time in her seven-race career to date, having progressed rapidly through the handicap ranks.
Although two of her four victories have come on good ground, Coakley admitted he would like to see a bit of rain to help her chance.
“She seems well and we’re hoping for a good run,” said Coakley.
“We would like a bit of rain and I think it’s good to soft now thanks to a bit of rain, but it’s going to be dry for the next few days. But she’s in good form and we’re hoping she will run well. Hopefully we get a bit of luck.”
Miss Marjurie’s victory in this race in 2015 paved the way for her to compete at Pattern class for the rest of her career and Coakley believes Nell Quickly compares favourably to his former star.
He continued: “They are similar, they both try hard, they both enjoy a bit of cut in the ground, so I would say there are similarities.”
William Haggas continues to operate at a strike-rate hovering around the 40 per cent mark for the last fortnight and is responsible for the market leader Sea La Rosa, who scooped Listed honours in her final start at three. She will be looking to finish ahead of Viola for the third time since losing out to James Fanshawe’s filly at Doncaster last summer.
Roger Varian won this race in both 2011 and 2012 and has high hopes for his course winner Lady Hayes, who was beaten just a neck on her reappearance in the Daisy Warwick Fillies’ Stakes.
He said: “She’s got good course and distance form at Haydock and I think a repeat of the form she showed in the Lancashire Oaks last year would give her a chance.
“It looks a warm race and she’s better with a bit of give in the ground, so we’ll hope some of the showers materialise but she is quite versatile so she’s a likely runner and I’m sure she’ll run well.”
Another training team with a fine record in this race is the John and Thady Gosden combination, with Clarehaven responsible for the regally-bred Darlectable You this time around. The daughter of Dubawi is out of the six-time scorer Dar Re Mi and a sister to both Too Darn Hot and So Mi Dar.
She returned from a 355-day absence with a victory at Windsor last month and a move back up to 12 furlongs could see her build on that comeback.
The mile and a half could also help Noon Star, who landed the Nottinghamshire Oaks on her return but was disappointing in the Middleton Stakes at York.
“We were a little disappointed with her run at York, Ryan (Moore) just felt she was a little bit flat. Whether she was in season or what, I don’t know, but he felt she was definitely a bit flat,” explained Barry Mahon, European racing manager for owners Juddmonte.
“Hopefully going a mile and a half should suit her – that’s what Ryan felt the last day.
“It looks a nice place for her, so we’ll see how we get on – hopefully she’ll perform well.”
Irish raider Climate has to be given plenty of respect considering she was staying on stoutly at the finish in the Dahlia Stakes and was beaten less than two lengths as the field passed the winning post.
Her trainer Jessica Harrington believes the extra distance of this Group Three contest will suit the four-year-old and said: “She’s a half-sister to a Ribblesdale winner and is by Australia, she should enjoy the step up in trip and is in good form. She’s a lovely filly, she just needs to get some black type.”
The field is complete by Andrew Balding’s Invite, Folk Dance and By Starlight, who is the representative of last year’s winning handler Henry Candy.