Emulous can fire in Forest
View from connections: Windsor Forest Stakes
Last Updated: 19/06/12 1:30pm
Emulous: Fancied to run a big race by her jockey
Pat Smullen believes Emulous is capable of running a "massive race" in the Windsor Forest Stakes at Royal Ascot on Wednesday.
The Dermot Weld-trained mare enjoyed a superb campaign in 2011, completing a hat-trick of Pattern-race wins with a brilliant performance in the Matron Stakes at Leopardstown.
She appeared to have lost none of her sparkle when making a winning return at the Curragh and with no concerns about the ground or track, Smullen is in confident mood ahead of her first visit to Britain.
"I'm looking forward to riding her. She's a very good mare and won very well on her comeback start this year. I'm expecting a big run from her," said Smullen.
"I don't know whether she's improved through the winter, but she doesn't have to really.
"She won well the last day and if she can run to the form of the Matron from last year, she'd have a big chance.
"She's adaptable ground-wise, so that shouldn't cause her any concerns.
"It's a competitive field as you would expect, but she's a very straightforward filly and she should run a massive race."
Group One Winners
Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager for owner Khalid Abdullah, told At The Races: "She worked very nicely the other day. Dermot was very happy with her, as was Pat.
"She has a 5lb penalty and you never want to be giving away weight in top-class company, especially at Royal Ascot.
"But she has a bit of class and I was terribly impressed by the way she won the Matron, so we're quite hopeful for her."
The only other Group One winner in the line-up is Nahrain from the Roger Varian stable.
The four-year-old gave her trainer a first victory at the highest level in the Prix de l'Opera at Longchamp last October.
She suffered her first defeat on her final start of the year in the Breeders' Cup Turf, but she was far from disgraced in finishing second.
She returns to a mile for her first start since her American jaunt tomorrow.
"I have waited to start her off against her own sex and this race looks ideal to set her up for the second half of the season, when there are more opportunities at the top level for older fillies," Varian told his website www.varianstable.com.
"We have to give the field a lot of respect as she is up against some decent fillies and she is conceding weight to all of them except one.
"But she has really come to herself over the last three weeks and I am very happy with her.
"She is stepping back to a mile but on her homework and the fact that she won at the trip last season, I don't feel it will inconvenience her."
Sir Mark Prescott's Clinical made a winning comeback in the Princess Elizabeth Stakes at Epsom earlier this month, earning this step up to Group Two company.
Chris Richardson, managing director for owners Cheveley Park Stud, said: "She's in good form. She probably would prefer the ground to be on the quicker side, which could be a bit of a concern.
"But at this point in time, I think Sir Mark is happy for her to take her chance.
"He is happy with her at home and obviously it's a tough race like all of them at Royal Ascot, but this is the natural next step for her after her win at Epsom.
"The ground would be my one concern, so hopefully we get a dry day and a dry night to help."
Andrew Balding runs both Lay Time and I Love Me.
Lay Time was a beaten favourite on her seasonal return at Epsom, while I Love Me makes her first appearance since finishing fourth in the Coronation Stakes at this meeting a year ago.
Balding said: "There wouldn't be a massive amount between them, the only thing is Lay Time has had an advantage of a run this season, which I think will help.
"We think a lot of Lay Time and I think with the benefit of the run at Epsom, she'll go very well.
"The track at Epsom didn't suit her ideally and I would expect her to improve a lot from that. The ground should be fine for her.
"I Love Me is a high-class filly and ran very well on the round course at Royal Ascot last year.
"She hasn't run since as she picked up an injury, but she's working very well and I'm very happy with her.
"I'm sure she'll have a good season, but this is her first run for a year."
Sir Henry Cecil is looking forward to saddling the consistent Chachamaidee, who showed brilliant acceleration when successful on her first start of the year at Lingfield.
Cecil told his website: "Chachamaidee seems in good order and as long as the ground isn't too soft, she should be a major contestant."