Classic prospect Cachet is on course to make her seasonal debut in the Lanwades Stud Nell Gwyn Stakes at Newmarket.
The daughter of Aclaim was a leading juvenile filly last term, being placed in the Fillies’ Mile and Rockfel Stakes as well as finishing a close fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf at Del Mar on her latest start.
Trained by George Boughey, she is delighting connections ahead of her seasonal debut in the Group Three over seven furlongs on April 12, with connections eager to see if she is a contender for the Qipco 1000 Guineas.
Harry Herbert, racing manager for owner Highclere Thoroughbred Racing, said: “She’s in great form, she worked very well last weekend. She’ll run in the Nell Gwyn. It’s always been her target race. She looks absolutely terrific and George (Boughey) couldn’t be happier with her.
“We’ll run her in the Nell Gwyn. She loves Newmarket, she’s never run a bad race there and see how we get on and whether we progress on to the Guineas or elsewhere.”
Highclere have another possible Classic candidate in Royal Patronage, although he may well bypass the Qipco 2000 Guineas and make his reappearance in the Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Dante Stakes at York with a view to running in the Cazoo Derby.
“He’s just done his first piece of easy work and was very impressive. Charlie and Mark (Johnston, trainers) are delighted with him. He’s in the Guineas but he’s much more likely to go for the Dante at York,” said Herbert.
“He’s bred to be a middle-distance, mile-and-a-quarter-plus horse. I see him more of a Derby horse than a Guineas horse. I suspect that is where we’ll go. It’s not cast in stone. The way we are chatting at the moment, York is a likely starting point.”
Royal Patronage won the Acomb and Royal Lodge Stakes in 2021 but suffered an injury when well-beaten in the Vertem Trophy at Doncaster in October.
Thunderous, who won the Dante in 2020, might make his comeback in the Listed Barry Hills Further Flight Stakes at Nottingham next Wednesday.
He has been sidelined since finishing fourth to Wonderful Tonight in the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot last summer.
“He’s back. He’s gelded, he’s had injury issues which has been very frustrating but he’s in great shape and working well. We might run him in the Further Flight at Nottingham. That’s a possibility,” said Herbert.
“There’s a 100 grand handicap at Newmarket over a mile and six (furlongs) but he’s that sort of horse – mile-four or mile-six.
“Having been gelded, he’s lighter and seems to be coming to hand earlier than he normally does.”