Dream-ing of Lowther success

Desert Dreamer (near side) is beaten by Zain Claudette at Ascot
Image: Desert Dreamer (near side) is beaten by Zain Claudette at Ascot

Desert Dreamer is seeking to finally enjoy her day in the sun in the Sky Bet Lowther Stakes.

The Stuart Williams-trained filly has had little luck since winning her first two starts at Newmarket, finishing in midfield after being drawn on the wrong side in the the Queen Mary at Royal Ascot before filling the runner-up spot on three successive occasions.

The daughter of Oasis Dream was beaten a neck in the Listed Empress Stakes, found only the unbeaten Sandrine too strong in the Duchess of Cambridge back at Newmarket and was touched off by just a nose when second to Zain Claudette in her latest bid for Group-race honours in Ascot's Princess Margaret.

Sandrine and Zain Claudette are once again in opposition to Oisin Murphy's mount at York, but Williams is expecting a bold showing in Thursday's six-furlong Group Two.

He said: "We've been very happy with her since Ascot - she's trained very well.

"We feel she's been a bit unfortunate. In her last three runs, the winner has been on the other side of the course to her, and I'd quite like to get into a fight with them really! It's nicer when they're challenging.

"She tries hard and is very professional about her racing now.

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"We're very much looking forward to running her on Thursday."

Zain Claudette's trainer Ismail Mohammed is confident his filly has not yet reached the ceiling of her ability.

"She has worked well, and we are confident she has improved from her last race," said the Newmarket handler.

"She is doing really well and is stronger now than she was at Ascot.

"This is not an easy race, but we have a good chance."

The Andrew Balding-trained Sandrine will be a hot favourite to make it four from four, having proved her class and courage in winning the Albany Stakes at the Royal meeting on heavy ground and the Duchess of Cambridge on good to firm.

David Probert, who has steered Kirsten Rausing's filly to success on each of her three starts to date, felt from an early stage that she could be above average.

"I sat on her early on in the year, and she had a great temperament," he said.

"She didn't show any sign of greenness, and you can always tell if they've got a classy attitude and a high performance. She just felt she had such a great rhythm, so I knew she was going to be pretty classy, but never knew how she was going to perform on the stage.

"I was worried about the heavy ground at Ascot and I was amazed by how she quickened and hit the line in the Albany.

"When I let her extend at Newmarket, she handled the ground a lot better and gave me an amazing feel."

Hello You was placed behind Sandrine at both Ascot and Newmarket and has her first start for trainer Dave Loughnane after moving from Ralph Beckett's yard.

Loughnane said: "She's settled in nicely and she's a lovely filly.

"She's done absolutely nothing wrong on the track so far. It's obviously a tall order to try to reverse the form with Sandrine.

"But she's carrying a 3lb penalty this time, and we'll have a crack at it - you never know what can happen.

"Hello You is a saint at home, but Rossa (Ryan) said she was a bit keen the last day in Newmarket, so we've decided to put a hood on her on Thursday. I just thought, with the atmosphere and everything, it might drown out a bit of the noise and help her a little bit."

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