Run at Newmarket on the Rowley Mile course, the race was first inaugurated in 1966, initially for three-year-olds only over a distance of one mile and two furlongs. In 1974, the race was opened to fillies and mares over the age of three and amended further in 2000 when the race became a one-mile event.
The most successful horse in the race is Sahpresa, who won the contest on three consecutive occasions from 2009 until 2011 for French trainer Rod Collet.
Here is a runner-by-runner guide to the 2017 renewal on Saturday 7th October.
Aljazzi was a three-length winner of Sandown’s Group Three Atalanta Stakes last month and had previously finished three-quarters of a length behind Qemah in Royal Ascot’s Group Two Duke Of Cambridge Stakes and comes into the race a relatively fresh horse. She has been the standout market mover all this week.
Dawn Of Hope
Finished halfway down the field behind Qemah in the Group Two Duke of Cambridge Stakes at Royal Ascot, then marginally went down to Lincoln Rocks in the Pipalong Stakes. She looks to be a little way short of what is required to win a race of this stature.
The William Haggas-trained Muffri'Ha opened her account for the campaign with success in the Muhaarar British EBF Rosemary Stakes last weekend. Third in her only previous attempt at a Group One, Muffri'Ha is poised to have a crack at the top level again.
Nathra was fifth in last year's Guineas after winning the Nell Gwyn but has been unable to add to her her tally despite running several excellent races in defeat in Group Two and Group Three company. Nathra’s three-quarters of a length second to Aclaim reads extremely well given that horse took last Sunday’s Prix De La Foret at Chantilly.
Persuasive was last seen finishing third in the Matron Stakes at Leopardstown and represents Arc winners John Gosden and Frankie Dettori in this weekend's Group One feature. She was fifth to Roly Poly in the Prix Rothschild on her belated summer return but she looks open to further improvement.
The Jean-Claude Rouget-trained Qemah will be aiming to stamp her authority over her comtempories just like she did at Royal Ascot. She was a close up fourth when denied a clear run behind Roly Poly at Deauville and looks like being very much in the mix on all known form.
The Freddy Head-trained five-year-old ran a respectable fourth in this Group One last year which was won by Alice Springs, after which she went on to land the Group Three Prix Perth at Saint-Cloud. Siyoushake has run extremely well at the top level, being placed in the Prix Rothschild and the Prix Jean-Romanet on her last two starts. The French are no strangers to winning this race.
Spangled has been lightly raced this year after suffering a setback in the spring. The Roger Varian-trained chestnut appears to have needed the run when down the pack in the Group Three City of York Stakes last time but has won only over seven furlongs. Varian’s table has been in decent form this week so she is no forlorn hope in this.
Andre Fabre's Usherette is yet another contender that forms part of a formidable French challenge on this Group race. The five-year-old won the Duke of Cambridge Stakes at Royal Ascot last year and was a close-up third when defending her title this June. Last month she claimed a Listed prize at Maisons-Laffitte and should be written off at your peril.
She won a Listed race over the extended one mile and one furlong at Gowran over the summer but in the main has looked out of her depth in races of this magnitude this season. She does however hail from the all-conquering Aidan O’Brien stable so you cannot put a line through her completely.
Arabian Hope is trained by Godolphin handler Saeed Bin Suroor and comes into the race in good form having captured the Group Three Istanbul Trophy over a mile in Turkey, on September 2nd. Prior to that victory she was an eye-catching third behind Roly Poly in the Group One Falmouth Stakes. Plenty of Godolphin runners have been running and winning at big odds recently and she could be another one that has been underestimated.
Three-year-old Roly Poly will be hoping to emulate the achievements of her same age stablemates Rhododendron and Hydrangea by taking this valuable prize for the Ballydoyle team. She scored back-to-back wins in the Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket and the Prix Rothschild at Deauville, both at the one-mile distance of the Sun Chariot. Her last run in the Matron has to be excused though if she is to have any chance on Saturday afternoon.
Set off in fine style with two wins at the start of the season before a far from disgraced run in the Coronation Stakes. She returned from a short break to record a solid third over seven furlongs in a Doncaster Group Three last month. There are certainly a lot worse 40/1 shots that you can follow.
Aidan O’Brien is only three short of breaking Bobby Frankel’s record of 25 Group/Grade One victories in a calendar year after scoring doubles at both Newmarket and Chantilly last weekend and there is every chance that Roly Poly can put him just two shy of the landmark this Saturday afternoon.
Roly Poly has twice already contributed to that tally this season and her form suggests she can give the champion Irish trainer another notch on the board.
888sport suggests: Roly Poly (win)