Maqsad joined Qipco 1,000 Guineas winner Hermosa as a prominent player in the Oaks picture after a highly impressive win in the Pretty Polly Stakes at Newmarket.
The William Haggas-trained filly tanked through the 1m2f Listed contest and stormed clear on the bridle from Shambolic, with the 5-4 favourite running out an emphatic five-length winner.
Haggas said: “I was impressed with her, I thought she travelled well and settled well. She appeared to be better at the trip. I was keen to go but she’s got a bit of speed, but they need speed if they’re going to stay. There’s lot of stamina on the dam’s side and she’s out of a Galileo mare.
Mike Recio’s Rockbridge Bloodstock purchased Maqsad’s half-sister, Almada, privately for Brushy Hill Enterprises. She foaled a More Than Ready filly this spring and will head to the court of leading young sire Violence.
“Huge, huge news. It’s an electric family.” Recio said after the race.
“She’s in lots of things. Lots of options are open, we’ve just got to sit down and think about it.”
Speaking to Racing TV, the trainer added: “I’m not sure that was the strongest renewal of this particular race, but she won and won easily.
“When Jim asked her to go, I think he was a little bit surprised how easily she went to the front, he probably felt he went plenty soon enough but he thought the race collapsed a bit at the two and he got left there.”
The bookmaker reaction was strong, with Unibet and Betway shortening her markedly into 5-1 (from 25) for the Investec Oaks at Epsom, while Paddy Power, Betfair and William Hill took a slightly more conservative view, making her 8-1 for the fillies’ Classic on May 31.
The excellent performance came just an hour after Aidan O’Brien’s Hermosa won the 1,000 Guineas and joined stablemate Pink Dogwood in vying for Oaks favouritism.
Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, who owns Maqsad, last won the Oaks in 2014 with Taghrooda, who won the Pretty Polly Stakes by six lengths.
-edited from http://www.racingpost.com