04/16/2012 1:56PM

England: Pimpernel may end favored in Nell Gwyn at Newmarket


Pimpernel, a stakes winner in England last year and stakes placed in Dubai earlier this year, may start favored in a wide-open running of the Group 3 Nell Gwyn Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Newmarket, England on Wednesday, a prep for the English 1000 Guineas there next month.

Trained by Mahmoon Al Zarooni for Godolphin Racing, Pimpernel was fifth in the UAE Oaks in Dubai on Feb. 23 and makes her first start on turf in the seven-furlong Nell Gwyn since a win in the totepool Stakes at Newbury, England, last fall.

In the 13-runner Nell Gwyn Stakes, Pimpernel must beat Nayarra, the winner of the Group 1 Premio Gran Criterium in Italy last year; Russelliana, second in the Cherry Hinton Stakes in England in 2011; and Starscope, a highly regarded maiden race winner last year for trainer John Gosden.

Also at Newmarket on Wednesday, the Feilden Stakes over 1 1/8 miles could have implications for the English Derby in June. Perennial, second in the Group 3 Autumn Stakes last October, is part of a field of seven. Trained by Charles Hills, Perennial was 25-1 in the future-book for the English Derby as of Monday.

In the $237,000 Tattersalls Millions 3-Year-Old Sprint over six furlongs, Samitar makes her first start of 2012 in a field of 15. Samitar, a filly by Rock of Gibraltar, won two stakes last year, including the Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot. She is a 25-1 chance for the English 1000 Guineas on May 6.