09/26/2005 11:00PM

Flashy Wings in tough spot


Flashy Wings puts her ranking as Europe's top juvenile filly on the line Thursday in Newmarket's $311,000 Cheveley Park Stakes.

Victories in the Group 3 Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot at York and in the Group 2 Lowther Stakes at York had extended Flashy Wings's unbeaten streak to four before trainer Michael Channon "dropped" her into the $512,000 Watership Down Stud Sales Race, an event restricted to fillies sold at auction in the United Kingdom, in which she finished second by a neck to Expensive in a 23-runner field.

That experience will have done her good when she faces nine fillies in the Cheveley Park, but Flashy Wings, a daughter of Zafonic, will be tested by the improving Nidhaal. An Observatory filly trained by Ed Dunlop, Nidhaal was a handy winner of the listed Dick Poole Stakes at Salisbury on Sept. 1 and should topple Flashy Wings in this six-furlong Group 1 contest.

A threat to them both lies in Wake Up Maggie, a Xaar filly who has been facing colts of late with no little success. She beat Cool Creek, who later would win the Group 2 Mill Reef Stakes, a 26-runner restricted sales race worth $345,000 at The Curragh in August. Before that, she finished second to Godfrey Street, subsequent winner of the Group 2 Flying Childers Stakes, in a Lingfield allowance. Those performances made her the 5-2 antepost favorite.