A PODIUM finish for Sandiva in Sunday's 1,000 Guineas will thrill Malton trainer Richard Fahey.
The Musley Bank handler takes his three-year-old filly to Newmarket in optimistic mood following her victory at headquarters in the Nell Gwyn Stakes last month.
Indicating the rising strength of his yard in recent years, Sandiva is a 16-1 shot with bookmakers to land the early season Classic and Fahey declared he was "very happy with her".
Bidding to give jockey Frankie Dettori a first British Classic victory since 2011, and Fahey his first, Sandiva has only disappointed on unsuitably soft ground in the Prix Marcel Boussac at Longchamp last October.
But having asserted over seven furlongs in the Nell Gwyn, a race traditionally labelled as a trial for the 1,000 Guineas, Fahey believes she didn't receive enough credit for that victory as she prepares to step up to a mile for the first time.
"If are not excited now, you shouldn't be in the job," he said when asked about the weekend. "Sandiva came out of the (Nell Gwyn) race fine and I am delighted with her. The prep run was good and we will see what happens.
"I thought, and you tend to think this about your own horses, that she didn't get the credit she deserved. She had a terrible draw and she still won and Frankie was delighted with her.
"Her pedigree says she will get the trip but you never know until you try. There was nothing that happened at Newmarket that bothered me.
"We knew at home that she had trained on and that just rubber-stamped it. I am very happy with her. She has to step up.
"At Longchamp, she shouldn't have run on that ground but we were a little bit under pressure. She was bought to run."
Asked about Sandiva's rivals in the Guineas, Fahey added: "Obviously there is Rizeena and Aidan (O'Brien) will be happy with his (Tapestry and Bracelet).
"There are a couple of French fillies but they won't take her off the bridle and that's half the race run for her. It's about what happens in the last furlong and a half and we know she handles the track.
"If she could be placed I would be delighted. It's a big thing for us. If we can compete with the big boys with a filly that cost £18,000 then that's not just good for us, it is good for racing."
The QIPCO Guineas Festival takes place at Newmarket this weekend and is part of the QIPCO British Champions Series. All Series races are shown live on Channel 4.