EXCITING two-year-old Zain Claudette is being primed for the next major assignment of her career in the Sky Bet Lowther Stakes at York, writes James Brennan.

Trainer Ismail Mohammed believes the daughter of No Nay Never could be the best horse to have passed through his hands. And she will try to bolster those claims when contesting the £150,000 Group 2 on Thursday, August 19 – day two of the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival.

Beaten only a neck on debut at Goodwood, Zain Claudette broke her maiden at Newmarket with a two and three-quarter length success on 25 June. She has since taken out the Group 3 Princess Margaret Stakes at Ascot, prevailing by a nose, having shown a devastating turn of foot in the final quarter mile.

Newmarket-based Mohammed believes the sky is the limit for his charge and said: “Of all of the horses I have trained so far, I haven’t seen one with the quality of this filly up until now.

“We plan to run her at York. We worked her over six furlongs on Thursday morning and next week we will gallop her more strongly on the grass. She is in good form and doing very well.”

Reflecting on her Ascot victory, in which Zain Claudette got the better of the previously Group 2-placed Desert Dreamer, Mohammed added: “She made up seven or eight places in the last two furlongs. She has a very good turn of foot.

“She’s an amazing filly, she has quality, and the more you work her, the more she gives you. She is going in the right direction.”

Mohammed is no stranger to success on the Knavesmire, having landed the 2016 John Smith’s Cup with former stable flag-bearer, Educate, and said the Sky Bet Lowther Stakes was the obvious option for his promising filly.

“We want to take it step-by-step with her and now she has won a Group 3, we have to run her in the Group 2 at York as we plan to run her in the Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket afterwards.”

Underfoot conditions won’t be a problem for Zain Claudette, regardless of what the weather does in the build up to York’s showpiece.

Mohammed said: “I am not worried about the weather or the ground. She has shown us she handles soft ground, good ground and the all-weather at home.”

Looking to the future with his charge, he continued: “She is not only a two-year-old, she will train on at three.

“We will keep her at six furlongs this season. She will step up in trip next year and she has the turn of foot to run over seven and eight furlongs.”

The Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival runs from Wednesday, August 18 until Saturday, August 21.

For tickets, call 01904 620911 x 225 or visit www.yorkracecourse.co.uk