Why Was Maureen Not In Form?

The trainer of Cheveley Park Stakes favourite Maureen, who finished a surprising ninth in the Newmarket contest on Saturday, has offered a reason for her poor showing at HQ.

Richard Hannon, who trains the horse for Ahmad Alkhallafi, was as shocked as the punters when Maureen – who started as the 2/1 favourite with Bet Victor for the Group 1 race – finished third from last.

But on inspection after the event, a discovery was made.

“She came back with a dirty scope, so at least we have a reason,” said Hannon, quoted on his website on Tuesday.

“We know that she is better than that, but we will put her away now and bring her back in the spring.”

Maureen, the winner of the Group 3 Princess Margaret Stakes at Ascot in July, is now 14-1 with some firms for the Qipco 1000 Guineas next spring, but as big as 25-1 with other bookmakers.

Meanwhile in other news, jockey Ryan Moore is understood to be eyeing a return to riding at Nottingham tomorrow – if he first receives official clearance to make his comeback from injury.

Moore is due to ride Sir Michael Stoute’s Sea Moon in Sunday’s Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe but he has been out of action since fracturing a wrist at Warwick on the eve of York’s Ebor festival in August, so it remains to be see if he’s at full fitness.

The Racing news published tomorrow should reveal who Moore is hoping to partner newcomers Elik and Waila for boss Stoute in the two divisions of Nottingham’s juvenile fillies’ maiden.

The former champion jockey, whose dreams of regaining that crown vanished when he picked up the injury at Warwick, is also thought to be in line for a mount on the Ed Dunlop-trained Ascription in the card’s third race.