We have Group 1 action on a superb flat card on the Rowley Mile on Friday, where the opening 1.50pm contest is a quality Group 3 over 5f. A race for 2yo horses, Karl Burke's consistent juvenile True Mason is the market leader after a string of excellent efforts of late…
This race represents a step down in class for the son of Mayson, having finished in the frame in a pair of Group 2s and a Group 1 in his last three starts. He arguably deserves to land a good prize of this nature, having not won since landing his novice at Nottingham four starts back. Aidan O'Brien’s Sergei Prokofiev represents Ballydoble under the in-form Donnacha O'Brien. He was in hot form earlier in the season, but has been hard to catch right of late, so proceed with caution. Well Done Fox, Heartwarming and Pocket Dynamo all have interesting profiles, in a very open looking heat to open the card.
At 2.25pm, the Oh So Sharp Stakes (Group 3) over 7f is another race showcasing some of the best up and coming juveniles, this time it’s the fillies strutting their stuff. Aidan O’Brien’s Frosty was a smooth winner of a 14-runner maiden on her Dundalk debut and she is around the 5/2 mark for favourite backers. She’s entered in the Irish 1000 Guineas next May and could develop into that sort of contender in 2019. The William Haggas trained Hidden Message is another with one win from one start and her stylish Yarmouth success is actually a little better on bare form ratings than Frosty, so she could be the value from near the head of the market. John Gosden’s Angel’s Hideaway brings quality and experience to the table, while Roger Varian’s Mot Juste is also a very interesting each way contender, with a progressive profile after a 7 length romp at Beverley last time out.
In the 3.00pm Godolphin Stud And Stable Staff Awards Challenge Stakes, Henry Candy’s Limato bids to make it a hat-trick of wins in this 7f group 2 event. After a period out in the wilderness form wise, this talented horse is back in form and a worthy favourite on the back of recent efforts. D'Bai is hard to catch right, but is second favourite after another sound effort when 2nd in the Group 2 Park Stakes at Doncaster, while the progressive Mankib has won 3 of his last 4 outings and remains on the up.
At around the 7/1 mark, you’d have to give Dancing Star a huge each way shout for the Andrew Balding stable, who’ve been in very good nick since the Spring. This former Stewards’ Cup winner has found her feet again in 2018 and comes into this race in winning form, after a decisive Group 3 success at Goodwood last month.
The feature race on Friday is the Group 1 Fillies’ Mile at 3.35pm, where Ralph Beckett’s unbeaten Antonia De Vega is favourite to continue her winning run after a late-Summer break following her Prestige Stakes win at Goodood in August. The step up to a mile will really suit this smooth moving filly and if she handles the drip on the Rowley track, she will take a bit of beating under Harry Bentley.
Hermosa and Zagitova represent Aidan O’Brien and both bring plenty of experience and solidity to the contest. Pretty Pollyanna was found wanting in the Cheveley Park Stakes last time out. She’s very talented, but this mile will stretch her stamina reserves to their limits.
At a huge price, Sir Michael Stoute’s Layaleena is worthy of note. She flopped at odds-on at Lingfield last time up, but displayed plenty of determination and promise in a big field Novice Stakes on the July course here last month. She may need more time to really compete at this level, but that is shown in her price of around 25/1 and regardless, she is worth keeping an eye on with a view to the future.
Check out our free tips every day for a selection in every race and if that’s not enough, our News + Tipping blogs will have plenty of tips and previews from our team of experts for all the major racing action at Newmarket and the UK & Ireland for the weekend ahead!