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Park Hill Fillies’ Stakes – Runner-By-Runner Guide + Big-Race Verdict

The St Leger Festival kicks off on Thursday with a couple of Group 2 races the pick of the racing on the opening card. The second of those is the Park Hill Fillies’ Stakes at 3.35pm, a race that has been won by some classy fillies in the past, including Simple Verse (2016), Enbihaar (2019) and Free Wind (2021).

The Gosden yard have a superb recent record in the race, winning four of the last eight renewals, including the most recent two runnings. Last year saw team Gosden won with Mimikyu, under a typically impressive Frankie Dettori ride.

GG editor Dan Corbally previews this years race, identifying the key trends for the race, before running through the runners and giving his expert verdict on who he expects to win.

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Last year’s renewal went the way of John & Thady Gosden for the second successive year, as MIMIKYU ran out an impressive winner under another superb Frankie Dettori ride:

  • 12/12 winners have been aged 3/4, with three-year-olds taking the last 3
  • 6/12 winners had previously run at Doncaster
  • 10/12 winners had run at least 3 times that season
  • 9/12 winners were in the top three of the betting at the off
  • 7/12 winners had at least one run at 1m6f+

Runner-By-Runner Guide


(David Simcock/Jim Crowley)

Put her best foot forward last time out to record a career best behind Arrest, chasing that rival hard to the line having been held up early on in the race. That was her first attempt at this kind of trip and although she couldn’t reel that rival in she retains significant promise both for the future over staying trips and in the context of today’s race. She seems versatile in terms of ground and her dam was a Group 1 winning filly on Heavy ground.


(Roger Varian/Ben Curtis)

Proven at this distance and has gone close at pattern class already this season, narrowly denied by a head in the Stanerra Stakes at Leopardstown three starts back and followed that up with another good effort in the Chester Stakes, filling the same position behind all-the-way-winner Shanroe. Concerning that wedged between those performances was a down-the-field effort, hinting that she needs Good in the description to show her best form. Indeed the only two occasions she’s been out of the first three was on Soft & Heavy ground, but she has been placed in Soft conditions.


(William Haggas/Tom Marquand)

Interesting profile, tackling this trip for the first time, but she’s half-sister to a through stayer who has won over this distance and ran well over further. Stayed on well to take fourth in a Group 2 last time out where tapped for toe, suggesting again that this new trip could unlock some more improvement. Another that seems versatile in terms of ground, having won on Good & Heavy going descriptions previously. Far from ruled out.


(Andrew Balding/Oisin Murphy)

Makes her stable-debut for Andrew Balding after a very fruitful summer for Michael O’Callaghan, landing three handicaps on the flat along with a hurdle race to kick off the sequence. Clearly thriving and has forced her way into this company, showing a determined attitude once headed last time, could yet be more to come on that evidence. Question mark would linger if conditions came up soft, having missed an engagement on soft ground when first trained in the UK.


(John & Thady Gosden/William Buick)

One of the lower rated runners in this field but takes the eye never the less as she looks to have more to offer than what we’ve seen on the track. She’s had only six starts to date, taking runner-up honours on her last two starts, failing by a head on her latest start when hitting the line well and had a bad start on her penultimate run. She looks well up to taking a tow into this race and landing a first Group race to repay connections’ faith to keep her racing, soft conditions would pose a new question but she’s by Galileo, out of a Pivotal mare, giving her every chance of handling softer ground.


(Paul & Oliver Cole/Rossa Ryan)

Arrives with a high-level of form to her name, finding a stone in improvement to streak away in the Lillie Langtry Stakes in desperately testing conditions at a not so Glorious Goodwood, for which she carries a penalty. On that evidence it looks like the more rain the better as she fairly motored through the ground. She needs to prove that wasn’t a flash in the pan at 25/1 but seems to be no coincidence the best two runs of her career have come with plenty of give. Rossa Ryan takes over from Tom Marquand today and may not get an easy time on the front if choosing to adopt similar tactics to that of her emphatic success.


(Aidan O’Brien/Ryan Moore)

Out of an Irish Oaks winner, Seventh Heaven, so no surprise on one hand to see her stepping up to this trip. By Dubawi so not a guaranteed stayer on paper and on what we’ve seen to date. Bitterly disappointing on her latest start at Cork, dropping out quickly under pressure, on her second attempt at 1m4f. Hard to know where she is in terms of her career and percentage call is to oppose at the moment, though Aidan O’Brien has proven just how well he can prepare them after a tame effort.


(William Haggas/Cieren Fallon)

Another for the Haggas team to have done her best running in France, taking a Listed race before place efforts at Group 2 & 3 level, though is deserted by Tom Marquand. Like many in this field she gets her first crack at this trip and it could well suit, getting done for toe on her recent starts but still plugging on with credit. She could go forward as she has done previously, which could suit at this trip and allow her to stretch gradually rather than sprint.


(John & Thady Gosden/Kieran Shoemark)

Has been kept busy since her debut in April, aimed quite highly, running in four Listed races & a Group 2 alongside her Maiden and Novice. Has something to find with her stablemate on their latest meeting and has shown a tendency to run quite keenly, which doesn’t bode well for the prospects of her staying this trip well.


(Joseph O’Brien/Sean Levey)

Justify filly landed her maiden at Dundalk and was clearly well-regarded at home before that, having raced twice at Listed level previously. Seemed to have some limitations exposed at Group 3 level in France last time, connections may have felt she has something in reserve as they reach for the cheekpieces and step up in trip. Another who has proved hard to weigh-up but Joseph O’Brien does seem to have a way with fillies and bringing out gradual improvement, this one could be no different.

Big-Race Verdict

The Gosdens have really cracked this race in recent years, landing three of the last four renewals and ONE EVENING shades favour in an open contest. She’s been brought on slowly and could be ready to put it all together here. Improving filly Night Sparkle is respected and should give a good account for new connections, while Sumo Sam is feared if she gets into a good rhythm on the lead with conditions to suit.


*odds correct at time of posting – 5.10pm Tuesday 12th September*

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