Fleeting Princess has a claim to the throne
13:50 Fleeting Princess
There is clearly plenty of depth and any number of unexposed youngsters in this race, but my filly was very professional when winning at Yarmouth on her debut and that will stand her in good stead here in this bigger and more competitive field. Who knows what she is up against, but she probably has as good a claim as most.
Clerisy can improve
There is no stand-out coming into this race – maybe Twist ‘N’ Shake is the one to beat – so it’s open to a filly to step forward and claim it. Clerisy has solid enough credentials on that score, though she clearly has to improve.
She is a filly we have always liked, if a little green and inexperienced, and I would expect her to progress as the season develops, having found plenty for me over 7f at Newmarket last time. I liked her there and the extra furlong is probably a plus. I think she is a fair prospect, with a very good pedigree and proven on the ground, but this is a fair step up for her after her maiden win.
Possible chance but there’s two to beat
15:00 Southern France
Stradivarius, even with his penalty, and the Dubai Gold Cup runner-up Ispolini are clearly the two to beat in here. But Southern France shaped pretty well, I thought, in the Vintage Crop on his return and we know that quick ground serves him well.
He will be a fitter horse here too, obviously, but he needs to step up 7lb or so to be winning this if the form horses are at their peak. It’s possible, though.
Each-way for Abe
15:35 Abe Lincoln
He has been running okay in defeat on the all-weather, including for me in the face of a tough task at Lingfield last time out back in February. This is his first run of turf for a while, but he has finished second in a Hunt Cup in the past and he stays this trip well enough. He has an each-way chance, I suppose, and the re-fitting of blinkers may help him as well, but he wouldn’t have obvious claims.
Accommodating in an open handicap
She did it well at Chelmsford back in October, and she has had her wind done since then. She is related to a couple of decent horses, her work has been fine, and a mark of 83 looks fair enough, if not overly-generous on her bare form. She has chances in a very open handicap.
Can see him running well
He looked a fair-enough 2yo when with Joseph last season and he has run two solid races for his new trainer here. It looks like conditions will suit, so you can see him running well. But, again, it’s a tight race and he could run okay and finish fifth or sixth, as is the case with all of these sprint handicaps. Hopefully, his draw in one is the place to be.
Can Laafy take the extra distance
17:05 – Laafy
I rode him when he finished second at Leicester last season and he looked to appreciate the step up to 1m2f on quicker ground when winning at that track on his comeback run. The extra distance here is an unknown but he is related to a good horse in the States who won on Dubai World Cup night in March and is a horse who you’d expect to progress with experience.
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