An EBF Maiden Fillies' Stakes (Plus 10) over 6f on standard going. A large field of two-year-olds all raced bar a debutante.
Moondust makes some appeal. This bay filly is a daughter of Exceed And Excell and expensive yearling purchase at 180,000G. Racing in the familiar silks of Lordship Stud & Lord Lloyd Webber, this April foal has been short odds on both starts to date. She had no luck in running on debut when hampered and subsequently eased. John Gosden stepped her up in distance next start when racing over 7f at Leicester. There was good money for this youngster that day and she traveled well but tired in the closing stages and looked to need this lesser trip. Connections will be feeling they have a big shot here and if available at each-way prices would be high on the shortlist.
Sir Michael Stoute is a law unto himself with his two-year-olds. The classic good, bad but never ugly (such is the cost of these well-bred specimens). Panova is owned and bred by Cheveley Park Stud. This daughter of Invincible Spirit started her career at Chelmsford over 6f. This bay filly was slow away and inexperienced on this turning course and done well in the closing stages but could not reach the leaders. Backers fancied their chances next start at Kempton knowing there would be a marked improvement. She ran on well but couldn't catch Dubai One who is held in high regard by Godolphin. Panova is a progressive filly who is likely to benefit from the straight course and will be primed. If she can stick with the lead, she will most definitely run to the line.
Dandy Bird and Ocean Princess are closely matched on their latest performance over course and distance. It is questionable whether that was a very strong race. The former trained by James Givens improved for the step up in distance and showed good pace belying her 40/1 odds. Dandy Bird is likely to set a brisk pace, while Ocean Princess may need a fast run race and try to pick up the pieces in the final furlong. I would favour the favourites.
The only debutante hails from Roger Varian's stable who is firing in a few winners after a dismal early season. The Dealer's Choice is an American-bred daughter of Exchange Rate who cost just 33,000G when purchased at the yearling sales by Hetland Hill Farm. Now owned by J. Shack, this grey will need to be pretty smart to deny the leading contenders. Kremlin House Stables can ready a newcomer and if priced 13/2 & less SP deserves respect.
Bearag is the only other horse to figure in the market. She was behind Dandy Bird & Ocean Princess when finishing fourth and couple of lengths away.
The betting suggests the rest have little chance.
Conclusion: Not much to choose between Dandy Bird, Ocean Princess, and Bearag. I don't think the form of that race is anything special and, hence, this should revolve between the two major hopes and debutante. Panova is progressive and will go well. I just wonder at the short odds if there is a may be more value elsewhere. Moondust will appreciate this trip after struggling to get home last time at Leicester. I can imagine connection fancied their chances that day, as I did, and they will be looking for a win. She traveled very well before petering out in the closing stages. This drop in trip will take away some of her pace but if available at each-way odds must hit the frame. I often split my stake rather than go for an each-way bet. I would have a point win on both Panova and Moondust and hope Gosden's charge hits the line first. The Dealer's Choice could be a danger, especially so if strong in the market, but, on balance, I would take her on.