A Maiden Fillies Stakes over 5f 6y on Standard going. Ten three-year-olds take part, eight with race experience.
Unless there is something of a surprise, five horses figure prominently in the betting.
David Elsworth's Mitigate ran well on debut when priced 16-1. This daughter of Lawman looked ring rusty but showed promise.
She stepped up to 7f for her second start when finishing third. The form took a knock when Ettu disappointed next start although that may have been a below par effort. Not sure what to think of this drop down to the minimum trip. Trainer's usually know best. Although, this may come a rude awakening.
Bellevarde looked a winner in waiting after her debut at Kempton. However, five runs later this daughter of Kodiac hasn't achieved a win. Racing in the familiar silks of Mrs A M Swinburn, I backed this filly second start, where she ran a cracker. This 125,000G yearling must have disappointed at Windsor. That was a disappointing effort and the last two starts have seen her compete in nurseries. Bellevarde is another horse to drop to the minimum trip. A wide draw isn't ideal on these turning courses and an official rating of 69 suggests all hasn't gone to plan. I would have thought off that mark she would have gone for a handicap.
This will be Bithynia's tenth race. She was originally trained by Hugo Palmer and interestingly purchased by John Egan [jockey] now in training with David Evans. She is owned by Stewart Brown. At least this bay filly has run over the minimum trip on a number of occasions This daughter of Kodiac is a consistent type: placed many times. In truth, she looks a touch limited and may be susceptible to a fair horse. An official rating of 68 details at this grade, Bithynia is more likely to be placed than win.
Hathfa has a very similar profile. This grey daughter of Dark Angel cost 260,000E when purchased at the yearling sales and remains in the ownership of Al Shaqab Racing Ltd. I would imagine they are keeping hold of her hoping that she will win sooner or later and be part of their breeding operation and broodmare. Not sure if this five-furlong trip is ideal and another horse who started full of promise but disappointed connection many times. On recent form, she is closely matched with Bithynia.
Interesting to see Sir Mark Prescott has a debutante in the shape of Scala Regia. This bay filly is a daughter of Kyllachy out of a debut-winning mare who won twice and competed up to Listed class. She is owned and bred by Cyril Humphris a loyal patron of the stable with class horses such as Grazia who won the Redcar Two-year-old Trophy (1997) and competed at Group 1. Prescott is something of an enigma. However, he can win with his debutantes. They can win with ease or be slow as a snail. The betting is key. If priced 13/2 & less SP I would expect a bold show. If weak in the betting, I would definitely take a watching brief.
Note: Money for Cherry Leyf. Definite each-way claims if priced 13/2 & less SP. [Time11:54am]
Conclusion: A tricky race. Many trainers will come here fancying they can gain that elusive first win. For the most part, this field has disappointed. A number were clearly held in some regard but reality has proven a bitter pill. Bellevarde, Hathfa & Bithynia have been given plenty of chances. They have accrued 21 defeats between them and poor official ratings. They look very similar, frustrating, horses. Mitigate isn't a career criminal, just yet. She has a profile of a filly who can win. I'm not sure this drop down from seven furlongs to five will suit. Although I think Elsworth had another horse do the same and that ran very well. I would give the trainer the benefit of the doubt. She looks to have the best chance but at relatively short odds I wouldn't be betting. If Scala Regia is strongly fancied in the betting, I would have more confidence. However, you are taking a gamble on debutantes over sprint distances. A slow start would make this a stiff task unless a talent.