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bet365 Fillies' Mile (Group 1)
A Group 1 dominated in recent years by Ballydoyle, notching up three wins in a row, while John Gosden has trained the winner four times in the last seventeen renewals. There have been six winning favourites in the last decade – three of them odds on – the only shock coming when Charlie Hills took the race in 2013 with Chriselliam at 28/1. Our expert preview for the 2017 renewal of the Fillies Mile is below.
There has been little to separate the Ballydoyle pair of Happily and Magical the last twice, splitting the decisions. The former got the verdict most recently in the Moyglare but the latter had earlier won more convincingly in the Debutante. Magical has had plenty of use made of her in those runs with Happily looking the more likely to relish the step up to this mile trip. Both have no problem with the ground if it were to come up deep at Newmarket but Happily holds the better form so far if it were to come up quicker so she looks marginally the stronger of the pair.
Favourite for the Moyglare before she was withdrawn on the very soft ground was Clemmie. She was an impressive winner on the July Course when winning the Duchess Of Cambridge Stakes. That was only over six furlongs but this full sister to Churchill promises to be suited by the step up in trip. Judging on her withdrawal in Ireland last time, she would only be considered for this contest if the ground were on the quick side which has to be a slight doubt given the time of year, but she would be a big player if she represents the Ballydoyle battalions.
Soft ground would be no issue to Soustraction who reversed her debut form with Efaadah by four lengths when claiming a Group 3 at Chantilly last time out. The latter had beaten her three lengths when they had met on their respective debuts on good ground but she failed to pick up as well when ridden with a lot of restraint the second time. That isn’t to say that Efaadah isn’t capable of getting her head back in front again if she is ridden a little closer to the pace, but the ground may well determine which French raider is likely to head to Newmarket in a bid to claim this prestigious Group 1.
The English challenge is a little thin on the ground in terms of quality but Richard Hannon has a smart filly on his hands in the shape of Tajaanus. She is already the winner of a Listed and a Group 3, progressing well with her racing. All four of her runs have come on good to soft ground so she should have no problems with the usual autumn conditions. She was described after her last win as “a lovely tough filly with a great attitude” by Hannon, with this contest mentioned as a future target. She was possibly flattered a little by racing up the ‘golden highway’ on the stands rail on that occasion but the attitude she showed and the stamina on display suggest that the step up to a mile should see her improve once more.
Quivery didn’t look at home on the tricky track at Goodwood when she failed to keep her unbeaten record in tact. She was a long way back in the field as the pace quickened which was also compromising to her chance, but the way she plugged on despite the track indicated that she will enjoy the step up to this mile trip. She won on the July Course the time before so she should have no issues with the Rowley Mile. An entry in the Moyglare at the time marked her down as a filly well regarded by connections but perhaps she would be only seen here if the ground is on the quick side.
Seen just the once in competitive action is the Godolphin owned Arabian Gift. She was sent off favourite in a Doncaster maiden won by the aforementioned Quivery so given where that filly has progressed to, it would be folly not to mention Charlie Appleby’s charge as well. She arguably lost that contest through greenness, hanging her chance away in the final furlong under pressure before being beaten just three-quarters of a length. This would be no easy task to try and win a contest of this magnitude on just her second ever start, but the fact that she still holds an entry in this is intriguing.