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Ribblesdale Stakes (Group 2)
- Royal Ascot
A Group 2 contest contested over the 1m 4f trip, this race for three year old fillies has thrown up some useful sorts in the past and is a race that no trainer has been able to gain a stranglehold over. With the last back to back winning trainer being Saeed bin Suroor back in 2010, this race is wide open and our Ribblesdale Stakes tips and betting preview is available below.
IN SUMMARY: Alluringly ran respectably in the Oaks last time out and sets the standard on that form, but she can be overtaken by Sir Michael Stoute’s MORI, who has an impeccable pedigree and can show it today. She won her second straight race on her latest start when taking the Listed Height Of Fashion Stakes at Goodwood in May, keeping on strongly and winning readily in the end. That run showed she would benefit from a further step up in trip and she remains with huge amount of potential for in form connections. Pat Smullen takes the ride and she should prove far to good today.
1 ALLURINGLY – Finished second in the Cheshire Oaks behind Enable on her penultimate start and she was behind that rival again when third in the Epsom Oaks earlier this month, finishing clear in that position. That form sets the standard by some way and she is officially the highest rated filly for Aidan O’Brien. Ryan Moore takes the ride and with conditions to suit, she has to be considered a main contender and is obviously respected.
2 APPHIA – Second on her debut at Sandown in April and she deadheated on her latest start at Goodwood in a maiden, keeping on strongly in a sustained battle. Clearly has the right attitude but that bare form gives her a huge amount to find for Hugo Palmer, rated 24lbs inferior to Alluringly, so she’s best left alone in this.
3 ASTRONOMY’S CHOICE – Has run exclusively at Newmarket thus far in her twice raced career, winning on debut before a third in the Pretty Polly Stakes at over the 1m 2f distance. That form gives her something to find with Alluringly based on the Epsom Oaks running on collateral form but there is clearly more to come and she should improve for the step up in trip. William Buick takes the ride and she is a likely each way contender for John Gosden with conditions to suit.
4 COCONUT CREME – Produced a fine effort on her third start when a front running second behind Mori at Goodwood in the Listed Height of Fashion Stakes when last seen, but that form is unlikely to be reversed. She kept on stoutly when headed but it was obvious that Mori had much more in hand and could have gone further clear if asked for full effort. As a possible pace angle it is not inconceivable that she could snatch a place under Pat Cosgrave, but she looks vulnerable for win purposes.
5 CORONET – A winner of her first two starts including the Listed Zetland Stakes at Newmarket when beating Cunco, she returned this season in France for the Group 1 Prix Saint-Alary. Waited with in rear, she made headway around the outside to chase the eventual winner Sobetsu, staying on strongly but never able to challenge after a poor passage. She should be happier back on British soil and a further step up in trip looks likely to suit hugely based upon that run, with the better ground another plus for her. She remains completely unexposed this season and could be a dark horse to the contest.
6 GRACIOUS DIANA – Unlikely type on ratings with 17lbs to find with Alluringly, with her best effort coming on her second start when winning a maiden at Newbury, ahead of Mori that day but clearly that filly has improved hugely since. Soft ground was against her on her latest start at Newbury so she will appreciate the ground here, but she looks booked for a struggle unless she has improved massively for the 33 day break. Not high on our list.
7 HERTFORD DANCER – Showed a progressive side on her latest side when improving markedly to easily win the Oaks Trial at Lingfield in May, going away towards the finish and eased. That effort makes her interesting in this but more is required against some tougher opposition, though the John Gosden yard remain in great form and Jim Crowley is a very positive jockey booking. Likely to run her race and has frame possibilities with conditions to suit.
8 MORI – Sir Michael Stoute trained daughter of Frankel who has been steadily improving and surely is worth her place at this level. Showing promise on debut at Newbury in April, she stepped up on that performance to win a race at Ascot in gritty style, getting on top in a drawn out battle over the 1m 2f trip to move clear towards the finish. Upped to Listed Class on her latest start, she travelled sweetly throughout the contest at Goodwood before being shaken up to lead in the straight, readily coming clear under hands and heels from Ryan Moore. The extra furlong in distance should help no end for this daughter of Frankel and with how beautiful her pedigree is, she could well be a smart filly in the making. She’s the one to be on for powerful connections.
9 NAUGHTY OR NICE – Unbeaten in two starts for John Oxx over in Ireland, winning her debut in good style with that form working out very well, she backed up the performance with a game effort to win a Listed race at Navan in May. That confirmed her stamina and she clearly appreciated the good to firm ground, so she is open to any amount of progress now under jockey Declan McDonogh. Likely to be a main player with further improvement forthcoming and has to be respected.
10 RICH LEGACY – Won the May Hill Stakes at Doncaster in September as a two year old for Ralph Beckett but she has not gone on from that brilliant effort, well beaten on both her runs this season for Qatar Racing. She can be forgiven her penultimate run in the Criterium de Saint-Cloud but her run in the Cheshire Oaks was poor and leaves her with too much to find with Alluringly. Would be a surprise winner.
11 SERENADA – Roger Varian’s filly was all out to fend off Apphia at Sandown in a maiden on her second start, leaving that form well behind on her latest start when third in the Musidora at York in May. That was a fine effort but more is needed against some classy types, with it hard to see that she’ll be able to cope with a few of these. Andrea Atzeni takes the ride and with good to firm ground a question mark, she is likely only to be fighting for minor honours.
12 THE SKY IS BLAZING – Won well on her debut at Newcastle when storming clear for William Haggas but she has been a beaten favourite on both her subsequent runs, behind Hertford Dancer in the Oaks Trial at Lingfield on her second start. She didn’t improve much when only fourth at York on her handicap debut and her limitations have seemingly been exposed. Very unlikely winner.