Race Time: 2.30pm Meeting: Newmarket Day: Friday 25th September Distance: 1m 4f
Full Race Name: Princess Royal EBF Nayef Stakes (formerly The Harvest Stakes) (Listed Race) (Fillies & Mares) Class One
A pretty similar scenario to the previous race to be honest, with the age old battle of form v potential, only this time we need to add stamina as well with the one and a half mile trip more than enough for some of these. The one and only course and distance winner in the field has no chance whatsoever at the weights according to the official handicappers but Headline News (20/1) deserves a mention for that very reason – at least we know she handles the track and has the required stamina. A daughter of French sire Peintre Celebre, trainer Rae Guest will be hoping she can up her game again this afternoon and repeat her October 2014 victory, though it needs to be added that this is a Listed race – and that was a Class Three handicap so she needs to improve at least another ten pounds or more to even think about getting involved in the finish today. Trainer John Gosden had the classy Martlet declared here, but has decided to rely on Journey (4/1) instead and she has every chance of carrying the prize money all the way down the road to the stables. She is certainly on an upward curve judged on her recent Listed class win at Salisbury which was pretty impressive despite her 33/1 starting price, though it needs to be noted that as a daughter of Dubawi a mile and a half could be pushing her stamina, specially with the going now good to soft which may well stretch her resources even further. Still using the ratings as our guide, our friend and ally Silvestre De Sousa has been booked for Melodious (9/2) by David Elsworth and the three-year-old filly has chances on her best form, we just wish she won a bit more often! After two wins in May over a mile plus and ten furlongs she looked as if she had gone off the boil a bit, but her last run was certainly a career best effort when stepped up in to Group Two class for the very first time over a mile and three quarters in the Park Hill Stakes at Doncaster, running on empty close home, so the drop back to a mile and a half today looks just about perfect. If we had a negative it would be that she was beaten by John Gosden’s Gretchen that day, so he should know what it takes to beat her here, but that is a minor quibble and we await her price with interest.
Looking for a couple of dark horses to round things off, how about Roger Charlton’s Allumage (22/1) for starters? Beaten close to eighteen lengths on her Salisbury debut, she certainly improved for that run with an easy maiden win over a mile and a quarter of the all-weather at Chelmsford next time out, seeing off the odds on Miss Giler by over two lengths after quickening clear when asked to go and win her race. A Chelmsford maiden to a Newmarket Listed race is some step up in class but her trainer rarely over faces his horses and if he thinks the daughter of Montjeu is good enough to try her luck at some black type, then who are we to disagree? Lastly, how about an each way bet on the overpriced Tea Blossom (25/1) to make our fortunes? One glance at her form figures will soon see most punters put off which can only increase her price, but she has had very little luck in running (hampered two out before a running on sixth at York last time out), or her ground (plenty of cut this afternoon should suit her down to the ground), while she has been taking on similar or better horses in recent races – a place is very much a possibility, and at these prices we just can’t resist a dabble!