Sir Michael Stoute and John Gosden have had two winners apiece of this valuable (£28,000 to the winner) Listed race in the last ten runnings and both have runners this season. A mile and a quarter is a fair test at Newbury and at level weights there is plenty to be learned for future reference – read on for our detailed horse by horse race preview.
IN SUMMARY: It ought to be all over bar the shouting for Talaayeb but this is racing and at a silly price there may be better value to be found elsewhere. James Fanshawe is a master of improving them race on race and it could be worth taking a chance on FLEUR FORSYTE each-way who caught the eye when winning despite signs of inexperience last time and with more to come she is the value each-way call this afternoon in a race well worth watching.
1 EBBESBOURNE – Trained by Sir Michael Stoute in Newmarket and to be ridden by Ryan Moore, who has won this race four times in the last decade, the daughter of Teofilo has won two of her three starts to date with a three-quarter length handicap win at York last month the latest of them when staying on well over this trip plus. After her victory at Chelmsford last season jockey Ted Durcan said “Sir Michael Stoute has always liked Ebbesbourne …. I decided to take all the risks and drop in and she picked up well. She’ll make a nice filly next year over a mile and a quarter” which has already been proved correct, but she will need to step up in what she has shown so far to win in this particular field but could well hit the places.
2 ELAS RUBY – James Doyle rides for John Gosden in the absence of Frankie Dettori until Saturday at the earliest but will do well to get a win here out of the daughter of Raven’s Pass who the trainer knows so well. Her one win from seven starts was a Chelmsford maiden over a mile last November though she has run well in both races this season with a neck second at Salisbury and a two and a half-length fourth to Mori over this trip at Goodwood over this trip. She was running on well that day but this looks a tougher contest with a place perhaps the best connections can realistically hope for even with the yard in among the winners with six from their last thirty-four runners.
3 FLEUR FORSYTE – Despite arriving here with one of the lower official ratings James Fanshawe’s filly is an interesting contender who looks to be improving with racing. One run as a juvenile saw her finish tenth of fourteen at Kempton over a mile after which she was put away to mature and strengthen before reappearing at Salisbury over this trip in a maiden. She stayed on well to win by a neck that day but her trainer id a master at improving them slowly when that suits the horse and she is a bit of a dark horse here who could surprise with jockey Daniel Muscatt saying after her last win that “Fleur Forsyte can take a bit of switching off and I think she’ll be better in a better grade. With more of a gallop she’ll drop her head quicker….”, and although up in class considerably she may well put it up to them all with further improvement.
4 INDIAN BLESSING – Finished ahead of Elas Ruby at Goodwood last time out and meets that rival on the same terms here with no obvious reason that should be reversed, though it was only half a length. One win from four starts tells us very little (and was on the Newcastle polytrack), though the Ed Walker yard are ticking over nicely with four winners from just the twenty-two runners in the last two weeks for an 18% strike rate. She could improve again but on her form to date others do appeal more in this field and especially at these prices.
5 PATTIE – Still a maiden after six starts but yet to finish outside of the first four home for trainer Mick Channon. The daughter of Sixties Icon did place third in a Salisbury handicap but all her other races have been in maiden company with a head second to Near Kettering at Redcar last month and that form looks to leave her with at least a stone to find to compete with the better fillies here.
6 PLEASANT SURPRISE – Lightly raced so far for owners Gerry Mordaunt and Partners with a third to Amlad as a two-year-old, just a length off the winner and a six-length maiden win at Wolverhampton on her return to action on the third of May. She made all that day under Jimmy Fortune so it will be interesting to see if Jamie Spencer employs the same tactics here, but as she stays a mile and a half she won’t be stopping at the line and if they give her an easy lead, she will make this a stamina test and could take some catching.
7 SMART TOGETHER – John Gosden’s second runner here but not necessarily the second string with William Buick in the saddle. An obligatory solitary run as a juvenile saw her a well beaten ninth of fourteen at Newmarket, twenty lengths behind winner Talaayeb who seems sure to go off favourite here, but showed the benefit of that educational introduction with a head win over a mile at Haydock her only other run in late May. She ran on well to get up that day so ought to appreciate the added quarter mile today but has plenty to find on tat to get involved in the finish now.
8 TALAAYEB – A daughter of Dansili out of a Rahy mare and bred to be better suited by this trip than some. A maiden win at Newmarket was impressive when she quickened clear nicely after which her trainer (Owen Burrows) said “Talaayeb was very professional and although she was stuck in stall one, Paul managed to get her covered up and she will have learned plenty. She lost her back-end when she went into the dip as well. She is a neat size, but she will do well over the winter and she is exciting….”, and she lived up to those words with a super fourth to Winter in the 1000 Guineas in May when keeping on at one pace after meeting a spot of trouble in running. She perhaps wisely missed The Oaks at Epsom, and ought to find this a lot easier. If she repeats that form then she wins today.