Seven runners have been declared for the valuable 1m4f fillies’ handicap on Thursday’s Salisbury card. Read our horse-by-horse race preview to get the lowdown on our betting tips.
IN SUMMARY: Dubka, the only 3yo in the line-up, is sure to be popular as she bids to complete a hat-trick but she was given a canny tactical ride when winning a small-field contest last month and is 8lb higher in a more competitive race here. Preference is for VIVE MA FILLE, who seemed suited by a change of tactics and travelled with menace for a long way when third over 1m6f at Musselburgh recently. Today’s drop back in trip could be a move that unlocks some improvement. Eager Beaver has won her last two starts but, on today’s much faster ground, Graceland may be able to reverse the form of their meeting over C&D nine days ago. Bess Of Hardwick was disappointing on her seasonal/handicap debut but remains unexposed and it would be reckless to write her off at this stage.
1 Vive Ma Fille – Campaigned exclusively over staying trips since last summer but, ridden much more patiently than usual, the way in which she travelled strongly for a long way before finishing third at Musselburgh (1m6f, good) recently suggests today’s drop back in distance could be a good move.
2 Elysian Fields – Posted new career-best performance when narrow-margin winner at Kempton (1m4f, AW) in June; will be fine back on fast turf and ran about as well as could have been expected when tackling a 1m6f Group 3 contest last time but current mark demands even more.
3 Bess Of Hardwick – Half-sister to dual Group 1 winner Ask and delivered on debut promise when easy winner of Wolverhampton maiden (1m4f, AW) in October; disappointing when down the field at Ascot on seasonal/handicap debut last month but still has low mileage and remains of interest.
4 Perestroika – Won twice over middle-distance trips last season and has run respectably on all three outings this year; today’s conditions looks suitable but she probably needs further help from the handicapper before she can get her head in front again.
5 Eager Beaver – Bids to complete a hat-trick after small-field wins at Leicester (1m4f, good to soft) last month and over C&D (soft) nine days ago; evidently at the top of her game but 6lb penalty might makes things tough for her in what looks a much more competitive race today.
6 Graceland – Readily held by Eager Beaver when second of four over C&D (soft) nine days ago; has a pull in the weights with that rival today and will probably be better suited by the faster ground but holds no secrets from the handicapper and may again have to settle for a minor role.
7 Dubka – Well-bred 3yo who won her maiden at Chepstow (1m4f, good to firm) in June and followed-up on handicap debut at Doncaster (1m4f, soft) last month; 8lb higher in a stronger race this time but has obvious potential to make further progress; respected.
myracing Forecast Prices: 13/8 Dubka, 4/1 Bess Of Hardwick, 6/1 Vive Me Fille, 7/1 Eager Beaver, Graceland, 8/1 Perestroika, 10/1 Elysian Fields