Race Time: 5.05pm Meeting: Naas Day: Sunday 18th October
Distance: 1m 4f Full Race Name: Es Que Love European Breeders Fund Bluebell Stakes (Listed Race) (Fillies & Mares)
An equally interesting race as the 4.35pm, this Listed event seems likely to be raced on Good going which makes life interesting, and sees Toe The Line (6/1) as the probable early favourite. Trained by John Kiely she has the best form in the book if only just, with her fourth in the Group Two Park Hill Stakes at Doncaster the stand out that we can see. Held up out the back and then running on when the race was over, she certainly has sufficient stamina for this mile and a half, but we are aware that her best form is over a mile and three quarters or further, and on good ground, we wonder if they may have a touch too much speed for her this afternoon?
Trying to second-guess Aiden O’Brien is becoming part of the job, and he has decided to run Facade (16/1) here as opposed to elsewhere today. A beautifully bred daughter of Galileo out of a Danehill Dancer mare, we have always been convinced she is better than her bare form suggests and we may be proved correct as they send her here instead of a run of the mill easier to win maiden. Two fourth places last year told us nothing other than her immaturity but with the excellent Seamie Heffernan riding a big run is expected for the yard this afternoon.
John Oxx trains Avenante (14/1) who won last time out at Cork on her first attempt at this trip – and by a silly eight lengths as well. She makes this race all the more interesting in our view, and could well improve again for that run now they know she stays the trip, though the runner up has been beaten since as has the third fourth seventh eighth and tenth, with the others yet to run again, so let’s not treat the form too highly just yet!
Charlie Appleby has declared the Godolphin owned Endless Time (9/2) here, and if she makes the journey over from her Newmarket base then that could be a big clue in itself. Four wins form six races is a good strike rate by anybody’s standards, though all her wins have been in handicap company, and she would need a career best effort to win this afternoon regardless of her impressive looking form figures.
Next and last on our little short list we come to the Dermot Weld trained Almela (11/4), a winner of a Galway maiden by a silly nineteen lengths first time out, and then narrowly beaten by the more experienced Zhukova at the same track at the beginning of September. She looks a pretty promising sort and likely to go on to be a fair bit better than her current rating of 99, and as things stand she sits very near the top of our list for the probable winner while we all await the final declarations.