Race Time: 2.55pm Meeting: Doncaster Day: Saturday 7th November
Distance: 1m 2f 60yds Full Race Name: Betfred TV EBF Stallions Breeding Winners Gillies Fillies’ Stakes (Listed Race) Class One
Perhaps not the highest quality Listed race of all time (that’s called being polite), with just the one filly rated 100 or above, so we ought to start with her in what looks like a competitive if lower quality renewal. Trainer Luca Cumani has decided to reply on the four-year-old Blue Waltz (6/1), a daughter of legendary sire Pivotal, and who has at least won a race this season, all be it a Class Two handicap at Doncaster, though she did find this sort of class beyond her on two previous attempts when she has finished well beaten at Newmarket. In all honesty, she is unlikely to ever find a weaker Listed race and this could yet be her day given the obligatory luck in running with Adam Kirby in the saddle to do the steering.
Marco Botti hasn’t had the best of weeks with his gelding v colt issues but has a live contender here with Brandybend (7/1) and has booked the talented Oisin Murphy to ride this afternoon. The three year old daughter of Galileo has only had the five career starts, all this season, and has won at Sandown over this trip back in April, though future efforts possibly peaked with her last time out third to Chain Of Daisies in first time headgear at Newmarket in a slightly better looking Listed race. She has the hood back on again today and is as good a horse as any in the race, though whether that will be good enough with the stable possibly a bit out of form is another question entirely.
William Haggas invariably has a winner on the big Saturday cards in recent months and will be hoping to provide Hayley Turner with another winner courtesy of Bella Nouf (14/1) who has it all to do on the book, but looks as though she is still improving race by race. Last time out she absolutely hacked up by close to four lengths in a Class Four handicap at Newbury in first time cheek pieces, and if they have the same affect a second time who is to say she cannot go on from there? The going looks likely to be similar over the weekend, and the trip is the same so no concerns on either score there, and with racing making a habit of fairy tale endings, who is to say Hayley won’t be going out with a bang on the last day of the flat season.
The more we follow the Michael Appleby yard the more winners he seems to have, and in Lahayeb (11/2) he has a consistent daughter of High Chaparral who has finished in the first three home in her last six races since being stepped up in trip, five of them at Nottingham. Whether she can repeat any of that form at a different track is something we will soon find out, but she did win a Class Three handicap last time out by three lengths with any amount in hand, and a repeat of that run may well see her in to a place at the very least this afternoon.
Lastly, we give you Pandora (10/1) who has to be of some interest in a first time hood. Trained by Charlie Hills, she is very lightly raced with just the four career starts, beginning with a win over course and distance, though life has not been so easy since with a third the best she can offer, though that was in the Group Three Musidora Stakes at York and this no shame. Stepped up in trip since in her other two races, she has weakened close home on both occasions so should be better suited dropping back to the mile and a quarter, though it may be all about the headgear and whether or not it brings the necessary improvement