A mile and three quarters is a rare distance for the fillies and mares these days and at Group Three level it is even rarer. Five year olds just about hold the edge over the last nineteen years but Ralph Beckett won it last season with a three-year-old in Simple Verse and bids to follow up in 2016 with a four-year-old with Pamona (11/4) who scored last time out at York when stepped up to this trip for the Listed Silver Cup Stakes earlier in the month. A daughter of Duke Of Marmalade she was a 25/1 shot that day but seemed to love the slower early pace before quickening up for an easy two length success from Barsanti with Quest For More back in third. That may well be her best ever effort and if she can repeat that or even improve on, that she will be a force to reckon with this afternoon.
She seems sure to go well but ought to struggle to cope with John Gosden’s California (8/1 Each Way) who showed quite clearly that stamina was going to be her forte when stepped up to a mile and a half at Ascot to win the John Travers Memorial Trophy. Admittedly that as only a handicap but she did it a shade cosily in the end, seeing off Peloponnese by a length and a quarter and running on all the way to the line – and past it. The further she goes the better she seems to get and if she improves again for the extra distance today as we expect then she ought to come home at the head of the pack.
Newmarket trainer Hugo Palmer is on fire with a current strike rate of 25% and he has Twitch (6/1) in here and she has a chance even though she is yet to win this season. Third to Carnachy here in a Listed race over a mile and a half on her return to action, she has followed that with two fourth places and a second in Listed and Group Three company, but did fail on her one attempt over this trip at York when fading late on and there is no real reason to believe she will suddenly stay if she didn’t before in lower class.
We all know how well Sir Michael Stoute does with his fillies and Yarrow (4/1) may not be the no hoper some are suggesting. A little slow to come to hand this season, she needed her return here back in April when something was clearly amiss, and we didn’t see her in anger again until mind June when she was runner up to the classy Loving Things in a Listed race at Pontefract. That isn’t really good enough form to win this but she seems sure to improve for the race, and with the extra distance possibly in her favour, she may finish nearer first than last at the line.
Last but not least and the Amanda Perrett yard are struggling for winners which negates the chances of Elysian Fields (18/1) today. She did win last time out at Kempton in controversial circumstances when the leader’s jockey eased off and got caught on the line, but her overall form says handicapper and she ought to struggle this afternoon.