Despite strong line ups we have only seen two winning favourites in the last ten years, though we do note that Irish raiders have been particularly successful with both Aidan O’Brien (Kitty Matcham in 2007 and Wading in 2011) and Jim Bolger (Finsceal Beo in 2006 and Lucida in 2014) doubling up in the last ten years, with Mick Channon the only English trainer to have two winners in the same period. None of them have an entry here now (Aidan did but he has diverted his fillies elsewhere), but one quick glance at the early betting suggests us punters are a pretty forgiving lot with Fair Eva (8/13) a pretty short price considering she was beaten a length and a half in to third by Queen Kindly and Roly Poly in the Lowther Stakes at York. A daughter of the legendary Frankel, we didn’t really manage to come up with any excuses for her that day, but this may well be a weaker race and if that is correct she will get back to winning ways for Roger Charlton and jockey Pat Smullen this Friday afternoon. Prior to that reverse she had won two out of two at Haydock and Ascot, by four lengths both times (the latter in the Group Three Princess Margaret Stakes), and today is the day we get to find out just how good she really is.
With William Haggas continuing to fire in the winners it would be remiss of us not to at least mention Glitter Girl (14/1) who is stepping up in class but has won her last three races at Thirsk, Catterick, and most recently Doncaster. From maiden to Class Five to a Class Two nursery has seen only gradual improvement and this is a much bigger ask, but the yard are on fire and the horse is in form and you never know how good they are unless you try them at the highest level.
Sir Michael Stoute should have a pretty good idea where he stands with regards to the chances of Exmouth (6/1) who has had the one run so far when scoring at Yarmouth by a neck from stable companion Textured. The runner up has been well beaten since so the form looks pretty weak but she is a shoe in to improve dramatically for the run as do the majority of the stable’s newcomers though she will certainly need to in this line up.
We can’t say we know a lot about French raider Spain Burg (16/1) but we do know she has won three of her four races at Bordeaux Le Bouscat, Toulouse, and La Teste De Buche in a Listed race, but with no comparable form it is hard to judge what exactly that is worth. She clearly has ability and it seems fair to assume they aren’t coming over for a day out, and we will be watching her with interest even if she does look to have ii all to do to even get in to the places.
To end with Marcus Tregoning has been having a pretty lean time of things with regard to top class performers in recent years but has a lively one on his hands now with Argenterie (11/1) who ran a race full of promise when third at 66/1 on her debut and followed that with a very easy maiden win at Salisbury when seeing off Interweave by an easy three and a quarter lengths and if there is a surprise this afternoon at a decent price the daughter of Archipenko could be the one to provide it.