The main feature of this race is the fact that this year they will be running over the shortest trip ever for the division and that should suit America’s Sweetheart.
The locals will be looking forward to getting another chance to enjoy watching their favourite female LADY ELI (9). Having taken the Juvenile Fillies in 2015, she was hit by a serious ailment the following year which looked like it could claim her life, never mind her racing career. Her recovery amazed those closest to her and she came back in such good form that she was made favourite for this race last year, and very nearly got the job done. She made her move for the line at the top of the stretch but was unable to get away from Queen’s Trust (10) and Frankie Dettori got a late surge out of his mount to claim the victory by a nose. Her form has been just as strong this year and she could easily get the job done this time around.
On the face of it Queen’s Trust has struggled over here this summer but it is interesting to note for her run in the Yorkshire Oaks she recorded an identical Timeform figure as the one she got last year in the same race. In 2016 that was her best mark but she bettered it in this year’s The Group 1 Prince of Wales’s Stakes. She will need a decent pace to run at, particularly given the shorter trip this year and that may not be guaranteed but she is a definite contender to repeat.
Avenge (12) drove the engine last year and only got run down in the last furlong and will appreciate the shorter trip. Her outside post could be an issue but looking through the card there aren’t many obvious candidates for the front other than possibly Zippessa (4) who would only have a spoiler role if challenging for the lead.
If they do go a decent clip, habitual closer Dacita (7) could outrun her price. She won The Grade 1 Beverley D at Arlington in August with under a long drive, having been eighth of ten as they turned in.
The rest of the European challenge is spearheaded by Rhododendron (14), whose recent victory in The Group 1 Prix De l’Opera was franked when the filly she beat, Hydrangea, took the Fillies and Mares on Champions Day at Ascot. She reportedly bled behind Senga (2) in The Group 1 Diane in June and lasix will be administered before the race. Nezwaah (11) was disappointing in The Grade 1 EP Taylor but a repeat of her run in The Group 1 Pretty Polly at the Curragh in July would put her in the mix. Wuheida (5) rounds out the challenge from this side of the ocean and trainer Charlie Appleby has been bullish this week but she needs to improve to compete.
Selection: LADY ELI (9)
Exotic Play: Reversed Exacta (2 Bets) RHODODENDRON (14) and LADY ELI (9)