A Class 3 fillies’ conditions stakes run over seven furlongs, worth a total of £15,000 in prize money.
This race is for fillies aged three-year-olds and upwards many of whom have shown decent form at a higher level but have been struggling to make an impression of late. The market could prove highly informative and there are still one or two with Royal Ascot pretentions.
Favourite Sheikha Reika
Roger Varian’s Sheikha Reika is very unexposed despite winning on her handicap debut at Newmarket in April. She holds an entry in the Group 1 Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot.
The Hugo Palmer-trained Unforgettable Filly is by some way the pick on official figures at these weights, while such as Hells Babe, Di Fede, Natural and She Believes are others who will have their supporters.
Unforgettable Filly, winner of a listed race at Musselburgh last June and the prestigious Group 2 German 1000 Guineas at Dusseldorf a few weeks later, would be a near certainty if still able to reproduce that form. But after a break following her German triumph she ran too dreadful races, finishing last in a Group 3 at Doncaster before finding it all too much for her in a US Grade 1 at Keeneland last October.
If we were sure she still retained most of her ability Unforgettable Filly would be the choice, but because of this doubt the progressive and unexposed SHEIKHA REIKA is the call. This daughter of Shamardal needs to win here to justify her entry in the Group 1 Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot in a few weeks’ time so there is plenty riding on this race for her connections. Although she has about a stone to find on official figures with Unforgettable Filly, she could well be much better than we saw when winning at Newmarket in April and is taken to score under Andrea Atzeni.
She Believes rattled off a hattrick last term before running with plenty of credit in hot company, including when beaten just five lengths in a Group 2 by subsequent Group 1 winner Laurens. She is respected and may improve again this term. Ralph Beckett’s Di Fede was another to improve in handicap company last season and she ran well when a very close third at Ascot on her return in a £50,000 handicap. Like Sheikha Reika, she could have plenty more to give.
Natural appears to be going the wrong way having shown bags of promise when runner-up in listed company at Newbury last season. She hasn’t gone on from that, while Hells Babe is a decent handicapper who has scored previously over course and distance but looks to have her work cut out on these terms.
Betting.net Sheikha Reika
18+, T&Cs apply, Gamble Responsibly, begambleaware.org
Betting.net Di Fede
New online customers only, min £/€10 stake, win only, min odds 1/2, free bets paid as 3 x £/€10, 30 day expiry, free bet/payment method/player/country restrictions apply. See full T&C.
Written by Paul Alster
Paul Alster has been part of the British and international racing media for more than three decades working as a race commentator, TV/radio presenter, journalist, betting correspondent, SP returner, and form analyst. He’s always sought out overpriced runners in handicap races, a quest that excites him as much now as it did at the start of his career.