This £50,000 Class 1 listed contest run over the testing mile-and-a-quarter at this Berkshire track is restricted to three-year-old fillies only.
This race often attracts quality, progressive performers and is usually won by a filly representing one of the more powerful yards. In 2012, John Gosden’s Great Heavens won this race before going to land both the Group 2 Lancashire Oaks and the Group 1 Irish Oaks soon after.
Favourite Sea Of Class
This William Haggas-trained daughter of the great Sea The Stars is from a fine family of Italian classic winners on the dam’s side and she looked good when scoring in listed company over course and distance last month.
Irish challenger Princess Yaiza sets a decent standard among those taking on the favourite, while there could be better to come from the likes of last time out winners Mrs Sippy, Dramatic Queen, and Rasima, as well as Shailene, trained by Andrew Balding.
(Published 17.30, June 13) – Sea Of Class sets a very good standard and William Haggas’ still unexposed filly could well prove hard to beat despite having to give away 3lb all round. She had been under serious consideration to run in the Group 1 Investec Oaks at Epsom earlier this month before connections decided to pass having built on the promise of a narrow defeat in a Newmarket maiden on her debut in April, by landing a stylish two-length success over Aidan O’Brien’s Athena in the listed Haras De Bouquetot Fillies’ Trial Stakes over this course and distance last month. She holds an entry in the Group 1 Irish Oaks at the Curragh next month and a win here could book her ticket.
Wow! A classy performance from Sea Of Class who bolts up in the Haras De Bouquetot Fillies' Trial Stakes and gets off the mark at the second time of asking. pic.twitter.com/xHbFwWWfq8
— Newbury Racecourse (@NewburyRacing) May 19, 2018
Gavin Cromwell’s Princess Yaiza brings the best form to the race among the other seven contenders having been placed at listed level on each of her last two starts. She was third in the Salsabil Stakes at Naas in April, then ran third again in the listed Cheshire Oaks at Chester won by Magic Wand. In doing so she was just half a length behind the runner-up Together Forever, who subsequently went on to an easy win in the Group 1 Investec Oaks at Epsom earlier this month. If the favourite has any flaws, the Irish filly may well be the one to take full advantage.
Dramatic Queen, like her stable companion Sea Of Class, holds an entry in the Group 1 Irish Oaks and is also entered in the Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot next week. She won on her second and final start as a juvenile, taking a Yarmouth novice stakes in good style but will need to step up to challenge for honours here. David Simcock’s Mrs Sippy has a similar profile having won a Doncaster mile maiden on her second start as a juvenile. She could develop into a decent performer but this is tough for her return.
Rasima’s defeat of Daddies Girl in a handicap Nottingham handicap doesn’t look good enough for either filly, while both Herecomesthesun and Shailene, a very respectable fourth in the Cheshire Oaks last time, will probably need to improve by 7-10lb if they are to spring a surprise.
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.