A handicap for three-year-old fillies only run on Nottingham’s round course over the extended mile, this race features a number of potential improvers.
On a fairly standard day’s racing in Britain this £15,000 handicap stands out as a contest populated by a number of fillies who could well go on to bigger and better things later in the campaign.
The John Gosden-trained top weight Verandah, and Roger Varian’s handicap debutante Rasima at the other end of the scale are likely to be vying for favouritism
As is so often the case in decent handicaps there are plenty with chances apart from the favourites. The unbeaten Caiya, Fabulous Red, and bottom weight Arabian Jazz all respected
Former champion trainer John Gosden has a 20% winning strike rate at Nottingham. His VERANDAH holds and entry in the Group 1 Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot last month, and while that may be flying too high it indicates that connections believe this daughter of Medicean has plenty of ability.
Verandah was on her way to seemingly certain victory at Wolverhampton last time (she traded at 1.04 in running) when she suddenly swerved across the track a furlong out and ended being swamped, eventually finishing fifth. The first time tongue-tie is now applied as she can make amends despite having to give away weight all round.
Rasima was a beaten favourite when second at Wolverhampton last time and this extra furlong-and-a-half should help her cause on handicap debut. She looks attractively weighted and won’t be far away while Caiya, winner of her only start last season at Salisbury (7f), and of her only start so far this term at Windsor over a mile, is very much an unknown quantity and is also feared. Champion jockey Silvestre de Sousa, the subject of the race title is on board Eve Johnson-Houghton’s filly and there will be many hoping she will be an appropriate winner.
Ed Dunlop’s Fabulous Red probably found the 1m2f too far on her seasonal return in a fair handicap at Windsor and should be more at home over this trip, while Hayley Turner’s mount, Arabian Jazz, won well over the stiff seven furlongs at Beverley and is certainly not out of it off a 5lb higher mark. Daddies Girl and Line House both have some respectable form in the book and make up the seven-runner field.
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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.