The Channel 4 Racing presenter picks out his best bets from HQ on Friday afternoon.
I don’t think the standard is particularly high for a Listed race (1.55) and I want to give another chance to WILAMINA who looked quite smart when breaking her maiden, and possibly even more so when second at Sandown in July. I think there were mitigating circumstances for her Haydock defeat and although she wouldn’t want the ground to be too firm this afternoon, there is lovely covering of grass on the Rowley Mile course and she wouldn’t have to improve much on the best of her form to play a big part in this. Her stable had a winner yesterday, ratings give her an each-way squeak and she’s open to more improvement than many of her rivals.
BEAUTIFUL MORNING is the pick in the 12f Listed contest at 2.30. She’s been off since finishing a pretty good second at this level in May but she returns with her yard in better form than at any time this season and she posted a very respectable effort when fifth in the Fillies’ Mile at this track last autumn. She is bred to improve with age and appreciate the step up to this sort of trip should bring about further improvement. For all that she has plenty to find on the figures, she gets a lot of weight from her two main rivals, Journey and Beautiful Romance.
Clearly Fair Eva remains the one to beat in the Rockfel Stakes (3.05), notwithstanding her defeat in the Lowther, but I am not as convinced as others that 7f is naturally going to suit her better than 6f, and although her class might carry her through, it might be worth taking a chance on the French filly SPAIN BURG. Her form in the provinces is hard to weigh up but she could hardly have been more impressive in a Listed contest last time and is bred to improve for a strongly-run 7f. She looks a fun each-way play against Fair Eva, particularly as her trainer, who knows what it takes to win these races having won a Group One before, has been aiming her at this contest for some time.
I’m going to give one last chance to AMAZING MARIA in the Shadwell Joel Stakes at 3.40. She’s let me down a couple of times this season but there have been glimpses that she retains plenty of her old ability and I’m hoping a break has freshened her up.