Both divisions of the fillies’ maiden at Salisbury are likely to prove informative affairs given the winners of both races 12 months ago went on to run in this year’s 1000 Guineas (Robanne and Nathra). The second division (3.10) looks a tough heat to win given the presence of Fillies’ Mile entry Argenterie (general 6-5 chance), so it looks significant that there is strong support for newcomer Tazmania, who has been backed into 5-2 from 4-1. Clive Cox’s filly is well-related and the stable know the time of day with their two-year-olds.
Star Archer has hit the crossbar on both starts to date but punters are expecting no such mistakes at Haydock today (3.00). Hugo Palmer’s juveniles have been making hay this season and the Khalid Abdulla-owned colt is no bigger than 4-6 (11-10 in places this morning) to make it third time lucky. There are several well-bred newcomers in opposition but market indications are that not a great deal is expected from them today.
Ed Vaughan has hit some form of late, sending out two winners from his last three runners, and punters expect the Newmarket trainer to hit the board again, with Tonahutu at Chelmsford (5.40). The son of Sir Prancealot, who shaped with promise from a wide draw at Kempton last time, was as big as 7-2 in places this morning but has been backed into a general 7-4 to make it third time lucky.
Later on the card at the Essex venue, Royal Reserve (7.40) has been supported into a single figure price (best odds 8-1) having been a 20-1 chance with a couple of firms on first show. Willie Muir’s charge hasn’t shown much on turf recently but the return to an all-weather surface could be a shrewd move from connections given the 3yo’s best performance so far came on the Polytrack at Lingfield. There could be more to come from him after just eight starts and he’s completely unexposed under these conditions.