The trials at Lingfield don’t really appear to offer any opportunities for sound financial gain but, hopefully, we may have unearthed a potential gem at that venue in the shape of Ashadihan in the Group 3 Betfred "Be Part Of The Action" Chartwell Fillies Stakes (2.50pm).
The daughter of Kyllachy had clearly been showing plenty of potential prior to her debut over six furlongs at Haydock last May as she was sent off a 5-2 shot for that maiden contest, and she picked up readily in the closing stages to score by three lengths from Martini Time.
That success booked the Kevin Ryan-trained filly in the line-up for the Group 3 Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot the following month and she covered herself in glory for one so inexperienced when runner-up, beaten only a length-and-a-half, to Illuminate, with last weekend’s 1000 Guineas fourth Fireglow just over three-and-a-quarter lengths adrift of her in fourth place.
Next stop for Ashadihan was a Group 2 assignment in the Lowther Stakes at York but she never went a yard on the soft ground and trailed in last of the nine runners to Besharah after being eased in the closing stages and that put off connections running her on soft ground later in the season.
Kevin Ryan resisted running Ashadihan in the Nell Gwyn for the same reason and she is expected to handle this AW surface with few problems. She comes here facing a tough sort in Volunteer Point but that filly is starting to give the impression that she could do with a break after a highly successful AW campaign and the fact that Jamie Spencer has to get down to 8st 6lb for this afternoon’s encounter speaks volumes about her chance. She is drawn in stall 3 which gives her jockey plenty of options, the seven-furlong trip can prove ideal and Ashadihan looks worth a 2pt investment.
Spencer goes to Lingfield for a more prestigious contest but if he could have split himself in two may well have gone to Ascot to ride Sign Of A Victory in the Leo Bancroft Signature Haircare Handicap at 2.30pm.
Nicky Henderson engaged Spencer to desired effect on No Heretic in Wednesday’s Chester Cup and in Sign of Victory he could well have another horse who is well handicapped on the turf.
The Kayf Tara gelding is better known for his exploits over hurdles and made his belated debut on the level over a mile and a half at Wolverhampton in December under Spencer where he scored convincingly by three-and-a-quarter lengths from US Navy Seal and Rivers Run, who both scored in maiden company afterwards.
Sign Of A Victory was at his most potent over hurdles when beating Dawalan half a length in the Listed William Hill Handicap Hurdle in November 2014 off a mark of 139 and he looks most attractively handicapped on a mark of 88 on the Flat. The decent ground is just what he wants and, although he may not have cut much ice behind Annie Power in the Champion Hurdle, this looks much more his cup of tea and he looks worth a 1pt win.