Our horse racing expert Andy Holding has two tips for today's meetings.
Santa Barbara has dominated the ante-post exchanges to virtually the exclusion of everything else, but despite all the hype surrounding her preparation, she does look a pretty skinny price based on the form of her maiden win at the Curragh so, for that reason, she is passed over in favour of FEV ROVER (best price 14-1) and VADREAM (best price 20-1).
The former proved herself to be a very smart juvenile right from the start and her victory in a listed contest at Sandown was a culmination of the knowledge she’d gained on debut and in the Group 2 Duchess Of Cambridge Stakes on the July Course previously. The way she finished off her race at the Esher track suggested she required a decent test at seven-furlongs and that theory was vindicated when she needed every yard in testing ground over the same trip to get the job done at Group 2 level next at Deauville. Sent to the Group 1 Prix Marcel Boussac for her final start of the campaign, she ran well considering the traffic problems she met during the run, but at least that performance strongly intimated she belonged at the very top table. Said to have done well over the winter, her recent during a couple of ‘away days’ has also given her connections cause for optimism and with today’s stiff mile likely to play into her strengths (may even require further as the season progresses), Richard Fahey’s filly can give her supporters a sporting shout.
The latter lacks the experience at the top level than most, but her performance in the Fred Darling at Newbury on her seasonal bow very much hinted it won’t be too long before she’s a regular in these kind of events. Held up towards the rear at the Berkshire venue, Charlie Fellows’ filly finished off her race in eye-catching fashion to claim third at the line and considering she raced away from where the main action took place, her effort deserved extra merit. Whether she’s quite ready for today’s examination is a moot point, but she looks to have a decent amount of class and given the way she was ridden 14 days ago, it’s not too difficult to envisage her picking off some notable scalps in the latter stages.