Our horse racing expert Andy Holding has three tips for today's meetings.
The fillies’ maiden won by Noon Star at Wetherby recently was noted for its strong overall time figure and having run well enough for a horse making her debut, FRANKLET (best price 10-3) is expected to take a big step forward following that initial experience.
Second string of the two Gosden-trained horses in that race at the Yorkshire venue, the daughter of Frankel ultimately didn’t have the basic speed to go with the main two in the market, but she did keep on well enough to hold down a podium finish and based on the numbers of that strong contest of its kind 10 days ago, she performed to a pretty high standard. The way she galloped on at the one pace without showing any particular gear charge strongly suggested today’s slow, all-weather surface will suit her round action, as also will the step up to 1m4f.
18:00 Gowran Park
Jim Bolger enjoyed another big-race success with Poetic Flare landing the 2000 Guineas on Saturday and FRENCH FUSION (best price 5-2) looks to have bright prospects of providing the Coolcullen handler with more cheer in this listed fillies contest.
Off the mark at the third time of asking at Galway last season, the daughter of Harzand showed relished the soft underfoot conditions and stiff nature of the course that day and on the evidence of that performance alone, it strongly suggested she would make into a nice middle distance filly during her three-year-old campaign. Having her first run for 181 days in the listed Salsabil Stakes at Navan recently, she came out of the race with great credit by being the only one to offer any sort of resistance to the all-the-way winner, Rocky Sky, and with the time figure of the race indicating it was a contest of some note, her performance deserves the utmost merit. Now proven that she stays the 1m2f trip well and back on her favoured soft ground, French Fusion is strongly fancied to take advantage of the weight for age scale tipped heavily in her favour.
18:30 Gowran Park
SANTA FLORENTINA (best price 12-1) ran a good deal better than her final finishing position suggested on her debut at Leopardstown 21 days ago and with just normal improvement, Joseph O’Brien’s filly should be capable of easily outrunning her odds.
Sent off a 20-1 for her opening bow at the Dublin venue, she never really looked likely to cause a shock in what appeared a well-contested fillies’ maiden, but her work in the last half a mile or so certainly suggested there’s a decent amount of ability under the bonnet. Coming home with affair degree of purpose inside the final two furlongs without being subject to a hard ride, the daughter of Oasis Dream will have learnt sufficiently enough to be a more potent force this time around and providing she can handle today’s softer underfoot conditions, it would come as no surprise if she were to bustle up some of the better fancied fillies.