Some excellent midweek action and we start at Goodwood for their first day of their three-day May meeting the feature of which is the listed Height Of Fashion Stakes for 3-y-old fillies’ over 10 furlongs. The race was won by Snow Fairy before she went on to Oaks glory back in 2010 for Ed Dunlop but it would be a surprise if we saw another classic winner in today’s field.
The vote in a competitive renewal goes to Jordan Princess (4.25) who can pay her Newmarket conqueror and Oaks favourite Taghrooda a complement representing Luca Cumani and Andrea Atzeni. The filly has only had three starts winning a Newcastle maiden back in October on soft ground before finishing runner up, albeit at 6 lengths, to John Gosden’s unbeaten filly in the Pretty Polly at the beginning of the month. The selection still holds an entry in the Oaks and may have most to fear from Psychometry who shaped like a non-stayer over 12f when returning in the Cheshire Oaks over slightly further earlier in the month.
I think there is a big race in Russian Realm this season but I’m not convinced the drop back in trip from a mile will suit and he is reluctantly overlooked in favour of So Beloved (3.50) who scored on polytrack last time from a 3lb lower mark. That was over a mile but he might be able to get a soft lead from his excellent draw in stall two and gets the nod in a fascinating 7f handicap.
Story Writer (3.15) has never won on turf and has only got his head in front once in thirteen starts but he ran well over 1m 6f here earlier in the month from a 3lb lower mark and he is still attractively weighted on the best of his all-weather form.
Perfect Muse (5.35) has finished runner up in four of her five career starts including when second at Bath on her reappearance when very well backed from a 3lb lower mark. That was over the minimum trip and the additional furlong ought to suit a filly who is entitled to come on for her effort at Bath on ground which was probably softer than ideal.
It was hard not to be impressed by the visually stunning debut of Provenance (7.00 Sandown) at Kempton and the handicapper has given her an opening mark of 84 after a display that had clock-watchers drooling over her hand-timed last three furlong split. She may well be a Group horse in a handicap but she won’t have it all her own way as Cape Icon has a similar profile having won well on turf on his sole start at Nottingham last month for Clive Cox.
Warrior Of Light (7.35) makes his turf debut having run well on Kempton’s polytrack surface on all three starts including when runner up from today’s mark last time. The colt cost 320,000 Guineas as a yearling and is taken to get the better of likely market leader Elite Army who was backed in a hot handicap over C&D on soft ground last month.
Rain is forecast at Wetherby (so why are they watering?) and I think Princess Caetani (2.00) will appreciate the drop back in trip having been campaigned over further of late. Richard Johnson again takes the ride, any significant rain would suit and she must go close.