Our racing expert gives his verdict on the four ITV4-televised races, including the feature Park Hill Stakes.
1:50 6½f (6f111y) EBF British Stallion Studs “Carrie Red” Fillies’ Nursery Handicap (Class 2) (2yo)
Likely favourite The Mums is making her nursery debut after winning a fair Newbury novice in August and on soft ground like today’s. However, she’s not obviously well treated on a mark of 85 and she might struggle to give weight and a beating to SHE’S DIFFERENT, who is in receipt of 17lb. Nigel Tinkler’s filly also showed she can handle soft conditions when getting off the mark in a Hamilton nursery last time. She was strong at the finish of that 6f race and today’s extra half furlong should be right up her street. Connections resisted the urge to run her under a penalty and while she’s now 5lb higher, she’s surely improving enough to cope. Take bet365’s 6/1.
2:25 1m (Str) William Hill May Hill Stakes (Group 2) (Fillies) (Class 1) (2yo)
There’s plenty of good recent form to go on and five of the eight runners win last time out, with one of the exceptions being the forecast favourite Nyaleti. She owes her position at the head of the market to an impressive victory in an Ascot Group 3 (6f, good to soft) two starts back, before running creditably in a French Group 1 last time. However, while she stays 7f she’s not certain to get a mile at this stage of her career and that makes her opposable at the odds.
Besides we’re not short of decent alternatives and of these Simon Crisford’s DARK ROSE ANGEL rates the best value at the 11/1 on offer at Coral. It was only a maiden she won over course and distance last time, but she could not have been more impressive in winning by five lengths and the form was given a boost when the third, Amazing Michele, won comfortably at Haydock on her next outing. Clearly this is a big step up in class for the selection but her shrewd connections wouldn’t be pitching her in at this level if they didn’t think she was capable of at least holding her own.
3:00 1m6½f (1m6f115y) DFS Park Hill Stakes (Group 2) (Fillies & Mares) (Class 1) (3yo+)
A case can be made for several but they’ve all got Ralph Beckett’s MELODIC MOTION to beat and she’s quite rightly challenging for favouritism. A half-sister to the Sussex Stakes winner Here Comes When, she won her first three starts this season, all in handicaps between 1m2f-1m4f, and improved again when stepping up to today’s trip in the Group 3 Lilly Langtry Stakes at Goodwood last time. Whilst beaten into third, she was only two necks behind the winner Endless Time and her attitude after being slightly hampered when the re-opposing runner-up Dubka pulled out was impressive. On that evidence she is a Group-race winner in waiting and as she showed on the Sussex Downs she handles soft ground without fuss. Her trainer, who is the subject of a Stable Tour this week, reports her to be working well at home and is hopeful of a big show.
3:35 6½f (6f111y) Weatherbys Racing Bank £300,000 2-Y-O Stakes (Class 2) (2yo)
A couple of these stand out in the ratings, namely Tangled and GREAT PROSPECTOR (6/1 bet365), who finished first and second respectively in a similar race at the York Ebor meeting. The runner-up and selection was coming back to the winner at the line, going down by just a neck, and today’s slightly longer trip (111 yards to be exact) gives him every chance of turning the tables on the winner. The conditions should suit him better too as while Tangled got away with it York, that horse has missed a couple of engagements due to soft ground this year.