Our racing tipster has 'found one' for the Listed St Hugh's Stakes at Newbury.
Some speedy fillies have won Newbury’s St Hugh’s Stakes and this year’s renewal (due off 3.55pm) looks well up to scratch.
The 11 runners are headed by Jonathan Portman’s Mrs Danvers who is the only unbeaten filly in the line up and was taking her record to 3-3 when beating 22 rivals when landing the Super Sprint over course and distance last time. A cheap buy at the sales, she is one of this season’s real success stories and thoroughly deserves a crack at Listed level.
However, she seemed to relish soft ground on her first two starts and, while she handled a faster surface last time, there’s no guarantee she will let herself down on it again. Connections seem genuinely concerned about that and I suspect they are only running in this as it’s an opportunity to earn some black type (by getting placed) and boost her paddock value as a result. It’s also no given that she will confirm form with the Super Sprint runner-up Stormy Clouds, who is now 4lb better off for a length and a bit beating.
So, she’s not for me at the current 3/1 and I’m inclined to give the next horse in the betting, the Richard Hannon-trained Rajar, a swerve too. She’s a grand sort who has won her last three races, all over 6f, including a hot Newmarket nursery last time, but I’m not sure the drop back to the minimum trip is what she needs. That’s not to rule her out entirely, but she will need a strong pace to be just as effective over it.
Paul Cole’s DAINTY DANDY is another coming back in trip having done all her running over at least 6f – she won over 61/2f on his Doncaster debut and bettered that when third behind Frankel’s daughter, Fair Eva, over the straight 6f at Ascot last time. That is arguably the best form on offer and the handicapper thinks so too as she is the top-rated filly in the field (98) and by some way.
It’s just whether she can reproduce it back over 5f and I think she can. She showed blistering speed when making all on her debut and was travelling as well as anything at the two furlong pole in Royal Ascot’s Albany Stakes on her next start, before fading into seventh. Last time out when returned to Ascot, she was right up there from the start and led after 2f to just over 1f out. Her trainer hinted after that run that he was keen to try her over a furlong less given her natural speed and also said that she was a big filly who was getting stronger all the time.
Her sire Dandy Man was an out and out sprinter who won five times over 5f, including at this level before running well in Group 1 company, and I reckon she can emulate him and provide us with a nice 6/1 payout – Paddy Power are standout at that price, but be quick as the likes of bet365 are going a more realistic 3/1.
Of the rest, Clive Cox’s Barroche is respected most as she is all about speed as she showed by winning twice over 5f at Bath, with a Queen Mary sixth sandwiched in between. She only narrowly landed the odds in a novice event on her latest start, though, and more is needed here.
Newbury 3.55, Dainty Dandy @ 6/1 Paddy Power