Our racing expert is eyeing up a trio of fillies running at Nottingham as potential bets.
ISLAND OF LIFE looks by far the most likely winner of the 6f fillies’ handicap. Having shown definite promise in two starts for Saeed bin Suroor last year, the daughter of Dubawi could prove to be a bargain at 25,000gns for her new connections, and now in the care of William Haggas, she’s certainly in the right hands to win races this term. The Newmarket trainer would have been pleased with her fourth-placed effort on her stable debut at Lingfield earlier this month, when she probably did a little too much up front early before paying for those exertions late on, and much better can be expected now she goes handicapping off what looks a very workable mark of 72. With James Doyle booked, I fancy she can give weight and a beating to her eight rivals, the majority of whom are more exposed.
FILLE DE REVE looks the one to be on in the fillies’ handicap over an extended mile having found the opposition in the Group 3 Fred Darling Stakes too hot to handle on her seasonal reappearance. That she was even tried at that level is a measure of the regard she is held in at home and while her two best runs to date have come on the all-weather, including when winning A Kempton novice last October, she was a fair third in a useful Salisbury maiden in between. Her opening handicap mark of 80 doesn’t look beyond her either when you consider that Verandah, whom she chased home on her debut, is now rated 90 and holds a Group 1 entry, while the third has won a couple of races since and is up to 85. That she holds a fitness edge over several of today’s returning rivals clinches the bet. UPDATE – the selection is a non-runner.
The 1m2f handicap has drawn the biggest field on the card with 15 set to go to post, but most are out of form and it looks a good opportunity for ICONIC BELLE to get back to winning ways. Mick Channon’s filly has been in fine form this month and since being partnered with promising 5lb claimer Nicola Currie, who couldn’t have won any easier on her over a similar trip to today’s at Yarmouth 14 days ago. She couldn’t follow under a penalty at Chepstow just six days later, having to settle for second, but Currie’s decision not to take the lead probably cost her on that occasion as she struggled to quicken off what had been a steady pace. Off the same mark here and under what will hopefully be a more more positive ride from a nice low draw in stall two, she won’t be easily passed.
All odds were correct at time of posting.