Betting Tip: @ 10/1 with bet365
The Ribblesdale Stakes is a Group 2 contest for three-year-old fillies and is run over a trip of 1m4f, with Irish-trained fillies winning four of the last five runnings.
Oaks runners in the Ribblesdale have become a rare species and for a reason – there simply isn’t a big enough gap between Epsom and Ascot with trainers preferring to give their horses longer to recover. Indeed, only one horse in the last ten seasons has won this after running in the fillies’ Classic. That doesn’t bode well for Hugo Palmer’s Architecture, who ran a huge race to chase home Minding just 13 days ago, although Palmer has said she has come out of that race well. She’s the clear form horse but, with a big question mark over whether she can reproduce it here, is an uneasy 11/4 favourite.
Who else is fancied?
Aidan O’Brien, who sent out Bracelet to score in 2014, has whittled his team down to just one, Even Song. She was on the minds of plenty as the only serious danger to Minding for the Oaks until connections decided to let their superstar filly do it on her own, and she arrives here a fresh horse as a result. A half-sister to last season’s St Leger winner Simple Verse, she looked in need of the run when a well beaten third in the Pretty Polly Stakes at Newmarket on her reappearance and, having got going all too late in that 1m2f race, she ought to relish today’s extra two furlongs.
John Gosden’s Sovereign Parade is third in the betting and is the least experience runner in the field, having won a Salisbury maiden on her sole start. A 480,000gns yearling and a daughter of Galileo, she’s clearly held in high regard now being pitched straight into Group 2 company and she also holds an entry in the Group 1 Irish Oaks. Even so, this is a huge step up in class.
Any decent outsiders?
Ribblesdale winners can emerge from all quarters in terms of experience, form and race distance, so those with less obvious claims need closely looking at. Of these, Sir Michael Stoute’s Queen’s Trust has potential at this distance given how she kept on for fourth over 1m2f at Newbury in May, while Ralph Beckett’s Chicadoro is another with potential and could well have bumped into a top-class filly in Swiss Range when runner-up in the aforementioned Pretty Polly, with Even Song nearly three lengths behind in third. Her Haydock maiden win came on soft ground.
John Gosden and Hugo Palmer have solid second strings in The Black Princess and We Are Ninety, who would be a highly appropriate winner in this week of all weeks. Although beaten in a Chelmsford handicap on her penultimate start, she showed that form all wrong when winning a well-contested Listed race at Newbury last time and could outrun her 14/1 price tag.
Who’s going to win?
It could pay to give Architecture a swerve for the reason given and the obvious alternative is Even Song at a best-priced 9/2 with Paddy Power, which is very tempting given their offer. But at bigger odds I’m going to take a chance on CHICADORO as she promises to come into her own over this trip and her trainer excels with improving fillies.
Chicadoro 1pt each-way @ 12/1 Paddy Power
Betting Tip: @ 10/1 with bet365