Aidan O’Brien’s Venus De Milo (2.40) has been a runner-up three times at the top level and she drops down in class heading a field of fourteen for Thursday’s G2 Park Hill Stakes.
The 4-y-o was soundly beaten on her only start at the trip when beaten eight lengths in the Saval Beg Stakes at Leopardstown however that was her first start of the season, and on soft ground, when looking desperately in need of the run.
All her best form has come on a quicker surface, second to Chiquita and The Fugue in The Irish Oaks and The Yorkshire Oaks respectively last season before finishing second to Roger Charlton’s Thistle Bird at the Curragh. With the ground drying out at Doncaster it should tilt the axis in her favour and she can get the better of James Fanshawe’s Seal of Approval, who fell in last year’s renewal when travelling well before making amends on Champions Day at Ascot the following month.
With a 12lb allowance, 3-y-o’s have an excellent record in the race winning 28 of the 38 renewals since the race’s inception in 1975 and if there is a youngster to upstage her elders it will be William
Haggas’s Arabian Comet. She was unlucky not to get up in the shadow of the post last month at York and she looks the most likely of her generation to be successful, stepping up past a mile and a half
for the first time.
James Doyle opts to ride Bragging over Joyeuse (2.10) in the G3 Sceptre Stakes over seven furlongs however Ryan Moore is far from a negative and he can return Lady Cecil’s filly back to winning ways on Town Moor. She is, perhaps, more famous for being a half-sister to the mighty Frankel but notwithstanding that she is a very classy filly in her own right.
The selection opened her season with an excellent third behind J Wonder in the Fred Darling before taking her chance in the 1000 Guineas and evidently not seeing out the mile trip. She has been tried over six furlongs thereafter, winning a listed race at Haydock and most recently floundering on bottomless ground last month the G1 Prix Maurice De Gheest at Deauville. The return to better ground, combined with the step up to seven furlongs, can see her return to winning ways with everything seemingly in her favour.
The 2-y-o Stakes is the most financially lucrative race on the card with the £274,621 to the winner and Valley of Fire (3.15) one of two for trainer William Haggas, a man with an excellent record in such races. The selection finished third last month at York behind stable-mate Mubtaghaa when still showing signs of greenness, staying on in the closing stages. The Firebreak colt should improve for the experience and look to have the potential to improve further and holds significant entries in Redcar’s 2-y-o Trophy and the G1 Middle Park Stakes next month at Newmarket.
The Karl Burke yard went close in the opening nursery last year with Ticking Katie a narrow second to Clive Brittain’s Aqlaam Vision and just like last year, Joey Haynes rides a promising filly for the Ontawinner syndicate and Little Lady Katie (1.40) fancied to run a big race. The filly won a good maiden at Ripon from Roger Varian’s Stocking, who re-opposes once more, and held that form well when finishing fifth in a warm nursery last month at Newmarket. She’s been raised a pound by the handicapper but with both wins working out well, she appears well treated to run a big race.
For all the latest odds and more head to BetVictor.com. Be Lucky.