The Shadwell Fillies mile is the highlight of Fridays card at Newmarket at 3.15 tomorrow, and I preview and provide my tips for the race. While we have the winner of the Moyglare set to line up, it doesn’t look a great Group 1 race by any means, but there is still a winner to be found. The going is currently good, good to firm in places, and with a largely dry forecast, it will likely be on the fast side tomorrow.
Rizeena is the obvious place to start, this will be her 8th start tomorrow, the last 5 have been in listed class or above, and she has proved very consistent. At Ascot she won the 5 furlong Queen Mary by 2l, and took the step up to 6 furlongs in her stride, running well at Newmarket and then at Deauville against the colts. The step up to 7 furlongs would have been a slight worry in Ireland last time, although she had looked like she would get it based on her staying on finish in France. That was indeed the case as under a good ride she was produced with a sustained challenge inside the final furlong to win by 3/4l.
That form is good, and it looked a much better race than tomorrow’s, but the step up to a mile is a concern. She’s not really bred to want a mile at 2, and winning over 5 furlongs at Ascot wouldn’t convince either. I also thought that while she swooped past them at the Curragh, she wasn’t going any further clear in the last few strides. She may have idled slightly, but equally she may have been going as far as she wants for the moment. She does have easily the best form though, and if she stays, she will take a good bit of beating. I made her a 7/4 shot, so I don’t see any value in the top price quotes of 6/4.
Ihtimal is next in the betting, and she has been steadily progressive so far, following a 3rd at Ascot in the Chesham, with a win in a group 3 at Newmarket. Last time she won a group 2 at Doncaster over a mile quite cosily by 2l. The horses she beat though wouldn’t be in the same class as the ones Rizeena beat up the Curragh and while the fact she has proven her ability to stay 8 furlongs is a plus, and she should run well, I don’t think she should be anywhere near as short as 5/2 to win this. I made her a 9/2 shot, and given she almost certainly needs to improve on anything she’s done, that seems more accurate to me than the 5/2 top price she is.
Sound Reflection is owned, like Ihtimal by Godolphin, but unlike that one who is trained by Saeed Bin Suroor, this one is in the care of Charlie Appleby. Sound Reflection made her debut in a decent Newmarket maiden, and she created quite an impression, travelling much the best through the race, and quickening clear when asked, for a 3 1/2l victory. Next time she turned up in a 4 runner conditions race at Kempton, which looked a match between her and another unbeaten filly. The pace was steady and while not as impressive this time, Sound Reflection won handy by just under 2l, which is probably all you could expect in a sprint finish, against a decent enough type. To win this tomorrow Sound Reflection will need to improve quite a bit on her bare form, but she clearly has the potential to do so. I priced her up at 11/2, so if you fancied her, I wouldn’t put you off the 13/2 with William Hill.
Wonderfully won a group 3 at Leopardstown on her 3rd start, with another of tomorrow’s rivals, Avenue Gabriel 1 1/2l behind her in 3rd. Next time Wonderfully ran in the Moyglare and after sitting 2nd till inside the 2 pole, she was just about to pass the leader when she herself got passed by the closers from behind. At that stage she got badly hampered and her chance was gone, she wouldn’t have been in the first 3 in any case, but she would have been closer than the near 7l she got beat. You could probably make a case for saying she had gone a little too fast, and she could still do better. I thought 9 or 10/1 was about right for her tomorrow, so I pretty much agree with the top market price of 9/1.
Avenue Gabriel was 1 1/2l behind Wonderfully at Leopardstown on her 2nd start, she followed that by again coming 3rd, this time to the Moyglare 2nd Tapestry, at the Curragh, before winning an 8 furlong listed event, again at the Curragh, beating tomorrow’s rival, Ballbacka Queen by a neck. The winner looked value for extra though, the 2nd had a clear run throughout the last few furlongs, where as Avenue Gabriel was constantly looking for a gap, and when she got one well inside the final furlong she did very well to nip up the inside and get up. It looked an improved effort and while the bare form won’t be good enough to win this, the fact she stays and is probably progressive is a plus. I though she looked about a 9/1 shot, so while it’s no great bargain the 12/1 available makes some appeal.
Ballybacka Queen was only a neck behind Avenue Gabriel in the aforementioned race, but she didn’t shape any better than the result, and a repeat would likely see her out of the places here. Her price of 20/1 looks about right based on that, although if she went any bigger a place only bet on