AIDAN O’BRIEN is back for more Group 1 glory in Friday’s Fillies’ Mile.
He sends over Zagitova and Hermosa with Pretty Pollyanna and Antonia De Vega leading the home charge.
1. Antonia De Vega – Ralph Beckett/Harry Bentley (7-2)
Unbeaten in two starts, including a Group 3, but that win has been knocked by a couple of those further down the field.
Trainer likes her though and she’ll have no issues with the extra furlong here.
Goodwood run is encouraging as she demonstrated the ability to handle a testing track. The same can’t be said for a few of her rivals.
Ralph Beckett on Antonia De Vega
“She’s in good form and we’re looking forward to running her.
“She’s had no problems since Goodwood. It was always the plan to bring her straight for this race. That’s what we set out to do and I’m pleased we’re getting there.
“I think the mile will suit her.”
2. Beyond Reason – Charlie Appleby/William Buick (10-1)
Been on the go since May during a busy season. Has picked up a a Group 2 and 3 in that time.
Group 2 in France has taken some knocks though and this by far her toughest test.
Fell well short when upped into Group 1 company in the Molyglare and beaten comfortably by a couple that run again here.
Charlie Appleby on Beyond Reason
“Beyond Reason will be back on a sound surface in the Fillies’ Mile and I think the step up to a mile will suit her.
“As a proven Group 2 winner she was a little disappointing in Ireland last time, but William (Buick) said the ground was riding dead and felt she wasn’t very comfortable on it.
“She has freshened up well since then and we are hopeful she will be very competitive on Friday.”
3. Hermosa – Aidan O’Brien/Donnacha O’Brien (7-2)
Looks the O’Brien number one on paper and solid chance on her first crack at a mile.
Cruised home in a Group 3 last time out when well fancied and the form of her Group 1 third before that is up there with the strongest in the race.
Looks versatile on ground and with the O’Brien team blossoming late in the season she could step up again.
Aidan O’Brien on Hermosa
“Obviously she only ran in Naas the other day, but we’ve been happy with her since.
“She’s progressing with every run.”
4. Iridessa – Joseph O’Brien/Wayne Lordan (33-1)
Didn’t improve last time when third in average Listed race in Ireland last time.
Probably more to come but needs to find a tonne to figure in this.
There must have been easier options closer to home so could be a positive Joseph gives her a go in this.
5. Layaleena – Sir Michael Stoute/Jim Crowley (25-1)
Beaten at 4-6 in an all weather novice last time, but hard to read too much into it.
Debut win was more like it and remains unexposed in that sense.
Hard to weigh up her claims but must be respected under master trainer in open race.
6. Pretty Pollyanna – Michael Bell/Danny Tudhope (4-1)
Was one of the stars of the season until a quieter effort last time in the Cheveley Park.
She’s rated 9lbs clear of the next best horse in the race though and if she stays the mile she’ll be hard to beat if running to that form.
Trainer is confident she’s in good shape and very hard to judge her just on her latest run.
Michael Bell on Pretty Pollyanna
“We’re very happy with her well-being. She’s had a relatively easy time since the Cheveley Park, but Danny came and sat on her on Saturday during a couple of canters up Warren Hill and he was very happy.
“We think she should stay seven furlongs, but we are going into uncharted territory over the mile.
“It’s 440 yards further than she’s been before, but I’m hopeful regarding the trip and we’re looking forward to it.”
7. Shambolic – John Gosden/Frankie Dettori (8-1)
Needs to step up a tonne from two wins so far, but she’s won as asked both times.
Beat a decent horse last time at Ascot, but still not on the levels of this.
Can’t rule out her finding more though trained by John Gosden and with the talent he’s got in the stable this summer she could yet prove useful herself.
8. Zagitova – Aidan O’Brien/Seamie Heffernan (9-2)
Looks the O’Brien second string – but it’s close on paper and you can’t ever discount an O’Brien second string anyway.
She’s already won over a mile and has very little to find with favourite Hermosa from their run in the Molyglare.
The stable are coming good late in the season and she’s very much a player here.
Aidan O’Brien on Zagitova
“She’s been in good form since the Moyglare and we were very happy with her run there.
“She’s a big filly and hopefully she is progressing with every run too.”