3.40 Curragh: Ballyogan Stakes (Fillies’ Group 3)
Widen open renewal on paper but I find it rather easy to narrow down the field.
Ger Lyons’ Ainippe heads the betting at the moment. This filly was a Listed winner last year over 5f and seemed to train on well over the winter. She was a close runner-up in a hot Conditions Race at Navan last month behind smart Toscanini – though she had everything going for herself. She received plenty of weight from the favourite and had a very good 10lb apprentice in the saddle too. She certainly will find it tougher here where the weights aren’t favouring her as much as the last time.
Recent Haydock Listed winner Blhadawa improved dramatically for first time cheek-pieces. She drew well clear and her lightly raced profile gives every chance for more improvement. She’s a top chance in this field. However she has to give weight away to some smart three year olds and that becomes increasingly difficult at this time of the year where things swing in favour of the younger horses.
I feel his main danger is going to be Newsletter. This 3yo filly was a smart juvenile, but took her form to a new level this year. She shaped with promise on her seasonal reappearance at Bath over 5f but subsequently enjoyed even more the additional furlong at Nottingham. She won the Listed Kilvington Fillies’ Stakes in fine style, beating some decent opposition. This success came on soft ground but she also done well over much quicker in the past, so the likely good ground at Curragh won’t be an issue at all.
Stormfly ran well in the 1000 Guineas and the respective trial, but the drop to 6f isn’t sure to suit. Same could be said about Iveagh Gardens, who beat Found recently. The drying ground is clearly against her. Hard to fancy either Steip Amach nor Cape Factor on form.
Verdict: Two horses stand out for me: Blhadawa and Newsletter. Both lto winners gave strong impressions. Hard to say who is the better one but the weight may decide in favour of the three year old filly. She gets eight pounds here which is allot, given that she has beaten some decent older horses when last seen.
Newsletter @ 4/1 Ladbrokes – 5pts Win