3.30 Pontefract: Listed Fillies’ Stakes, 6f
Intriguing contest for the reasons of the strange track Pontefract is, with blurry ground conditions (good to soft, but a balmy day forecast) and certainly no standout performer in the field.
The 4/1 favourite Perfection isn’t quite as perfect as the name may suggest. A visor fitted for the first time shows she filly needs a little help to find some extra. She drops down to 6 furlongs, which shouldn’t be too much of an issue, and given she ran really well in higher class the last two times, she is well respected and sets a fair standard.
However, her best always came on faster ground, certainly judged on topspeed, and 6f at Ponti from a wide draw appears to be quite a tough test, while she also has to give weight away to her younger rivals today.
Shades Of Blue is an interesting alternative, if she can put her best foot forward over 6 furlongs. A wide draw makes life difficult, with a bit of cut in the ground also not sure to suit over this distance.
I reckon the progressive Princes Des Sables is a viable alternative at double figure prices. There are questions over the merit of her runaway victory at Haydock ten days ago. Which came after two disappointing efforts in June and July at this very venue when had a belated start to the season.
I think you can take that potentially as an excuse, that she needed the outings. Her Haydock performance produced a 90 topspeed rating, which is a believable improvement for age and experience on her previous 86 best, plus an RPR of 101. Judged on that she will have to improve again a little bit to be fighting it out for the win today, but who says she can’t?
Still generally on the lightly raced side, only three starts this season, she gets perfect conditions with a bit of cut in the ground, 6f sure to suit, the track, despite her previous poor showings here, should suit, she has a perfect draw to attack which suits her usually aggressive racing style.
Her sire Monsieur Bond has a superb record at Pontefract, particularly over 6f, and the jockey/trainer combo is highly successful as well. Plenty to like about Princes Des Sables in this contest.
10pts win – Princes Des Sables @ 11/1 MB