Fintry To Finish First In Dahlia Stakes
If there is one angle punters need when tackling Sunday’s Group 2 Dahlia Stakes at Newmarket (2.25), then keep on side of fancied runers, as recent history shows that nine of the last 10 Dahlia winners returned 8/1 or shorter.
Fabre’s French Fintry
Such evidence highlights several interesting runners at HQ, including Andre Fabre’s French raider, Fintry (2/1). This 4yo progressed nicely last term, including a successful visit to these shores in landing a Group 3 at Sandown (1m, good to soft), having previously won a Group 2 back home (1m, good).
Fintry’s final effort in October over 1m here resulted in a career best, despite finishing a 1l third behind Integral, but the way in which she ran on suggests Sunday’s extra furlong should suit, especially as her dam was a 1m1f winner.
Brittain Leads Home Challenge
Standing in Fintry’s way is Clive Brittain’s, Rizeena (4/1), who also knows her way down the straight here, despite not winning in five races at Newmarket. One of those was when a 2l runner-up to Integral in a Group 1 on the July Course last summer – a performance suggesting there may not be much between her and Fintry (who was 1l behind Integral).
Rizeena also signed off with another Group 1 runner-up slot at Leopardstown in September (1m, good to firm), and if she is in the same form as when winning the Coronations Stakes at Royal Ascot last June, then she will take all the beating. She has yet to try this trip, though, and with her breeding not offering too much stamina, there could be value in Sir Michael Stoute’s, Bragging (9/2).
Another For Stoute?
A progressive handicapper last summer, Bragging was then stepped up to Group 3 company on her final outing at Doncaster when just over 1l in second (7f, good). The manner in which she flew late on gave the impression 1m1f would suit – the same trip over which her dam won over.
It’s also worth noting that Stoute won this four times since 2005…
Of the last 10 Dahlia Stakes winners…
10 made the top five last time
9 returned 8/1 or shorter
7 were British-bred
7 ran over 1m last time
Sir M Stoute won it four times
Newmarket Well Represented
Another at the right end of the market is John Gosden’s, Belle D’Or (6/1), a Listed winner
over a mile in July, who went down by a short head in the same company when last seen over the same trip here in September. There seems more speed than stamina in her pedigree, though, so Sunday should reveal more about her aspirations for this season.
One who may enjoy a fitness advantage against the aforementioned runners, however, is Marco Botti’s, Lady Dutch (10/1), who won a Listed race on the Polytrack last month (1m). A winner on turf in Italy – while also third in a Group 3 over 1m2f there – she could be an each-way option.
Sir Michael Stoute’s record is respected in this, but Andre Fabre doesn’t send many to Newmarket without a chance, and his Fintry could be the one they all have to beat. The step up in trip could also bring improvement on the smart level of form shown last season.