Hannon’s Hawk Pick Of The Fillies
Dubai Fillies' Mile
The second of three cracking Group 1’s to take place at Newmarket on Friday is the Dubai Fillies’ Mile (3.25), where Jim Bolger’s Lucida…
…has been installed as the solid 13/8 favourite.
A dual runner-up in a couple of 7f Group 1 and Group 2 events at the Curragh on fast ground in August/September, Lucida finally broke her Group race duck when landing a Group 2 at Newmarket three weeks ago (7f, good). This filly made good headway before settling matters with authority to deliver the knockout blow for punters at odds of evens.
However, Friday’s test will be a lot different. First, it will be over a stiff mile. Second, it will be on the softest ground Lucida has experienced to date, and third, it will be a step back into Group 1 company. With all the evidence at hand, odds of 6/4 about victory on Friday do not look tempting at present.
So, who could be the one to possibly turnover the favourite? Well, one candidate is Edward Lynam’s Agnes Stewart (11/4) who has had just the three career outings. Following her maiden win (7f, good), she was beaten over 1l in a Leopardstown Group 2 (7f, good to firm), before compensation in a Group 2 at Doncaster’s St Leger meeting.
Upped to a mile that day, Agnes Stewart got past the favourite, Muraaqaba, in style to win by over 1l. Out of a 1m4f winner, she should appreciate the more testing mile on Friday, and is a live contender if handling the mud.
One who does handle soft ground is Richard Hannon’s Marsh Hawk (7/2) who won her maiden in the mud at Newmarket (7f, soft), before a Group 3 second (6f, good).
Beaten just a short head that day, Marsh Hawk was soon handed reward for that defeat when landing a minor event at Newbury by over 3l (7f, good to soft). While that was a non-Group race, that victory would have given Marsh Hawk confidence, and she is being viewed as a Guineas possibility for next year by connections.
Godolphin also have a ‘live’ 10/1 chance courtesy of Good Place, who has yet to taste Group company, but has won two of her three starts, including over 1m last month (good to firm). Soft ground will be an unknown, but she is a late maturer who could surprise a few people come Friday.
As for Aidan O’Brien, then he runs Together Forever (12/1), who couldn’t arrive in any better form having won a Listed event at the Curragh last weekend (1m, yielding). This daughter of Galileo justified strong support to win by 3l that day and must be blooming at present for O’Brien to pitch her in at this level – a tip in itself perhaps?
Both Winters Moon (16/1) and Forte (20/1) have a bit to find to get involved, and it would be a shock if either triumphed.
There appear enough question marks about Lucida to make Marsh Hawk of interest. Richard Hannon’s filly has a bit to find on Friday, but she could get the run of the race up front on soft ground which may not suit the others as much as it will her.