A Surprise In Store For Pandora’s Box?
Racegoers at Royal Ascot on Ladies’ Day will be in for a treat when the Irish 1,000 Guineas winner, Pleascach (4/5), takes to the track for the Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes (3.40).
Pleascach Odds-On For Glory
This 1m4f event for the Classic generation provides a great test for the majority trying this trip for the first time, including Pleascach, who won a Group 3 over 1m2f 11 days prior to her Guineas win. Her jockey stated 1m4f would not be a problem following that 1m2f victory, and the speed Pleascach displayed in stepping back to 1m at the Curragh make the ideal recipe for Ascot when things can happen quickly in the home straight.
Jim Bolger’s filly certainly ticks all the boxes, and the fact Pleascach has yet to run in a Group 2 is another bonus based on trends…
Of the last 10 Ribblesdale winners…
10 had never won a Group 2
9 won during their last three runs
9 had never raced at Ascot
8 had yet to win over 1m4f
Curvy’s Form On The Up
The Irish have won two of the last four renewals of the Ribblesdale, and hold a strong challenge this year with David Wachman’s, Curvy (7/1), adding further strength. A winner of two handicaps at Navan, before stepping up to land a Group 3 at the Curragh last time (all over 1m2f), Curvy’s form is very much on the rise, and she deserves a crack at this event.
Aidan O’Brien also has a chance with Wedding Vow (12/1), who has been placed in a couple of Listed Oaks trials this spring. The manner in which she kept on over 1m3.5f at Lingfield last time suggests the trip here will be fine.
On the domestic front, Britain’s best chance of landing the Ribblesdale comes via Luca Cumani’s, Pamona (6/1), who reappeared last month on just her third outing to finish 4l behind Crystal Zvezda in a Listed race at Newbury (1m2f, good). Pamona may have got even closer to the winner that day but for being blocked, and the fact she finished strongly suggests we may be about to see the best of her.
Gretchen (8/1) and Pandora (10/1) are two others home run runners who hold chances. The former won her maiden upon debut last month over this trip at Newmarket (good), while the latter was third in a Group 3 Oaks trial at York last month (1m2.5f, good). It is the form of Pandora’s third that stands out, though, as she was only 3l behind Star Of Seville, who won last Sunday’s French Oaks.
Pandora was also gaining at the line, and will find this longer trip more suitable.
The Irish have a strong chance of making it another Ribblesdale victory, with Pleascach odds-on to follow-up her Irish 1,000 Guineas win, but the value each-way call goes to Pandora. With only two outings on the clock, she has more to come, and the form of her York third reads very strong.