By his own admission, John Gosden feels the strength amongst his current crop of three year olds lies with the fillies. The likes of Emily Upjohn, Grande Dame and Nashwa have all impressed at Sandown, Ascot and Haydock respectively this spring and look Pattern performers in the making. The first named tests her Oaks credentials in the Musidora Stakes at York on Wednesday, while the second named looks tailormade for the Listed Michael Seely Stakes at the same fixture forty eight hours later.
The head of Clarehaven Stables unleashed two more potentially exciting fillies on Friday. Judith is another beautifully bred daughter of Almanzor and she apparently didn't surprise her trainer when making a winning start to her career over ten furlongs at Ascot. A length scorer from stablemate Wonderful Times, the Normandie Stud owned filly came from a long way back before taking charge inside the final furlong. Gosden nominated the Listed Abingdon Fillies' Stakes at Newbury (9th June) as her next likely target. Don't be surprised if she passes that test, Judith heads to Haydock Park for the Group 2 Lancashire Oaks (2nd July) - the stable have won the race on eight occasions. She is bred to improve with time and distance and is a filly with a bright future.
Later the same day, Queen of The Skies caught the eye on her first racecourse experience when a running on second behind the well regarded Sea Silk Road at Nottingham. From the family of the Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes winner Frankly Darling, the daughter of Lope De Vega was doing her best work late on in the fillies' maiden over a mile. Her pedigree implies she wants at least a mile and a quarter. Beaten five and a half lengths, she will be a different proposition next time and ought to be hard to beat.
Elsewhere, it was disappointing to see Roach Power only finish second on his seasonal reappearance at Ripon on Friday evening. However, there were plenty of positives to be taken from his performance. Beaten a length and a half by a race fit rival conceding five pounds, Tim Easterby's grey showed plenty of speed until getting tired inside the final furlong. The Great Habton operation are in decent form but the majority of their string have needed their first run. It is also possible the half-brother to stablemate Art Power will be most effective over the minimum trip. I haven't lost faith in him and I am sure his trainer hasn't either.
I am working at Thirsk on Saturday evening so will hopefully catch up with someone from the Easterby team. There are four runners in the Top 40 on Saturday - the quartet all have good chances, so fingers crossed for a productive day. I will be back to update the Diary shortly.
We still have a few copies of Ahead On The Flat remaining with next week's York Dante meeting pending. Please head to the Publications section of the site to order your copy, if you haven't already done so, plus the Updates.
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