Monday 23 April 2018

Inside Track: Star ready to sparkle in Nassau

Gosden's French Oaks winner is overpriced under Frankie Dettori

Star Of Seville (right) gets the better of Together Forever at York in May – she can strike again in today’s Nassau Stakes
Star Of Seville (right) gets the better of Together Forever at York in May – she can strike again in today’s Nassau Stakes
‘Arkle is going away now from Mill House. This is the champion – this is the best we’ve seen for a long time!’ – Even in 1964, Peter O’Sullevan knew
Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

After a thrilling encounter in the Pretty Polly Stakes, Diamondsandrubies and Legatissimo will clash again in this afternoon's Qatar Nassau Stakes at Goodwood.

They also both ran in the Oaks. At Epsom, Legatissimo just got chinned on the line by Qualify, while Diamondsandrubies was among the worst affected by the argy-bargy a furlong out.

She finished fourth, but then excelled under an exquisite Seamie Heffernan steer to show her true worth when triumphant in the Pretty Polly at the Curragh. Heffernan dictated the fractions with aplomb and undoubtedly his mount got the run of the race.

As a result of Heffernan's opportunistic tactics, the race wasn't run to suit Legatissimo, and Ryan Moore didn't have an entirely smooth passage on her as things began to unfold; she was only beaten a fast-diminishing short-head.

David Wachman's 1,000 Guineas heroine is entitled to be favourite to atone for her two near-misses under Wayne Lordan, though Goodwood's trappy, switchback track can cause problems for horses that come from behind. In that sense, there is a case to be made for the Pretty Polly winner representing some value at odds of up to 7/2 to confirm her Curragh superiority. Aidan O'Brien will also saddle the recent Curragh Group Two winner Wedding Vow, though she has a little more to prove. All told, the one that stands out as being overpriced at up to 8/1 is Star Of Seville. John Gosden and Frankie Dettori are enjoying a fantastic year, and this Duke Of Marmalade filly has contributed plenty already, most memorably by securing Classic glory in the French Oaks.

A filly that likes to be ridden handily, she sat bang on the pace in the 10-furlong event at Chantilly and put the race to bed with some authority when sent on two furlongs out. Despite that being seven weeks ago, the form hasn't been properly tested since, but she accounted for some potentially smart fillies quite readily.

Prior to the Prix de Diane, Star Of Seville had led in the Oaks before getting wiped out in the skirmish. The 12-furlong trip looked likely to stretch her anyway, but previously she had beaten Together Forever in the Musidora Stakes over this trip.

For all that she was sacrificed as a pacemaker in the Irish Oaks, Together Forever ultimately ran well to be fourth at the Curragh, having also been involved in the Epsom tangle. She is no slouch and Star Of Seville beat her easier at York than a head margin suggests.

Star Of Seville's Epsom blip was the only time that she has been beaten in her last five starts, so she is highly progressive. Crucially, she has also had plenty time to recover ahead of this Group One.

In conditions that suit her ideally, then, she is fancied to give her brilliant handler a remarkable fourth successive Nassau triumph.

Watching brief ...

Wednesday's Galway Plate was far from a vintage renewal but Shanahan's Turn was a fair winner.

Of the beaten horses, along with the unfortunate Rule The World, Shanpallas is one to take out of the race. Trained by Charles Byrnes, he was still going well enough when he missed the second-last and then got hampered by Rule The World's slightly delayed exit.

Shanahan's Turn had already flown so he probably wouldn't have won, but he might have been second. As it was, The Paparrazi Kid and Sadler's Risk led home the 11-year-old Alderwood for the minor money. Both are quite unexposed over fences but maybe lack a little quality.

Shanahan's Turn had at least looked smart in the autumn. With the trip and ground ideal, he bounced back to form in style, and the Gowran Park Grade Two that Sizing Europe won three times might now be on the agenda. That will give us a better idea of his capabilities.

Dark horse

Pandora contests the 12-furlong Listed race at Newmarket after flopping in the Ribblesdale Stakes.

A Doncaster maiden winner, she was third behind Star Of Seville and Together Forever in the Musidora Stakes at York.

Both of those starts came on good ground, and the fast surface that prevailed at the royal meeting was put forward as a possible cause for her dismal turn behind Curvy.

As a daughter of Galileo, that is quite a plausible explanation, so Charlie Hills' filly should enjoy the cut in the ground at Newmarket. Pandora is also dropping notably in class, so odds of 8/1 look pretty big.

Lay of the day

Nemoralia was last night trading at around 6/4 for the fillies' maiden at Newmarket and she looks one to take on at those odds.

Langlauf, Light Up Our World and Wrapped have shown form, and there are some potentially useful newcomers in there as well. Nemoralia improved for her debut to be second to Ballydoyle at Newmarket, but she didn't go forward late on and may not progress.

A little each way

At 33/1, Algar Lad is value for a place in the Stewards' Cup, especially with the bookmakers that are paying on the first five.

David O'Meara's five-year-old is a suitably pacey individual that won five times over five furlongs before breaking his duck over six at York in May. On his latest outing at York, he kept on well to be sixth off a six-pound higher mark. He is in off the same rating today for 9st 1lb and could run well from stall 19.

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