Sport Horse Racing

Saturday 20 January 2018

Miss France has touch of class to catch the eye

Mickael Barzalona rides Miss France to win the Oh So Sharp Stakes at Newmarket
Mickael Barzalona rides Miss France to win the Oh So Sharp Stakes at Newmarket

Anita Chambers

Miss France may have flopped in her trial race, but it would be dangerous to discount her in the Qipco 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket.

The Dansili filly headed the market for the fillies' Classic throughout the winter, but she fluffed her lines on her reappearance at Maisons-Laffitte last month, trailing home sixth in the Prix Imprudence.

She hardly helped herself by racing a bit freely in the early stages and when Maxime Guyon realised his mount had no chance of winning, he was far from hard on her in the finish.

Master trainer Andre Fabre had made no secret of the fact his charge was unlikely to be firing on all cylinders so it is reasonable to expect a fair amount of improvement from a filly which proved she handles the track when winning the Oh So Sharp Stakes last term. Miss France clearly has a bit to prove after her reappearance run, but Fabre would certainly not make the trip unless he felt she had a live chance.

Fabre has never managed to win this race in his distinguished career, but Miss France looks a likely type to right that wrong.

Gifted Girl mixed it in some good company last year and merits an interest in the Qatar Bloodstock Dahlia Stakes as she has shown she can win first time up. Paul Cole's charge made great strides last term after winning an Ascot handicap on her seasonal bow, narrowly being edged out at Group Three level on her next outing.

A Pontefract Listed win inspired connections to take their chances in America and their decision so nearly paid off as the daughter of Azamour claimed second behind Dank in the Grade One Beverly D Stakes at Arlington. Another Group Three placing followed at Newbury and while she was out of the frame on her final start in the Prix de l'Opera on Arc day, she was hardly disgraced in finishing a close-up fifth to Dalkala after making a slow start.

It may be that run came at the end of a very long season and soft ground probably was not ideal, but Gifted Girl remains a classy type and could strike gold in what appears to be a very winnable Group Three heat.

Kiyoshi is lame and will miss the 1,000 Guineas. The daughter of Dubawi, owned by Qatar Racing, was available at 14/1 for the Classic as she showed classy form as a juvenile, winning the Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot and being placed in two Group Ones, the Moyglare Stud and Cheveley Park Stakes.

Taghrooda can stake her Investec Oaks claim in the Tweenhills Pretty Polly Stakes.

A shock 20/1 winner for John Gosden at the end of last season, this Sea The Stars filly looked the type to excel over middle distances given her game victory over a mile. A filly with plenty of scope, Taghrooda is among the leading lights for Epsom at this stage and it will be disappointing if she can not make a triumphant bow.

Snow Trouble was once viewed as a 2,000 Guineas contender but the Qatar Racing Handicap looks an eminently more suitable event for Marcus Tregoning's colt. Winner of a good maiden at Goodwood last year, he was a short-head second on the all-weather on his return and could be pretty handy off a rating of 89.

Cape Wrath disappointed on his final juvenile outing but can set the record straight in the Betfred TV Handicap at Salisbury. His Newbury maiden win was nothing special but he did it in nice style, prompting connections to turn him out again over a mile at Newmarket last October.

He put up no sort of show that day and reportedly finished lame so he is definitely worth another chance, particularly as he is bred to run well over this kind of trip. Mecca's Angel is the choice in the EBF Stallions Tangerine Trees Conditions Stakes at Hamilton.

She held her own in Listed company last year and impressed when winning at Thirsk on her reappearance.

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