Falmouth Stakes: Look to the Sky
Matt Brocklebank provides a horse-by-horse guide to Friday's QIPCO Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket and is taking on the short-priced favourite.
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CERTIFY - Unbeaten in four juvenile outings, culminating in Group One glory in the Fillies' Mile here in September. Made a perfect start to 2014 campaign with smooth success in Dubai Group Two back in January but the wheels have fallen off rather since then. Almost beaten out of sight by Integral at Royal Ascot and it would take a leap of faith to expect her to bounce back now.
INTEGRAL - Unraced at two but made up for lost time last year, winning three times and getting to within a length of Sky Lantern in the Sun Chariot here in September. Has taken another step forward this season, improving on reappearance second to win the Duke Of Cambridge Stakes in good style at Royal Ascot last month. Form good enough to win this and she could still be improving.
PEACE BURG - Formerly trained in France and made an encouraging start for new connections when second in Curragh Group Three in May. Not up to that level since, though, including when seventh behind Integral at Ascot, and hard to see where the improvement is coming from.
PURR ALONG - Always held in high regard by William Muir and she made no mistake at the first time of asking for Johnny Murtagh when winning a Curragh Group Three on soft ground in May. Ran well when fourth behind Integral at Royal Ascot last month, after again being held up for a late run, and while she's a fair each-way proposition, she may need the favourite to flop in order to take top spot.
SKY LANTERN - Four-time Group One winner, including last year's 1000 Guineas, and she was arguably an unlucky loser when narrowly beaten by Elusive Kate in this event 12 months ago. Was having her first start of the year when fifth to Integral in the Duke Of Cambridge so entitled to be sharper this time and no surprise if this has been the target for a while.
KIYOSHI - Enjoyed a fine juvenile campaign but has yet to prove she has trained on this year having only beaten two home on her belated seasonal bow in last month's Coronation Stakes. Only four lengths off the winner that day, however, so not exactly disgraced, and she's well worth another try over a mile today.
RIZEENA - One of the leading two-year-old fillies last season and numbered the Group One Moyglare among her four 2013 victories. Back in the groove when winning the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot last month and, even accounting for that being a below-par renewal, she merits respect here.
CONCLUSION - Sir Michael Stoute's Integral will be all the rage and it's not hard to see why given she had Purr Along, Sky Lantern, Peace Burg and Certify in behind when readily landing the Duke Of Cambridge Stakes at Royal Ascot last month.
She'll be hard to beat if the ground remains on top but multiple top-class winner Sky Lantern caught the eye with the way she finished in Berkshire.
Given that was her first run of the year, improvement can be expected and connections are bound to have had this event in mind for a long time after they felt she was unlucky not to be awarded the race in the stewards' room when carried across the track by Elusive Kate last year.
The Charlie Hills-trained Kiyoshi is still relatively unexposed and could be the surprise package.