Mike Cattermole has his best bets for Doncaster on Thursday including Horseplay in the feature Park Hill Stakes.
OISIN MURPHY can continue to add to his incredible haul of big races this season by landing the Group 2 DFS Park Hill Stakes on the Andrew Balding-trained Horseplay at Doncaster on Thursday.
The confidence must be flowing through the reins on anything Murphy rides at the moment and Horseplay comes into this on the back of an honourable fourth behind the top notch Sea Of Class in the Yorkshire Oaks last time out.
There were some very smart fillies in behind her that day (Magic Wand, Laurens etc) and it was interesting that Coronet, the runner-up, confirmed earlier form at York in the Middleton Stakes with Horseplay, virtually to the pound.
In between those two defeats, Horseplay was all out to beat God Given in the Lancashire Oaks, for which she is penalised 3lb here, meaning that a case could be made out for the runner-up to get her revenge.
However, God Given has been beaten twice since and the feeling is that this longer trip is going to play to Horseplay’s strengths as she is certainly bred for it.
The ground is now on the soft side of good but Horseplay’s maiden win came on soft ground in 2016 when she bolted up by 13 lengths. The stable could not be in better form, either.
God Given was a well-held fourth behind Pilaster, a highly progressive filly, over this trip in the Group 2 Lillie Langtry Stakes at Goodwood.
On that strict line, Horseplay has her work cut out and there is no doubt that the Roger Varian-trained filly looks a formidable rival. She has got better with every race and is given maximum respect.
Murphy is retained to ride Sweet Pearl for Qatar Racing and Richard Hannon in the William Hill May Hill Stakes and therefore misses out on renewing the partnership with Godolphin’s Dubai Beauty who was a taking debut winner at Newmarket.
Colm O’Donoghue takes over now on what I am pretty sure is his first ride for Saeed Bin Suroor. Dubai Beauty had a fine duel with Posted as they drew eight lengths clear of the rest and the further the race went on over that 7f, the stronger Dubai Beauty looked. The time was decent, too.
The daughter of Frankel looks smart and is taken to come out on top against some more experienced rivals.
The Mark Johnston-trained Accordance should be suited by the step up in trip after her good second in the 7f Prestige Stakes at Goodwood, when she was probably beaten by a very good filly in Antonia De Vega.
Her trainer, Ralph Beckett, looks to have a strong team of juvenile fillies (Manuela De Vega won well at Salisbury last week) and saddles Sand Share here who won on her debut at Kempton. It will be interesting to see how she fares in the market.
Of Aidan O’Brien’s duo, Ryan Moore is on Peach Tree, who was in front of Fleeting at the Curragh last time, but both need to do a bit better.
However, O’Brien and Moore have good prospects of landing the day’s biggest purse with The Irish Rover in the £300,000 Weatherbys Racing Bank 2-y-o Stakes.
The form he has shown on his last two starts, when third in the Phoenix Stakes and fourth in the Gimcrack, entitles him to go very close here. For the first time, he has blinkers fitted, which his sire No Nay Never wore to good effect.
There are others in the race who are less exposed, such as Louis Treize who won nicely at Newcastle, and Aim Power who looks well treated by the race conditions.
SELECTIONS: 1.50 LADY COSETTE, 2.25 DUBAI BEAUTY, 3.00 HORSEPLAY, 3.35 THE IRISH ROVER