Simon Holt previews the action at Newmarket on Friday and he's backing John Gosden to claim his fifth Fillies' Mile success courtesy of Shambolic.
Recommended bets: Friday, October 12
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Newmarket's Friday highlight, the Group One bet365 Fillies Mile, looks an open contest and it could be worth taking a chance on SHAMBOLIC giving trainer John Gosden and jockey Frankie Dettori another victory at the highest level.
Unbeaten in two starts so far on the July Course and at Ascot, the daughter of Shamardal has a bit to find on form against the likes of Pretty Pollyanna and the Aidan O'Brien pair Zagitova and Hermosa, but I think she could improve a good deal.
On both occasions, Shambolic has shown an excellent attitude refusing to lie down latterly at Ascot (1m) when persistently challenged by Model Guest (receiving 6lb) and, while the runner-up was only fourth in the Rockfel subsequently, she is now rated 96 suggesting the selection will not be far away.
The highest-rated runner by far is Pretty Pollyanna following her wide-margin win at the July meeting and subsequent defeat of Signora Cabello in the Prix Morny.
Sent off favourite for the Cheveley Park Stakes over six furlongs here a fortnight ago, Michael Bell's filly pulled hard in the early stages, was then given some cover by Silvestre De Sousa before keeping on to finish fourth behind O'Brien's Fairyland.
That form alone could be good enough here except that Pretty Pollyanna now goes up two furlongs in distance and, given the speed she showed back in July and the fact she was a bit free last time, one wonders if it will prove ideal.
Danny Tudhope now replaces De Sousa who appeared to ride the filly very sensibly last time.
Hermosa and Zagitova, both daughters of Galileo, are closely matched having finished third and fourth respectively behind Skitter Scatter in the Moyglare Stud Stakes at The Curragh last month since when Hermosa has justified short-priced favouritism at Naas.
Both are sure to be well suited by this step up to a mile as over seven furlongs they have been found wanting for mid-race pace when taking on good opposition.
Earlier, LIMATO can repeat last year's destruction of Massaat and the re-opposing Gordon Lord Byron in the Group Two Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards Challenge Stakes.
Harry Bentley's mount, denied a run at Ascot last Saturday due to softening ground, was well below his brilliant best earlier in the season but trainer Henry Candy's horses are running much better now.
Dropped in class, Limato has returned to winning ways in his last two starts on the July Course and at York which should have done his confidence the world of good.
Three times a winner in October in the past and a two-time Group One winner (July Cup and Prix de la Foret), this race again looks there for his taking.
Mankib is the only real unknown quantity in the field now raised in grade after slamming lesser rivals in a Listed event at Newbury and is clearly going the right way without having the form in the book (so far) to trouble an on-song Limato.