Guineas hopefuls Ihtimal and Rizeena clash in Fillies’ Mile
Next season’s 1000 Guineas picture could become clearer after Friday’s card which also includes the highly-regarded Radiator in the opening Oh So Sharp Stakes. The highlight is undoubtedly the clash between Godolphin’s impressive Doncaster winner Ihtimal and Clive Brittain’s Rizeena.
Brittain had the option of dropping back to six furlongs for the Cheveley Park but has elected to take on Ihtimal over a mile. There has been much speculation as to whether Rizeena will stay a mile but she proved too strong for Tapestry and Kiyoshi over seven furlongs at the Curragh.
That victory came in the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes and reads better than Ihtimal’s two-length success over Majeyda. However, Ihtimal has improved with every race and has already proved her ability over this distance.
It is not very often that a two-year-old race is won by fifteen lengths but that is exactly what Radiator achieved at Lingfield at the start of this month. The daughter of Dubawi is taking on much better company in the opener on Friday including the unbeaten Lightning Thunder and French raider Miss France.
Mick de Kock’s Soft Falling Rain lost his unbeaten record in the Hungerford Stakes at Newbury when beaten by Gregorian. He looks to have found an ideal opportunity to return to winning ways in the Group 2 Nayef Joel Stakes at 2.40.
Montiridge ran too badly to be true at Haydock last time behind Top Notch Tonto but the ground appears to have gone against Penitent. De Kock also runs Igugu in the Listed Rosemary Stakes at 2.10 but she has been absent since running in Dubai in the spring.
Richard Hannon’s Maureen has been running well without reward all season but a bigger threat may come from the progressive Lanansaak. Roger Varian is very patient with his fillies, as was his predecessor Michael Jarvis, and she could hardly have been more impressive at Ascot last time.
Selections: 1.40 Radiator, 2.10 Lanansaak, 2.40 Soft Falling Rain (nb), 3.15 Ihtimal (NAP), 3.50 Yuften, 4.25 Gatewood, 5.00 Silver Dixie, 5.30 Aegaeus