Nottingham preview: Luca Cumani’s Pleasant Valley the Oaks pick
The Luca Cumani-trained filly has won three of her seven starts, and could not have been more impressive in the last of those on seasonal reappearance when bolting up by nine lengths in a handicap at Pontefract.
After being bounced out of the stalls by jockey Adam Kirby, Pleasant Valley made all and came clear from two out to win easing down.
It was a stunning performance, and one which suggested the four-year-old needed keeping firmly onside.
This does represent the toughest task that Pleasant Valley has faced, but the daughter of Shamardal is a typical Cumani improver and looks the type who has plenty more to offer.
I would not be surprised to see Pleasant Valley make up into a Group performer, and with Kirby once again in the saddle, she can take this before going on to much better things.
In the 1m 6f handicap (16.50), Bletchley Park is a fascinating contender now stepped up markedly in trip following an eye-catching run last time out.
The Richard Fahey trained colt shaped with some promise in three maiden runs when tenderly handled, before putting in an improved effort on handicap debut at Haydock when fourth of nine to Mythical City over 1m 2f.
After being held-up off the pace, Bletchley Park took some time to warm to the task before staying on strongly to be nearest at the finish and beaten just over four lengths.
The three-year-old closed all the way to the line, suggesting that today’s extra four furlongs would suit.
The form of the race has also been given a boost as the winner followed up in good style last night at Ripon off a mark of 70.
Bletchley Park gets into this off an unchanged rating of 65, and with the step up in trip expected to bring about further improvement looks weighted to run a huge race.
16.20: Pleasant Valley (NAP)
16.50: Bletchley Park (NB)
17.20: Vaguely Spanish