Royal Ascot 2015: Ribblesdale Stakes preview (15.40)
Pleascach looks a cut-above her rivals in the Ribblesdale Stakes and a worthy red-hot favourite to provide top Irish trainer Jim Bolger his second winner of the 1m 4f Group 2 contest.
Bolger saddled Banimpire to victory in 2011, and in Pleascach has a progressive filly who brings Classic-winning form to the table.
The daughter of Teofilo has won three of her five starts, and after landing a 1m 2f Listed contest at Naas posted a career-best performance when landing the Irish 1000 Guineas over 1m at the Curragh last month.
Pleascach beat the highly-regarded Found by 1/2 a length, finding plenty when strongly pressed inside the final furlong.
It was a gutsy and tenacious performance over a trip which is arguably not ideal, and that form sets a clear standard in this line-up.
The step up to 1m 4f also looks sure to suit, and on official ratings Pleascach has 8lb and upwards in hand on her rivals.
That makes Pleascach impossible to oppose, and she can take this en route to even better things.
Fellow Irish raider Curvy and the lightly-raced Pamona look the ones most likely to capitalise if Pleascach underperforms.
Curvy is trained by David Watchman and has shown vastly improved form this season to land a hat-trick of successes.
The last of those came in a Group 3 contest at the Curragh where daughter of Galileo bravely hung on to beat Giovanni Canaletto by a neck.
Giovanni Canaletto has since run well to finish fourth to Golden Horn in the Investec Derby at Epsom and give the form a decent look in the context of this contest, and with Ryan Moore now taking over in the saddle Curvy commands plenty of respect.
Pamona represents trainer Luca Cumani, who does particularly well with fillies, and shaped with bags of promise on seasonal reappearance in a Listed contest over 1m 2f at Newbury.
The daughter of Duke Of Marmalade looked in need of the outing and didn’t get the clearest of passages before staying on really well under tender handling to finish a four length third of 12 to Crystal Zvezda.
Pamona is sure to come on a bundle for that run, and looks open to stacks more improvement after just three starts now stepped up in trip.