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The Lark and Winsili set for Ribblesdale Stakes Clash

| 18.06.2013

The Lark will bid to step up on her encouraging third in the Epsom Oaks when she lines up for the Ribblesdale Stakes on Thursday. Classic form is not always upheld at the Royal meeting but Michael Bell believes The Lark will improve again for her last run.

She started her campaign by finishing third to Winsili and Cruck Realta at Newbury. That race was over a mile and a quarter but there was no early pace and it turned into a sprint. The runner-up has won since and it will be fascinating to see a rematch between Winsili and The Lark here.

The Lark was well backed at long odds for the Oaks and she stayed on all the way up the straight to finish third to Talent and Secret Gesture. Winsili was having only her third start at Newbury and John Gosden’s filly could also improve.

Gosden also saddles Gertrude Versed who finished second in the Cheshire Oaks but could do no better than eighth place at Epsom. Sir Michael Stoute’s Elik was only fourth at Chester but ran out a game winner at Goodwood in the Height Of Fashion Stakes subsequently.

Stoute also runs Waila who steps up from winning a Sandown maiden. She has a similar profile to Lady Cecil’s Riposte who won on her second start at Newmarket.

Aidan O’Brien relies on Irish 1000 Guineas third Just Pretending. She led at half-way in that race and stuck on gamely to finish only a length and a half behind Just The Judge. The big question for the daughter of Giant’s Causeway is whether she will stay the extra half mile.

Tommy Stack runs Alive Alive Oh who was impressive when striding clear to win at Navan by six lengths. She is yet to meet another of the calibre of The Lark but could be ready to step up to this level.

Fersah is another unknown quantity having won her maiden at Leicester after a promising debut run at Ascot. The field is completed by outsiders Cocktail Queen, Hollowina and Indigo Lady with 12 fillies set to go to post.

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Harvey Mayson