Dalkala has the class to beat Talent on Champions Day
Epsom Oaks winner Talent is the ante-post favourite for the Group 1 British Champions Fillies and Mares Stakes at Ascot on Saturday. Ralph Beckett’s filly disappointed in the Irish Oaks but put in a fine effort when second to Leading Light in the St Leger at Doncaster.
She was eventually beaten just over a length but may have been closer but for suffering interference in the home straight. Talent appreciates a bit of cut in the ground and she looks certain to get her ground this weekend.
The biggest threat may come from the French-trained Dalkala who won the Prix de L’Opera on Arc day under an inspired ride from Christophe Soumillon. She was always travelling nicely in behind but the leaders quickened off a slow pace and she only just managed to grab Tasaday on the line.
Dalkala did not have too hard a race and is out again quickly for this valuable Group 1 event. She has form over a mile and a half and handles deep ground so looks certain to be involved on Saturday.
Although Talent won the Oaks comfortably, The Lark ran a fine race to stay on into third place. She showed herself to be a smart filly when winning the Park Hill comfortably at Doncaster and is another who appreciates a bit of give in the ground.
Hot Snap was favourite for the 1000 Guineas after slamming Sky Lantern in the Nell Gwyn Stakes in April. She has not been able to repeat that performance since and is unproven over this mile and a half. She is held by Belle De Crecy on her latest run at the Curragh.
Mick de Kock’s Igogu looked certain to win a Listed race at Newmarket last month but was caught close home by Zurigha. That form doesn’t quite match up to this class but she could improve on that effort and stays the trip.
Sir Michael Stoute’s Waila is lightly raced and quickly put daylight between herself and her rivals at Newmarket last time.