In-form Mango Diva can take centre stage in Nassau

Today’s Group 1 Markel Insurance Nassau Stakes looks an ordinary renewal of the race and there are sufficient doubts about those at the top of the market to look down the line for some value.

In-form Mango Diva can take centre stage in Nassau

Mango Diva, available at 9-2, is the one which makes most appeal, as she comes here on the back of a good effort at the Curragh, where she overcame trouble to get up on the line for a narrow victory over Lahinch Classics in the Group 2 Kilboy Estate Stakes.

That success came over nine furlongs on fast ground, and the slightly longer trip is of no concern, as she was a winner over the distance at Salisbury last year. Typical of a Michael Stoute-trained horse, she is progressing nicely with age, and the four-year-old looks ready for this first try at the top level.

As mentioned, it doesn't look the strongest of races for the grade, and she may not need to improve too much to get heavily involved. Stoute hasn't won this race since 2004 but a victory for Mango Diva would see him equal Henry Cecil's record of eight victories in the race. At odds of 9-2, it's worth taking a chance that she can outperform a couple of higher-rated horses.

Venus De Milo is clear favourite to win the race for Aidan O'Brien, and she has a pretty solid look about her. Runner-up behind now stable companion Chicquita in last year's Darley Irish Oaks, she was no match for The Fugue when filling the same position in the Yorkshire Oaks, and was well beaten on soft ground behind subsequent Arc heroine Treve in the Prix Vermeille.

She has been in pretty good form since her return in June, winning the Munster Oaks on her second outing, and finishing second behind Thistle Bird in the Pretty Polly last time.

She should run a good race, but her best form has been over a mile and a half, and today's trip might prove a little too sharp for her at this track.

Leading French trainer Alain De Royer-Dupre sends over Narniyn, who was far from disgraced behind Spiritjim on her first start in top company, with Noble Mission just a couple of lengths ahead of the four-year-old.

It was a smashing effort from the filly but all of her winning form is on ground with some cut in it, and that is a cause for concern today.

John Gosden, who won the last two runnings of the race, is represented by Sultanina. She made her debut in May, and has wasted little time moving through the ranks. While she needs to step up quite a bit on her recent second behind Pomology in the Group 2 Lancashire Oaks, further improvement is likely. The drop to ten furlongs might prove a positive, and she is very much respected.

In the seven-furlong maiden for two-year-olds, Lethal Legacy is just preferred to Secret Brief. Both caught the eye in defeat on their respective debuts, but the former, trained by Richard Hannon, enjoyed little luck in running in a Newbury maiden, and can make the step up here.

The Stewards' Cup is as difficult as ever, but William Haggas is a trainer to respect in these big handicaps and his Muthmir is given a hopeful selection to come out best of the 28 runners. He was a very smooth winner of the Skybet Dash at York just last week, leaving the impression he could advance through the grades pretty rapidly. Luck in running will be a factor, but he has the class to play a big part.

Online Alexander could be a value option the closing race. Kevin Ryan's filly looked ready to return to winning ways when runner-up to one of today's rivals, Money Team, at Redcar last time. Conditions should be perfect, and she should run a big race.

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