Bookmakers have unsurprisingly installed next season’s 1000 Guineas favourite Proviso at the head of the market for Saturday’s Meon Valley Stud Fillies’ Mile at Ascot.
Andre Fabre’s juvenile sprung to prominence with a commanding display in the Prix du Calvados last month, in which she maintained her unblemished record with a half-length call over Laureldean Gale.
The layers were quick to react to that performance and are again keen to have her onside at the weekend.
Blue Square make the daughter of Dansili their 13-8 market leader, and spokesperson Kate Miller said: “The Fillies’ Mile on Saturday looks to be a brilliant renewal of the event.
“Won in the past by the likes of Oh So Sharp, Bosra Sham, and more recently by Soviet Song, it truly is one of the best indicators for Classic fillies.
“Andre Fabre’s filly Proviso is our favourite after the manner of her Prix du Calvados win, while Jim Bolger’s Saoirse Abu – who has proved a revelation in Ireland – brings two Group One victories into the mix.”
Proviso will be trying the mile trip for the first time on Saturday, but Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager for owner Prince Khalid Abdullah, is confident she will handle the extra distance.
“She’s is still on course and she’s in good form,” he said.
“She won over the straight seven furlongs at Deauville last time and I don’t really see any reason why she wouldn’t get a mile.
“We don’t really know what she wants ground-wise, but good ground should be fine.”
Abdullah has a second entry in the Mile, with unbeaten Prestige Stakes winner Sense Of Joy still engaged, but the John Gosden-trained filly is unlikely to run.
Grimthorpe added: “Sense Of Joy won’t be running at Ascot if Proviso does, and she could go to the Prix Marcel Boussac instead.”
Behind Proviso in Blue Square’s market are the Aidan O’Brien-trained Listen and compatriot Saoirse Abu, who trade at 7-2 and 4-1 respectively.
Close to them in the list is Ed Vaughan’s supplementary entry Kotsi, who is available at 6-1 after finishing a close second to Spacious in the May Hill at Doncaster.
While Vaughan’s youngster lost her unbeaten record on that occasion, the Newmarket handler feels she will have learned a great deal from the experience.
“Sometimes when they win from the front – and she did it virtually from the front (first time) – they don’t learn how to go by horses,” he reasoned.
“She can be a very laid-back filly and I think she learned a whole lot more at Doncaster two weeks ago.
“Fitness-wise she’ll have improved a little bit and I think the experience will have helped a lot. Laid-back fillies can keep improving and she’s entitled to take her chance.
“We’re going there as live contenders.”
Clive Brittain is never afraid to take on the big guns and could be represented by the unraced Wadlia in the Group One highlight.
“We haven’t made up our minds if she will run yet,” he said.
“It would be a tough ask, but she’s a really nice filly and is going the right way, so we can see what she can do.”
Meon Valley Stud Fillies’ Mile, Blue Square bet:
13-8 Proviso, 7-2 Listen, 4-1 Saoirse Abu, 5-1 Mad About You, 6-1 Kotsi, 14-1 Sugar Mint, 33-1 Kitty Matcham, Joffe’s Run, 50-1 Kay Es Jay, 66-1 Wadlia.