The Dick Hern Listed Fillies’ Stakes at Haydock (4.00) is a really competitive looking race but it provides an opportunity for the rapidly progressive Dank to earn some black type.
Michael Stoute’s filly had your typical Freemason Lodge-style two-year-old campaign: one very promising effort in a back-end maiden.
On that sole outing as a juvenile, at Newbury, she ran second behind Hazel Lavery, who went on to finish second behind subsequent Irish 1000 Guineas winner Samitar in the Tattersalls Millions Fillies’ Trophy on her next outing, at the same track, and also picked up a Listed race just last month when winning the Newsells Park Stud Stakes at Newmarket.
Dank made her return at Kempton back in April and she was ridden confidently to win that all-weather maiden from Ihtifal, the pair clear of the remainder. The runner-up has since won a maiden.
Running in a handicap at Doncaster next time, she was again ridden with confidence but she met trouble in running and finished ninth, eased up, behind Bronze Angel, with one of today’s rivals, Ladys First, in second place.
Dank then showed that form to be all wrong when easily accounting for her rivals in a fillies’ handicap at Ascot at the end of last month.
She’s clearly a really progressive sort and would be ideally suited to a strongly run race, from which she could come off the pace.
There is a concern that she won’t get that today but she’s not alone in a preference for that type of race and she may be the one best equipped to cope with it as she has a potent turn of pace.
The Mahmood Al Zarooni-trained Irish History has the best form in the book, having finished third behind Fallen For You in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot before following it up with a fourth-placed finish behind Giofra in the Group 1 Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket.
This is clearly a huge drop in class for the filly but she can be a free-going sort and will be seriously inconvenienced by a lack of pace.
Rhythm Of Light earned her first victory for more than a year when winning a conditions race at Haydock last time. As only four went to post, it’s hard to make much of the form but she showed enough to suggest she’s at the top of her game right now. This isn’t appreciably tougher and she deserves plenty of respect.
Moone’s My Name and Villeneuve are closely matched on their meeting at Ascot late last month, though the former reared on leaving stalls and only just failed to get up for second place. She should reverse the form with that rival.
Tom Dascombe’s four-year-old is a strong-travelling sort who may trade short in running but may by susceptible to less-exposed rivals.
Ladys First is a useful sort and capable of making the running, if nothing else chooses to. She was first home on the far side of the track when third behind Duntle in the Sandringham Handicap at Royal Ascot and was just touched off by Falls Of Lora in a listed race before being outpointed by the colts at Pontefract.
She’s a game sort who should run well if offered a soft lead but the concern for her is that she has had a few really hard races recently and they may take their toll.
Much will depend on how this race is run but Dank is an unquestionably forward-going filly with the talent to make it at a higher level.
She’s coming from a different direction to likely favourite Irish History insofar as she’s stepping up to Listed Company for the first time, while that rival is taking a huge drop in class.
However, Dank seems a far more straightforward sort and even though she may not have the race run to suit, she is not short of pace and is taken to land this prize en route to better things.
She seems unlikely to shorten too much from current quotes of 7-2 but they provide reasonable value in the circumstances.
Irish History and Rhythm Of Light can fight for the minor spots.
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