Guineas Weekend Day 2 Preview: Billesdon Brook value to bloom in DahliaPublished on: May 4, 2019Author: David Metcalf
The main supporting race on 1000 Guineas Day at Newmarket this Sunday is the Group 2 Dahlia Stakes for fillies run over 1m 1f (14:20). Only six are set to go to post and, at 100/30 with BetVictor, Billesdon Brook appeals as the value bet.
This Richard Hannon trained daughter of Champs Elysees enjoyed her finest hour on this card 12 months ago when springing a 66/1 shock in the fillies’ Classic.
After being held-up at the rear, Billesdon Brook made good headway two from to take up the running approaching the final furlong. She was then ridden clear by Sean Levey to beat Laurens by 1 3/4 lengths.
The runner up is a filly of the highest order and went to to land three Group 1 successes, while the fourth home Wild Illusion went on to bag a brace of Group 1 victories.
That is top class form in relation to this and although Billesdon Brook failed to win in three subsequent outings they all came at the highest level, and she was far from disgraced in each.
They included a keeping on nine-length fourth to Jessica Harrington’s awesome Alpha Centauri in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot, where she had the re-opposing Veracious just 1 3/4 lengths in front of her in third.
Billesdon Brook went on to finish in front of that rival on her final start of the campaign when fifth to Laurens in the Sun Chariot Stakes here. She’s officially rated 5lb higher than Sir Michael Stoute’s inmate.
So, given that Billesdon Brook can be backed at much greater odds of Veracious, the 11/8 favourite with William Hill, she looks overpriced and the one to be on.
Shambolic the Pretty Polly punt
Trainer John Gosden has a fine record in the Pretty Polly Stakes, and Shambolic looks worth siding with at 11/4 with Betfair to further enhance it with victory in this year’s renewal of the 1m 2f Listed fillies’ contest (16.45).
The in-form Newmarket handler has won the race five times, including three of the last four runnings. In Shambolic, he has a beautifully bred daughter of Shamardal who now drops down significantly in grade for her return to action.
After digging deep to win a seven-runner maiden at this venue by a neck, she showed a willing attitude to follow-up at Ascot when making all and finding plenty to comfortably beat Model Guest by half-a-length.
That taking success saw her pitched into Group 1 company and she was far from disgraced when a 6 1/4 lengths fourth of eight to Iridessa in the Fillies’ Mile here.
Shambolic then ran below par when seventh of 10 to Wondermere in a Group 1 at Saint-Cloud in France, but this represents a return to much calmer waters.
An official rating of 100 also makes Shambolic the highest in the seven-runner line-up and puts her 3lb and upwards clear of her rivals.
Maqsad showed tenacious battling qualities to win on seasonal reappearance over course and distance.
With race fitness on her side, the William haggas trained daughter of Siyouni looks the one most likely to capitalise is Shambolic fails to live up to expectations. Maqsad can be backed at 2/1 with Unibet.
The Charlie Hills trained Clematis, a 6/1 shot with Ladbrokes, is another that cannot be discounted having won very impressively on her sole start at Kempton back in November by three lengths.
Get into the Spirit in opener
In the 1m 4f Qatar Racing Handicap that gets proceedings underway (13:50), the Amanda Perrett trained Spirit Ridge looks potentially ahead of his mark and makes plenty of appeal at the 5/1 on offer with 888Sport.
This four-year-old is a progressive and unexposed sort who has won two of his four career starts.
In the last of those at Leicester back in October, the Prince Khalid Abdullah owned son of Nathaniel made all and stayed on gamely when pressed inside the final furlong to assert in the the last 150 yards to win ears pricked by half-a-length from Scaramanga off a mark of 85.
A 7lb rise in the weights for that cosy success looks more than fair, especially judged on his previous effort when a 2 3/4 lengths runner-up to Outbox at Ffos Las.
The winner is a hugely exciting prospect who is unbeaten in three outings having gone on to beat a subsequent Listed winner at Newbury to be rated 102.
It suggests that a revised of 92 for Spirit Ridge may still underestimate his ability and he is a scopey sort who appeals as the type to go on progressing.
Trainer Mark Johnston launches a three-pronged attack on the race and Baghdad looks the clear pick of the trio.
This four-year-old is a tough and consistent sort who won the valuable King George V Stakes at Royal Ascot on his final start last season.
He got put up 8lb for that, but showed that he would be capable of winning races off his current rating when a highly-promising three-quarter of a length third of 14 at Newcastle last month. A bold bid looks assured he and can be backed at 11/4 with Betway.