Newmarket preview: Daahyeh can resume winning ways in Rockfel Stakes

14th September 2021

Our 2019 Rockfel Stakes preview from Newmarket includes Royal Ascot winner Daahyeh

Royal Ascot winner Daahyeh has run some cracking races in defeat since, so is taken to resume winning ways in the Group 2 Rockfel Stakes for juvenile fillies over 7f on day two of the Cambridgeshire meeting at Newmarket this Friday (15:00).

Trained by Roger Varian, who has his team in fine shape, the daughter of Bated Breath won her first two starts including over 6f at this venue on debut.

Daahyeh ran on well to score by 1 3/4 lengths and was then pitched into Group 3 company when following-up in the Group 3 Albany Stakes.

She forged ahead and stayed on strongly for a 1 1/2 lengths victory. Daahyeh has nothing to fear from the re-opposing fourth, Alabama Whitman, on that form.

As she also shaped like the extra furlong of this would suit, that view was confirmed at the July Festival when she got outpaced by Raffle Prize.

Daahyeh still stayed on well to finish runner-up, and the winner has since chased home the highly exciting Earthlight in the Group 1 Prix Morny on bottomless ground in France.

When turned out at the highest level on Irish Champions Weekend last month, Daahyeh again ran on into second finishing three-quarters of a length behind Love at The Curragh.

Those performances set a clear standard in the Rockfel Stakes this year. While Daahyeh faces some unexposed fillies here, they don’t have her proven form in top class races.

Taking all that into account, she looks well worth backing to go one better now eased in grade. Daahyeh is 5/4 favourite with 888Sport in this Rockfel Stakes renewal.

Plenty of dangers in Rockfel Stakes

There are a host of dangers if the favourite fails to fire.

Impressive Chepstow winner Festival Day steps up in class, while Ascot victor Cloak Of Spirits is down in trip after shaping as though a mile was beyond her at Doncaster last time out.

A value alternative to those unexposed sorts is Under The Stars. Trained by the in-form James Tate, the daughter of Night Of Thunder won both of her first two starts.

After scoring by three lengths at Ripon, Under The Stars followed-up in the Group 3 Princess Margaret Stakes at Ascot on King George day.

She was then a keeping on two-length fourth on the upgrade in the Lowther during the Ebor Festival in York.

Under The Stars was also beaten a similar margin when stepped up to 7f for the first time and fifth to Love – behind Daahyeh – in the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes at The Curragh.

This is easier, so she looks an each-way alternative at 8/1 with Paddy Power.

Another Rockfel Stakes danger is Irish raider Blissful. This Galileo filly represents last year’s winning trainer Aidan O’Brien and jockey Ryan Moore.

Blissful is an improving sort who has won her last two starts.

After a ding-dong battle to land a Tipperary maiden by a nose, she came with a perfectly timed ride to follow-up in a Listed contest at Leopardstown by a similar margin on Irish Champions Weekend.

This demands more, but Blissful is thriving on her racing and could well have a hand in the finish at 9/1 with Betfair now on the upgrade. Her experience could be key.

Promissory the Princess Royal punt

Another fillies’ race on this card is the Group 3 Princess Royal Muhaarar Stakes over 1m 4f (14:25).

Lightly-raced and unexposed John Gosden filly Promissory is another that can go one better than last time out.

This three-year-old daughter of Dubawi has had just three starts, but was a ready winner over this trip at Doncaster in July. Promissory stayed on strongly to score by five lengths.

She was then stepped up to this level for the March Stakes over 1m 6f at Goodwood.

Although Promissory was turned away by Sir Ron Priestley when throwing down a challenge approaching the final furlong, she still stuck to the task well to beaten just over a length.

The winner has since gone on to finish runner-up to Logician – another Gosden inmate – in the St Leger.

That gives the Goodwood form a strong look and Promissory is top-rated in this line-up on a mark of 103. It puts her 4lb and upwards clear of the field here.

With tons of further improvement still to come, and Frankie Dettori back in the saddle, Promissory looks a worthy 13/8 favourite with Coral to resume winning ways.

Her main danger could be the Brian Meehan trained four-year-old Spirit Of Appin.

Although she has to give Promissory 7lb weight-for-age, the daughter of Champs Elysees has bumped into some useful fillies this season.

Spirit Of Appin chased home subsequent Group 2 winner Dame Malliot when conceding 11lb on the July course over this trip.

That was a huge effort, and she was only a couple of lengths behind Irish St Leger heroine Search For A Song in another Listed race at York.

As Spirit Of Appin was giving 9lb away there, she looks each-way value at 8/1 with Betfred in this.

Take Maqsad on with She’s Got You in Rosemary Stakes

Although Maqsad returns to the scene of her greatest triumph in the Listed 1m Rosemary Stakes (13:50), there are reasons to take her on.

She simply hasn’t built on destroying the opposition in the Pretty Polly Stakes over 10 furlongs earlier in the season.

Instead, it could pay to side with She’s Got You for in-form pair Gosden and Dettori.

This daughter of the mighty Kingman has been progressive in handicaps this season after winning off 81 on the July course here and at Ascot when rated 5lb higher.

The assessor has again put She’s Got You up for following-up. She now races off 92 and tackles Listed company for the first time.

Dettori had the choice of rides between She’s Got You and Lady Lawyer, who has also won her last two.

That looks significant and handler Gosden is on an incredible 43 per cent strike rate in the last fortnight at the time of writing.

She’s Got You is exactly the sort of improver that Maqsad may be vulnerable to. She is 6/1 with Bethard to get some black type to her name here.

Another alternative to consider is Chaleur. Trained by Ralph Beckett for powerful owner Khalid Abdullah, this daughter of Dubawi has carried some big weights in handicaps and still managed to hit the frame this season.

Chaleur’s fine efforts include when a length third to Maid For Life at Goodwood off 97 when trying to give the winner a whopping 16lb.

She also filled the same spot at York when beaten just half-a-length by Excellent Times off 98 and conceding 9lb.

Only Maqsad is rated higher among the three-year-olds in this, so Chaleur has claims of hitting the frame at 15/2 with William Hill in the Rosemary Stakes.

Mount Everest appeals in Godolphin Stakes

Mount Everest was far from disgraced when fourth on Irish Champions Weekend after a lengthy lay-off last time out, so looks sure to come on for the run in the Listed 1m 4f Godolphin Stakes later on the card (16:45).

Trained by Ballydoyle maestro O’Brien, this three-year-old Galileo colt is unexposed over the trip and was just chinned on the line by Ireland’s leading Arc hope Japan in the Group 2 Beresford Stakes on his final start as a juvenile.

Mount Everest was a desperately unlucky loser, and the winner has really advertised that form this season.

Japan was a fine third in the Epsom Derby, then ultra impressive in the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot before winning two Group 1s.

Moore gave Mount Everest a tender ride on his return to action after 349 days on the sidelines, making late headway into fourth in a Group 3 at Leopardstown.

He was only beaten 1 3/4 lengths behind stable companion Norway, so it was a fine effort. This doesn’t look the strongest renewal of the Godolphin Stakes.

The sponsors have two in the five-runner field, but Mount Everest is well clear of both on adjusted ratings as he gets 7lb weight-for-age from both.

With Gosden trained five-year-old Weekender not matching his form from last season and this looking on the sharp side for him, Mount Everest gets our vote at 11/8 with Betway to resume winning ways now eased in grade.

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