Sun Chariot Stakes preview: Iridessa value in Newmarket Group 1

Published on: October 4, 2019
Author: David Metcalf
This 2019 Sun Chariot Stakes preview includes Newmarket course and distance winner Iridessa

Irish raider Iridessa looks decent value at 4/1 with BetVictor to bag a fourth Group 1 success in the feature race at Newmarket on Saturday, the 1m Sun Chariot Stakes for fillies and mares (15:25).

This Joseph O’Brien trained three-year-old had some smart form as a juvenile when winning two of her four starts.

In the last of those successes over course and distance 12 months ago, the daughter of Derby winner Ruler Of The World ran on strongly to get the better of Hermosa by 1 1/2 lengths.

That success marked Iridessa out as a serious Classic contender and she ran well behind Hermosa when a three-length eighth of 15 in the 1000 Guineas on her second start this season.

She then finished a fair fourth to the same rival in the Irish equivalent at The Curragh, before resuming winnings ways when up in distance for the Group 1 Pretty Polly Stakes when comfortably accounting for Magic Wand by 2 1/2 lengths.

Iridessa found the 1m 4f trip beyond her when a well-beaten seventh of eight to Star Catcher in the Irish Oaks.

Following a break, however, she looked better than ever last time out when dropped back to 1m and beating Hermosa in the Group 1 Matron Stakes at Leopardstown.

As Iridessa found plenty for pressure to score by three-quarters of a length, there were no excuses for the re-opposing runner-up.

The same can be said for Laurens and I Can Fly, who finished fourth and fifth respectively, so there is no reason why they should turn the tables.

Iridessa is also versatile as regards ground and has a 60 per cent strike rate over the trip, so there is nothing not to like about her profile for the Sun Chariot Stakes.

Laurens needs to bounce back

Last year’s winner Laurens is 4/1 with Coral to retain her crown, but comes into the race on the back of two below par efforts.

Prior to running flat when fourth in the aforementioned Matron Stakes, the Karl Burke trained four-year-old was beaten a nose by Shine So Bright in a Group 2 at York.

She was the clear form pick that day and the winner has since been well-beaten when fourth of five in a Group 2 at Doncaster.

The John Dance owned daughter of Siyouni appears to be feeling the effect of some tough races, but if bouncing back to her best is a huge player in this.

Laurens is a six-time Group 1 winner, with the last of those successes coming on her third start this season when digging deep to beat With You by half-a-length in the Prix Rothschild at Deauville.

Last term she landed the Prix Saint-Alary and Prix de Diane over in France after chasing home Billesdon Brook in the 1000 Guineas at this venue.

She later scored in the Matron Stakes on Irish Champions Weekend, before winning this by a head from Happily.

Those efforts have earned Laurens an official rating of 116, the same as Hermosa and Iridessa.

However, she has to give 3lb weight-for-age to that pair and it’s a tough ask judged on her last two runs.

Lavender’s Blue a fascinating Sun Chariot Stakes contender

Veracious bagged her first Group 1 success last time out when landing the Falmouth Stakes on the July course here, but she was given a great tactical ride that day and what she beat is questionable.

On the balance of her overall form, the Sir Michael Stoute trained four-year-old daughter of Frankel has a bit to find and is thus readily opposed at odds of 7/2 with Paddy Power.

One horse that can’t be discounted in the Sun Chariot Stakes, however, is the lightly-raced Lavender’s Blue.

This Amanda Perrett trained three-year-old has won two of her four starts, and comes into the race on the back of a taking success in the Group 3 Atalanta Stakes at Sandown.

After travelling strongly throughout, the daughter of Sea The Stars found herself trapped on the inside and short of room at the furlong marker.

But when a slight gap did appear, Lavender’s Blue bravely went through it and quickened instantly clear to easily beat Duneflower by 1 1/2 lengths.

This demands much more, but she is by far the least exposed in the line-up and remains open to any amount of improvement.

Lavender’s Blue is also a winner over course and distance having landed a 12-runner maiden in good style on debut back in April, so could well be a bit of value at the 6/1 on offer with Betfair in a wide-open renewal of the Sun Chariot Stakes.