Valiant Stakes preview: Magnetic Charm taken to turn on the style at Ascot

Published on: July 25, 2019
Author: David Metcalf
2019 Valiant Stakes preview features Royal Ascot runner-up Magnetic Charm

Magnetic Charm ran a blinder when runner-up last time out, so looks worth siding with at 5/4 with William Hill to go one better and land the spoils in the feature race at Ascot on Friday, the Listed 1m Valiant Stakes (15:35).

That run came under top weight in the Sandringham Stakes, an ultra-competitive fillies’ handicap run over the straight mile, where the William Haggas trained three-year-old finished a neck second of 27 to Thanks Be.

After showing plenty of pace to track the leaders travelling strongly, the Queen Elizabeth II owned daughter of Exceed And Excel ran on strongly from the furlong marker to go down fighting.

It was a monster performance under a welter-burden of 9st 7lb at Royal Ascot, and the runner-up was in receipt of a whopping 21lb.

Prior to that, Magnetic Charm had looked a filly to keep onside when making a winning reappearance in a Listed contest at York.

She showed real battling qualities to beat Twist ‘N’ Shake by a neck and that one has since gone on to finish a solid fourth in the Group 1 Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot, before easily landing a Listed affair at Deauville in France.

That gives the form a rock solid loom in relation to this. An official rating of 109 gives Magnetic Charm 2lbs and upwards in hand on her seven rivals.

It makes her the one to beat, especially as she is clearly going the right way and appeals as the type that should have plenty more to offer.

So, with the stable – who have won the race three times – also in red-hot form, there is simply nothing not to like about Magnetic Charm’s chances in the Valiant Stakes.

Class-dropping Look Around feared most

Although rated 10lb inferior to Magnetic Charm, the Andrew Balding trained Look Around may well give the selection most to think about now dropped in class.

This daughter of Classic winner Kingman won two of her four starts as a juvenile, including a Listed contest at Sandown, and has shaped well in two starts this season.

In the first of those over 7f at Newmarket, Look Around finished off strongly to be nearest at the finish and a 3 1/4 lengths fourth of 11 to Qabala in the Group 3 Nell Gwyn Stakes.

The run earned her a crack at the 1000 Guineas at headquarters, and she was far from disgraced in finishing a 6 1/2 lengths ninth of 15 to Hermosa in the fillies’ Classic.

Those efforts command Look Around plenty of respect in this now returned to much calmer waters, and she hails from a yard that has been firmly amongst the winners of late.

She also has proven winning form on fast ground and the services of the in-form Oisin Murphy in the saddle.

Taking everything into account, then, Look Around has more going for her than her odds of 15/2 with Bethard suggest and big run looks on the cards.

Main Edition another with claims

Red-hot trainer Mark Johnston saddles Main Edition, who can be backed at 14/1 with Coral, is another that cannot be ruled out now eased in grade.

This daughter of Zoffany has some very smart for as a juvenile when winning four times, including at this venue, and finishing third in the Group 3 Rockfel Stakes at Newmarket.

Main Edition finished well behind Look Around when seventh in the Nell Gwyn on seasonal reappearance at that venue, but then showed the benefit of that outing to get back to winning ways in the Group 2 German 1000 Guineas at Dusseldorf when scoring gamely by a neck.

She then failed to shine last time out when trailing in a distant 17 lengths last of nine to Watch Me in the Group 1 Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot, but this lesser grade affair is a far more suitable test.

Like many from the stable it would be no surprise to see her quickly bounce back, and the pick of her form gives Main Edition major claims in this.

With Johnston firing in winners all over the shop this month and underfoot conditions ideal, it would be folly to underestimate the chances of Main Edition who is rated just 2lb below Magnetic Charm.

Preening appeals each-way

Preening failed to shine last time out on soft ground when well-beaten in the Group 2 Duchess Of Cambridge Stakes at Royal Ascot, but now returned to fast ground looks capable of outrunning her odds.

This James Fanshawe trained four-year-old ran very well in this 12 months ago when beaten just three-quarters of a length into third behind Clon Coulis when William Buick dropped his whip inside the final furlong.

The daughter of Dutch Art went on to round off the campaign with a creditable fifth of 15 to Crossing The Line in a hot handicap at York.

There was lots to like about her return to action at Kempton in April when a length second of 14 to Agrotera in the Listed 1m Snowdrop Fillies’ Stakes.

Judged on that effort, Preening should be capable of making her presence felt in this. It would be no shock to see her hit the frame at least.

So, at odds of 9/1 with Paddy Power, Preening features as the each-way punt and thus completes this Valiant Stakes preview.