Distaffers take center stage at Newmarket on Friday, with pride of place belonging to the brilliant and unbeaten filly Inspiral, who is a very heavy favorite to stretch her streak to six in the feature G1 Falmouth Stakes. The juveniles get their opportunity in the G2 Duchess of Cambridge, with two Royal Ascot runners-up in Maylandsea and Mawj taking on course-and-distance winner Lezoo in a fascinating contest.
Group 1, £250,000, 1m turf, 3yo+ fillies/mares
The betting for the Falmouth Stakes, the main event at Newmarket on Friday, suggests it’s a foregone conclusion that star filly Inspiral will take her unbeaten record to six with a third G1 success.
It’s hard to argue for too long about that, so the puzzle is to find a horse for the exacta – or to bet for a place – and with only a short field there isn’t a huge amount of choice.
Inspiral looks like a class – two classes – above. Last year’s champion two-year-old filly had a spring setback but returned to action in magnificent fashion at Royal Ascot, drawing right off to win the G1 Coronation by four and three-quarter lengths from US raider Spendarella. That victory confirmed her as the leader of her generation, and with improvement likely off her comeback run, she is impossible to oppose.
She’s not one for the casual bettor, though, so what are the alternatives? The best form available – Inspiral aside – belongs to Prosperous Voyage, who was beaten just a neck in the G1 1,000 Guineas mile classic on Newmarket’s other track in May, finishing strongly at longshot odds on her first run of the year and just denied, with Sandrine two and a half lengths back in fifth.
Prosperous Voyage ran second to Inspiral twice as a two-year-old, at G1 and G2 level, but threw in a real clunker behind her at Royal Ascot, finishing tenth of 12 with no obvious excuse – Sandrine was a little way ahead of her in seventh. If that can be regarded as a throw-out, the worst run of her career, Prosperous Voyage has good credentials, although she has never won anything better than a maiden.
Sandrine won the six-furlong G2 Duchess of Cambridge on this day 12 months ago and has her share of class, although her stamina is suspect and she may struggle to see out the distance, especially with the uphill finish.
The French filly Sibila Spain has missed the board in three tries at G1 level but ran a career-best last time at Saint-Cloud in May, getting up in the last few jumps to win the G2 Prix du Muguet by a head. It wasn’t the strongest G2 ever, though, and the runner-up and third have been beaten since. The mile appears to be a minimum for her.
The other four-year-old in the race is Primo Bacio, whose reputation is built solely on one good performance back in May 2021. She won a mile stakes at York and did it well, but has lost six straight since then, off the board each time apart from her most recent outing when third in the G2 Duke of Cambridge at Royal Ascot. This is tougher, although she is at her best on today’s fast ground.
Falmouth Stakes Betting Prediction
The obvious win choice is INSPIRAL, but her odds don’t appeal. An exacta is the best option, and dual G1 runner-up Prosperous Voyage looks the most likely.
|HORSE||JOCKEY||HORSE RACING ODDS BY JAZZSPORTS|
|Sibila Spain||Aurelien Lemaitre||+1200|
|Prosperous Voyage||Richard Kingscote||+1400|
|Primo Bacio||Rob Hornby||+1600|
Duchess of Cambridge Stakes
Group 2, £100,000, 6f turf, 2yo fillies
Another short field in the Duchess of Cambridge but a much more competitive contest, with the three fillies at the head of the market, all closely matched.
The only unbeaten record in the field belongs to Lezoo, a winner over the flying five at little Bath before graduating to a stakes over this course and distance two weeks ago, driving clear in the closing stages to score by a length and three-quarters with more in hand than the official margin suggests. That was a marked improvement from her debut and another step up is highly likely, although such a quick turnaround is a concern.
Back in third, there was the longshot Tagline, finishing off her race strongly and making a huge step up from her previous victory, in a minor contest over five furlongs in the mud at Windsor. Perhaps she can move up again and if so will be a major player, her odds higher than might otherwise be the case because she comes from a relatively unfashionable stable.
Another to outrun longshot odds last time was Maylandsea, who was a comfortable second-best in the five-furlong G2 Queen Mary at Royal Ascot – arguably the best juvenile filly race run so far this year – although never able to lay a glove on the impressive winner Dramatised. A winner over five on her debut, she raced as though she was looking for an extra furlong and that also applies to Carmela, beaten a further four lengths into eighth after keeping on well all the way to the line.
Maylandsea, whose trainer Michael Bell won this four years ago, can be expected to make further improvement, especially with the extra yardage likely to suit, and Carmela shouldn’t be ignored just because – like Tagline – she isn’t trained by one of the big boys.
Mawj is proven at the distance, having won her maiden over six on the other track at Newmarket before heading to Royal Ascot, where she was runner-up in the six-furlong G3 Albany to a potential top-notcher in Meditate, beaten a length and three-quarters. She was doing her best work in the closing stages, passing the fading Queen Olly – fourth, a length further back – in the last 100 yards, and although today’s distance is clearly in her grasp, Mawj may already be ready to go a little further.
Queen Olly, a barn mate of Carmela, won her maiden in dominant style at York over six furlongs – the runner-up there has since won – and she is probably best at this distance for the moment, although she’ll need to improve to make her presence felt.
Duchess of Cambridge Betting Pick
There is not much between the three leading contenders, but MAYLANDSEA has the highest official rating and should improve again over this extra furlong.
|HORSE||JOCKEY||HORSE RACING ODDS BY JAZZSPORTS|
|Queen Olly||Rossa Ryan||+1000|
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