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The Balanchine: Satwa Queen favourite
by Handicappers ( / Globeform (
Last update: 2007-02-19 09:33:54 (First published: 2006-02-23 05:58:20 )

Nad Al Sheba 24 Feb: The Balanchine (LR) gives Satwa Queen an excellent chance of revenge on Clinet, who beat her in a close finish on opening day.

Satwa Queen, a dual Group 3 winner in France last term, is now considerably better off at the weights, and this step up to 9 furlongs will also be a plus for the French trained filly. Clinet, representing England, has won again since that first success though, and she seems to be improving still. Can she beat Satwa Queen again and get her third win on the bounce? Or will the South African Group 1 winner Irridescence prove too good for both?


Nad Al Sheba 24 February 2006 – 1777 metres / abt. 9 furlongsTurf

Top ranked runner on 100, with others ranked down in pounds
Horses presented with sires, Globeform ratings, riders

100 – SATWA QUEEN (Muhtathir) GF 111 / E Legrix
..97 – CLINET (Docksider) GF 106 / M Hills SCRATCHED
..?+ – IRRIDESCENCE (Caesour) GF ?+ / W C Marwing
..93 – LITTLETOWN BRIDGE (Stormin Fever) GF 102? / W Supple
..92 – BRINDISI (Dr Fong) GF 101 / J Murtagh
..90 – KITARA (Camp David) GF 99+ / A Suborics
..85 – SHERSHA (Priolo) GF 94 / P Smullen
...? – KALAFORTE (Fort Wood) GF ? / T E Durcan
..82 – QUALITY SPECIAL (Burooj) GF 91 / M Almeida
..82 – VENUS ARISING (Steinbeck) GF 91 / R L Moore
..81 – FESTIVE STYLE (Fort Wood) GF 90 / K Shea


Satwa Queen put up
a solid seasonal debut when runner-up to Clinet over 7.5 furlongs on opening day in January. As it was a handicap, the French trained filly was carrying 11lbs more than Clinet, still she very nearly won. One can argue that she was given a poor ride too, as Eric Legrix did not let her stride away from the field as she was about to assert inside the fiunal furlong. Her stamina did not come into play. Satwa Queen did need the run, however, and she may have been beaten in any case. Clinet cut her down late, to score by a neck. Rock Opera was third, followed by Brindisi, Quality Special, Venus Arising, Shersha, Emerald Beauty and Festive Style.

They all meet Satwa Queen at worse weight terms here, and she really looks a solid bet. She is clearly the best horse in the field, she has already shown that she handles this track, and this step up in distance will be to her liking.

Satwa Queen was successful in two Group races in France last year. She beat Naissance Royale by 2 ½ lengths in the Prix Vanteaux (G3) over 9 furlongs at Longchamp in May, when she advanced willingly from mid-pack to lead a furlong out and win with ease. Aftar that, she was seventh to Divine Proportion in the French Oaks (G1), but she bounced back to winning form in the Prix de Psyche (G3) over 10 furlongs at Deauville in August. Her running style was similar to that in the Vanteaux though this time she had to dig deep to beat Viane Rose (rec. 4lbs) by a neck. Viane Rose went on to win the Prix de la Nonette (G3) next time out. Satwa Queen’s home form last year was quite solid, and she closed her 3yo sesason by finishing fifth, 2 lengths behind Kinnaird, in a sub-standard Prix de l’Opera (G1) over 10 furlongs at the ‘Arc’ meeting.

Clinet improved again on her second Nad Al Sheba start, when she won the Cape Verdi (LR) over a mile on February 9. This English trained filly progressed through handicaps last season, when she won a 20-runner handicap at the July Meeting in Newmarket and ran third in a Listed race, but she has moved up to a new level in Dubai. She is 9lbs worse off with Satwa Queen and it is hard to see how Clinet can give the French filly a fight this time, but she can beat the rest. She improved to GF 106 as she swept by Brindisi for a 2 Ό-length win in the Cape Verdi, with Shersha 3 Ό lengths further back in third. Venus Arising finished seventh.

Irridesence was a G1 winner in South Africa last year, but her form is still hard to assess. She was sent to the lead three furlongs out when landing the 11-furlong Zimbali Lodge Woolavington 2200 (G1) at Greyville in June, and she may need more of a stamina test than 9 furlongs at Nad Al Sheba to be seen at her best. She beat some of the best fillies in South Afric, however, and she must be respected. Though carrying 5lbs more than Satwa Queen, Irresesence must be something very, very special to win. Put it this way; if Satwa Queen performs to GF 111 again, the South African filly needs to be as good as horses like Greys Inn, Singletary and Altieri to have a chance. The UAE handicapper has given her 102.

Littletown Bridge is the dark horse, making her comeback after a near one-year layoff. This filly struck us as more of a turf runner than one suited to dirt racing last year, and she was also inexperienced when managing second behind Satin Kiss in the UAE Oaks over 9 furlongs on the main track. She does not need ti improve much on that form to be in the first three or four in the Balanchine.





Caesar Beware (Thursday) & Satwa Queen (already recommended)

WIN: 2 Satwa Queen


A: 2 with 4
B: 4 with 2


A: 2 with 4 with 1, 3, 6, 7
B: 2 with 1, 3, 6, 7 with 4

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