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Vodafone Oaks: Cecil runs two
by Handicappers ( / Globeform (
Last update: 2007-05-31 05:39:49 (First published: 2007-05-28 10:50:50 )

Epsom Downs 1 June: One swallow makes no summer but there is no denying that the name Passage Of Time has meant a big difference to Henry Cecil and his Warren Hill team.

She was a rapid improver at two, when signing off with a Group One win against colts in France. She came through her seasonal debut in satisfactory style when winning the Musidora Stakes (G2) at York, and she will go off favourite for the Vodafone Oaks (G1) on Friday.

Cecil runs two in this classic and his Cheshire Oaks (LR) winner Light Shift is also in with a good chance. Dalvina, so impressive in the Pretty Polly Stakes (LR), may prove too good for both, however, in what is quite an open race. Others are close up on ratings, some with every right to improve.


Epsom Downs 1 June 2007 – 1 ½ miles turf

Horses presented with best
Globeform ratings, sires, riders.

A ‘+’ after horse indicates improvement expected.

111 – DALVINA (Grand Lodge) + / O Peslier
110 – PASSAGE OF TIME (Dansili) + / R Hughes
109 – SIMPLY PERFECT (Danehill) / J Murtagh
108 – PEEPING FAWN (Danehill) / M Dwyer
106 – FOUR SINS (Sinndar) + / M Kinane
106 – LIGHT SHIFT (Kingmambo) + / T Durcan
104 – DARRFONAH (Singspiel) / E Ahern
103 – ALL MY LOVING (Sadler’s Wells) + / C Soumillon
102 – SUES SURPRISE (Montjeu) / M Hills
100 – CHERRY HINTON (Green Desert) + / J Heffernan
..97 – NELL GWYN (Danehill) + / N Callan
..99 – MEASURED TEMPO (Sadler’s Wells) + / L Dettori
..92 – KAYAH (Kahyasi) + / S Sanders
..85 – DANCE OF LIGHT (Sadler’s Wells) + / K McEvoy

DALVINA has raced just twice, something that makes her win in the 10-furlong Pretty Polly Stakes (LR) at Newmarket even more impressive. She was making her seasonal debut, after having won over 7 furlongs on the all-weather at Lingfield last October, and she showed huge improvement by beating Sudoor by 6 lengths, with La Spezia 1 ¼ lengths further adrift in third. More than anything, she outstayed her opponents, but the key to discovering Dalvina’s class lies well before she came powering up the hill. Her strong finish was impressive, though it is the combination of superior stamina and the ability to travel strongly – yet well in hand – early in the contest, that suggests she is top class.

The Grand Lodge filly produced Globeform 111 in the process, bringing out comparisons with the great Ouija Board, who won the Pretty Polly in similar style – against similar opposition – on her way to Epsom glory. Sudoor had been a good fifth to Simply Perfect in the May Hill Stakes (G2) last year but she was a beaten favourite in the Height Of Fashion Stakes (LR) at Goodwood 18 days after the Pretty Polly. It would have been better to see her winning that contest, but she met another very smart filly – Cosmodrome – and ran a solid enough race in second again. La Spezia, beaten over seven lengths by Dalvina at Newmarket, went on to the Premio Maria Incisa (G3) at San Siro, where she finished fifth, 4 lengths behind Shot Bless – who had landed a Listed event over the same course four weeks earlier.

Ed Dunlop, so successful with fillies in the past, may have another top class performer in Dalvina, who is our selection in the Vodafone Oaks. Rain will probably not bother her, as she performed so well on the all-weather last year, and she is just the right size for Epsom, where bigger fillies can so easily be thrown off balance. She beat 14 rivals smoothly at Lingfield last year, after a slow start and a wide trip. It was one of the most taking debuts seen in 2006.

Her dam, Foodbroker Fancy, was a dual Listed winner and runner-up in a Group 2 over a mile. A daughter of Halling, she stayed 10 furlongs and did all her winning on good to firm ground. She is also dam of Soft Centre (Zafonic), a filly who ran just five times and ran a dead-heat with Rising Cross in the Lupe Stakes (LR) over 10 furlongs at Goodwood (on good ground). Rising Cross went on to take second behind Alexandrova in the Oaks.

Grand Lodge, who has already sired a Derby winner in Sinndar, gives more class and stamina than both Halling and Zafonic, and Dalvina is certainly the best of Foodbroker Fancy’s runners to date. She gets Olivier Peslier on board on Friday. At around 5-1, Dalvina looks an ‘each-way steal’.

PASSAGE OF TIME is the favourite, and quite a short priced one at that. Her ‘human connections’ affects the price as much as her form, as a classic winner for Henry Cecil would be immensely popular in England. There is nothing wrong with her form to date, and she has an excellent chance. The daughter of young success stallion Dansili has won four of her five starts, she has beaten colts – even in a Group One – and she came through her prep race in good, if not spectacular, style.

Richard Hughes has partnered her in her last three starts. He rode her to a solid win over Soldier Of Fortune (a Derby contender) in the Criterium de Saint-Cloud (G1) on soft ground last autumn. Stepping up to 10 furlongs, after an easy Listed win over a mile at Newmarket, she outstayed the Irish trained colt to win by ¾ length. Soldier Of Fortune was coming off a maiden win over the subsequent G3 winner Mores Wells, and this spring he has won the Prix Noailles (G2) and Chester Case (G3). Passage Of Time’s form is solid, and she looks sure to run a big race at Epsom.

She resurfaced in the Musidora Stakes (G3) over 10.5 furlongs at York on May 16. She came crusing to take the lead that day, looking like she would pulverise the small field, but she did not find much when coming under pressure and won by just a neck from Sweet Lily – who is quite a well exposed Listed winner who was beaten 15 lengths behind Finscael Beo in the 1000 Guineas (G1) on her preceding start. Sues Surprised, third and beaten 2 lengths in the Musidora, is still a mained but she has met classy rivals on all her three starts. She third to Darrfonah on her debut, and second (beaten 5 lengths) behind Passage Of Time in the Zetland Stakes (LR) on her second start.

The Oaks favourite’s juvenile form is very encouraging, while her seasonal debut at York was a bit inconclusive. But, trials are trials, and Passage Of Time is much better than her Musidora win indicates. One worry is the well publicised abscess in the throat – let us hope it continues to cause her no trouble.

SIMPLY PERFECT ran on well for third in the 1000 Guineas (G1) at Newmarket in May. After a slow start, she did good work towards the end of the mile contest, and was 3 ¾ lengths behind the brilliant winner Finsceal Beo. That was a highly positive seasonal debut, by a filly who had quite a busy juvenile campaign and was among the best young fillies in Europe last year. This step up to 1 ½ miles is a bit puzzling. She ran like a filly who will appreciate further in the Guineas but, though by the so versatile stallion Danehill, Simply Perfect is all about speed in the bottom half of her pedigree. On the plus side, she is a neat and well balanced runner who will handle Epsom better than many.

Her Globeform essay can be accessed via the link below.


LIGHT SHIFT was visually impressive in her most recent start, as she beat All My Loving by a cheeky three parts of a length in the Cheshire Oaks (LR) at Chester. Covering just half a furlong shorter than the Vodafone Oaks distance, and handlig the tight track well, she won with a bit in hand that day – and she gives Henry Cecil a strong hand in this classic. To say that Passage Of Time is definitely the best of the two is premature. Light Shift has improvede every time she has been at the races, she looks certain to improve again, but her rider has said that she will not be happy on soft ground. Light Shift has a nice turn of foot, and this daughter of Kingmambo has a good chance if the weather stays dry. She is closely related to the 10 to 12- furlong G1 performers Shiva and Limnos (both by Hector Protector) and she is a sister to Erewhon, who was stakes placed over a mile in North America.

To assume that the top class miler Kingmambo cannot sire an Oaks or Derby winner will prove costly one day. After all, he has already sired two Japan Cup winners; Alkaased and El Condor Pasa (who also second in the ‘Arc’) and Lemon Drop Kid, who win the Belmont Stakes. Kingmambo is also the sire of Archipenko, who won the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial (G2) over 10 furlongs and goes for the Derby on Saturday.




3 Dalvina


A: 3 and 11 reversed
B: 3 and 8 reversed
C: 8 and 11 reversed



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