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The Ribblesdale: Oaks form on the line
by Handicappers ( / Globeform (
Last update: 2007-06-21 02:24:06 (First published: 2007-06-19 09:59:22 )

Royal Ascot Thur: Coming out of the Vodafone Oaks (G1) to the Ribblesdale Stakes (G2) has never been easy.

Punctillious, third to the fantastic Ouija Board at Epsom, managed to win here three years ago but several Oaks fillies have disappointed at Royal Ascot. This time, we will see two Oaks ‘also-rans’ in this event; the Irish trained All My Loving, who was third in the classic, and Dalvina, well below her form in the Oaks after an impressive win at Newmarket.


Royal Ascot 21 June 2007 – 1 ½ miles turf

Horses presented with best Globeform, sire, rider

A ‘+’ after horse indicates improvement expected

111 – DALVINA (Grand Lodge) + / J Spencer
108 – ALL MY LOVING (Sadler’s Wells) + / M Kinane
106 – COSMODROME (Bahri) ++ / L Dettori
..?+ – BARONESS RICHTER (Montjeu) + / C-P Lemaire
101 – SHORTHAND (Diktat) + / K McEvoy
..99 – HANGING ON (Spinning World) T Durcan
..98 – MAJOUNES SONG (Singspiel) + / J-P Guillambert
..96 – SILKWOOD (Singspiel) + / P Robinson
..?+ – MARZELLINE (Barathea) + / A Kirby
..95 – PARTY (Cadeaux Genereux) R Hughes
..93 – LOST IN WONDER (Galileo) R Moore
..80 – FASCINATING RHYTHM (Fantastic Light) S Sanders

DALVINA has raced just three times, she disappointed in the Oaks but she still takes the highest rating into this event, and she is quite likely to improve. Perhaps finishing unplaced at Epsom was not such a bad way to prepare for this race. Not the way connections had hoped for but she did not get as hard a race as All my loving, who finished third behind Light Shift.

Dalvina’s win in the 10-furlong Pretty Polly Stakes (LR) at Newmarket was quite 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. 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 – namely 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.

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.

This is an open affair however, and one must give a lot of respect to the Luca Cumani trained COSMODROME. She was also very impressive winning a Listed event, when quickening past Sudoor for quite a smooth 1 ½-length win in the Height Of Fashion Stakes at Goodwood. A line through the runner-up suggests she has a bit to find on Dalvina but do not read that too literally, as Sudoor ran better at Goodwood. More importantly, Cosmodrome is a filly with plenty of scope, she is a very likely ‘big improver’. She had won on her debut at Wolverhampton (all-weather) in April, and her success at Goodwood was a big step up. Cosmodrome is a daughter of the top class miler Bahri out of the Bering mare Space Time, who was a maiden in France but comes from a good family. Space Time has also produced the US turf winner Tadreeb. Cosmodrome may not be bred purely for 1 ½ miles but she sure shapes like one, and if she improves again as she did from her first to her second start (when she was 10-1) she will take a lot of beating. In a tricky race, she becomes our selection, not least since she comes her off an easy win, as opposed to the two fillies coming from a tough task in the Oaks.

All My Loving has been in the wake of Oaks winner Light Shift on her last two starts, she was beaten just ¾ length when second in the Cheshire Oaks (LR) and she went down by 4 ¾ lengths when third at Epsom. The Ballydoyle filly, a half-sister to top notch fillies Quarter Moon and Yesterday, also holds a winning chance. She has, however, been shaping a bit like a runner needing even further. Perhaps the Park Hill Stakes in September is her best chance of grabbing a Group race.

Baroness Richter is coming off a Listed win over 10.5 furlongs at Toulouse, where she beat Misk by a length after running quite close to the pace. Misk, also trained by Rouget, had won twice previously but was second in another Listed event at Lyon next time out. The form is hard to assess but does not look quite as good as the best of these.




WIN: 3 Cosmodrome


A: 3 with 1, 4
B: 1, 4 with 3

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