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Champions Fillies & Mares: Vita Nova a tepid favourite
by Handicappers ( / Globeform (
Last update: 2011-10-15 07:07:54 (First published: 2011-10-06 11:13:23 )

Ascot Oct 15:

Ascot Oct 15: Bookmakers have put the Henry Cecil trained Vita Nova up as their 3-1 favourite for the iunaugural running of the Champions Filly & Mare Stakes.

This is an open affair though, as Globeform ratings clearly show quite a few of these are in with a realistic chance of landing the spoils. Oaks heroine Dancing Rain will have her supporters, as will the lightly raced four-year-old Ferdoos and Frankie Dettori's mount Meeznah. .

Competitive is the best word to use in describing this lineup. Top class it ain't but it should be a good race.


Ascot 15 Oct 2011 1 miles Turf

Runners presented with best Globeform, sire, trainer, rider (draw)

Globeform ratings are expressed in pounds
1 length = 1,5lb over this distance

119 - CRYSTAL CAPELLA (Cape Cross) Sir Michael Stoute / Ryan Moore (1)
115p - FERDOOS (Dansili) Roger Varian / Neil Callan (10)
115 - VITA NOVA (Galileo) Sir Henry Cecil / Tom Queally (5)
114 - DANCING RAIN (Danehill Dancer) William Haggas / Johnny Murtagh (11)
114 - MEEZNAH (Dynaformer) David Lanigan / Frankie Dettori (4)
113 - BANIMPIRE (Holy Roman Emperor) Jim Bolger / Kevin Manning (7)
112 - GERTRUDE BELL (Sinndar) John Gosden / William Buick (2)
110 - BIBLE BELT (Big Bad Bob) Jessica Harrington / Fran Berry (8)
100 - BOLIVIA (Monsun) Lucy Wadham / tba (3)
_99 - CILL RIALAIG (Environment Friend) Hughie Morrison / Steve Drowne (6)
_97 - BRUSHING (Medicean) Mark Tompkins / Kieren Fallon (9)


Crystal Capella Incredible form when outclassing a strong bunch of males in July, but has not followed up

Ferdoos Lightly raced 4yo, beat Vita Nova on only start this year, potentially a big improver, obvious chance

Vita Nova Tough and consistent but lacks that little bit extra at the top level, then again, this is not a G1

Dancing Rain Handed a soft lead when winning Oaks at Epsom, might move forward and Ascot should suit

Meeznah 2nd Oaks 2010, solid winner over 1 miles at Doncaster, and would also fit into Long Distance Cup

Banimpire Won G2 over this trip Royal Ascot, game in defeat once more when 3rd in Longchamp G1 last out

Gertrude Belle Fortunate winner of Lancashire Oaks (G2) when Vita Nova's saddle slipped, big ask this

Bible Belt impressive 5-length winner penultitame start, too bad to be true last time, 20-1 makes her an EW bet


This is the most open looking race on the day

produced one of the best performances seen by a filly or mare in England this year when slamming Redwood by 8 lengths to win the Princess Of Wales's Stakes (G2) over a mile at Nemarket in July. It was a very encouraging run, and seemed to set her up for a big win sooner rather than later. We are now in mid-October, much later, and not much has happened. She has raced twice since and run respectably but not been anywhere near her Newmarket form. She was 3 lengthe behind Midday when fourth in the Nassau Stakes (G1) at Goodwood and 6 lengths behind Blue Bunting when fourth in the Yorskshire Oaks (G1). This 6yo mare has had her probelms and she is lightly raced so we should probably be a bit careful. She has the class to win this race but when will we next see that class?

FERDOOS is a far more appealing contender, and she should be the favourite. The daughter of Dansili was unlucky not win a Listed event here at Ascot last autumn, when he ran green and lost by just a nose to Polly's Mark. This year, Ferdoos has raced just the once, when beating Vita Nova by a neck in the 12-furlong Pinnacle Stakes (LR) at Haydock Park in May. She was always prominent in that event, and simply outstayed her more experienced rival. Back in third came Meeznah, and fourth place went to Crystal Capella. Isn't this form, by a filly having her seasonal debut and only her fourth career start, good enough to make her favourite to win the Fillies' and Mares Stakes? One would have thought so, but Ferdoos is available at 7-2. She has a lot going for her, but for one thing; her rider has a poor record here at Ascot (2-for-53 the last two years and only 5% w-t-r over the last five).

VITA NOVA went on to the Lancashire Oaks (G2), also over 12 furlongs at Haydock, after losing to Ferdoos. She was second again but this time a very unlucky loser, as her saddle slipped badly at the finish. Jockey Tom Queally did well to stay on board but Vita Nova's chances had gone. She was beaten 1 lengths by GERTRUDE BELL, who is in oppostion again here. Vita Nova ran another good race in the Yorkshire Oaks (G1) at York in August, taking second length behind the favourite Blue Bunting. She is tough, game and consistent and must have a chance on Champions day. She has had three hard races on the bounce but they have been well spaced out and it may have affected her enthusiasm.

DANCING RAIN enjoyed an uncontested lead (and was furtunate in that Blue Bunting ran below form) when winning the Oaks (G1) over this distance at Epsom in June. Blue Bunting gained her revenge when winning the Irish Oaks (G1) at The Curragh, where Dancing Rain had to settle for fifth. She was next sent to Dusseldorf in August, to win the Deutsches Oaks (G2). Racing over 11 furlongs on soft ground, Dancing Rain once more went straight to the lead and proved far too good for her 15 rivals. She won by 3 lengths from Djumana (who finished 1 lengths behind Banimpire when 5th to Nahrain in the Prix de l'Opera, G1). With plenty of other prominent runners in the mix, it is unlikely that she will allowed a loose lead here but if it happens Dancing Rain becomes dangerous, as the relatively short straight at Ascot favours her style.

MEEZNAH was a G3 winner over 1 miles at Goodwood in July (beating Shankardeh 2 lengths) and picked up a G2 over 15 furlongs at Doncaster in September (beating Set To Music easily by 3 lengths). There was some talk of the Melbourne Cup (G1) after that win, and she would also fit well into the Long Distance Cup on this card, but drops back to 1 miles. Frankie Dettori retaines the ride and this combination will be popular amongst Tote punters, but it is unlikely that Meeznah is sharp enough to win.

BANIMPIRE keeps on running honest, hard races, one by one. She must be tough, having been on the go since early spring and still proviing competitive in valaubel Group races. She was third behind Nahrain and Announce in the Prix de l'Opera (G1) at Longchamp on October 2. Back in June, she won the Ribblesdale Stakes (G2) over 12 furlongs at the Royal Ascot meeting, and in July she was just touched off by Blue Bunting in a photofinish to the Irish Oaks (G1) at The Curragh.

BIBLE BELT is the most interesting longshot. She ran to Globeform 110 when beating Hurricane Havoc by 5 lengths in a Listed event at Gowran Park in Ireland in August, and followed up by beating Wild Wind by 1 lengths in a G3 at The Curragh 18 days later. Those were both races staged over 9 furlongs, and it is harrd to say whether she will stay twelve. It is also hardo explain her most recent run, when she was beaten 17 lengths into seventh in a G2 at The Curragh. Her off-the-pace running style suggests that she will stay further. She is 20-1 in the early betting.




Win: 5 Ferdoos

6 Exactas:

4 5 8 combined / boxed

42 Trifectas

A: 5 with 4, 8 with 4, 8
B: 5 with 4, 8 with 6, 7, 9, 10, 11
C: 5 with 6, 7, 9, 10, 11 with 4, 8
D: 5 with 6, 7, 9, 10, 11 with 6, 7, 9, 10, 11

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