Artistic Jewel the one
to beat says McMahon
EBF Highfield Farm Flying Fillies' Stakes (Listed Race) | 6f, 3yo+ | RUK
CITY GIRL and Nargys, two highly rated juvenile fillies of last year, have the chance to redeem themselves against their elders.
Nargys looked to have a bright future when second to Just The Judge in the Group 2 Rockfel Stakes last autumn and City Girl was fourth in the Lowther this time last year.
Neither has won a race at this level subsequently with only Artistic Jewel of this field able to boast that achievement, twice over, hence her 4lb penalty.
Owner-breeder Jeff Smith has two runners - City Girl and Elusive Flame - in a race he won ten years ago with Lochridge, who happens to be the dam of City Girl.
First and seconds
The 2012 winner Mince was the only three-year-old to win in the last ten years but that generation had filled second in the previous six runnings and had provided the winners from 1998-2001.
Barren run for favourites
Favourites do not have a good record, with Mince the first to oblige since Lochridge nine years earlier.
Penalty not a burden
The 4lb penalty for being a Listed winner did not stop Ripples Maid, Indian Maiden and Goldeva from winning in the last ten years. Indian Maiden had also finished second in the race the year before she won. Penalised Artistic Jewel was third last year.
No need to be in 100-plus club
There is hope for those not officially rated in three figures as seven of the last ten winners were rated in the 90s and a double-figure draw has not stopped four of the last ten winners.
What they say
Ed McMahon, trainer of Artistic Jewel
"She was still a bit weak when running well in the race last year and acquitted herself well in the Cecil Frail. She was going for the Summer Stakes but got a virus. She's fine now and Graham Lee is back on her. She looks the one to beat."
David Elsworth, trainer of Elusive Flame
"She has a bad draw and that makes it even tougher as she's up against it on ratings, but she seems to excel at this time of year."
Ralph Beckett, trainer of City Girl
"It may have been too quick back at York after her conditions race win and this looks easier. She's in good shape."
Rae Guest, trainer of Minalisa
"She's been running very well, is drawn well and would have a good chance as long as the ground stays good to firm."
Luca Cumani, trainer of Nargys
"She's been a little disappointing so we are dropping her back in trip and putting on a visor. Unfortunately she hasn't got a great draw."
David Brown, trainer of Pearl Sea
"I expect her to run a big race and think dropping back in trip to six furlongs uphill might suit."
Pontefract good to firm, good in places (watered)
Southwell good (watered)
Today's key pointers
Kevin Ryan has three wins and a second in the two-year-old maiden at Pontefract (2.15) in the last six years, with only four runners in the race. He relies on The Boss of Me this year.
Mince won the 6f Listed fillies' race at Pontefract (3.45) last year at the age of three, but generally three-year-olds are opposable in the race. In the last ten seasons they are 1/47, compared to 8/60 for horses aged four and older.
Pointers courtesy of Raceform Interactive