Analysis and key trainer quotes for the Eternal Stakes at Haydock
EBF Eternal Fillies' Stakes (Listed) | 7f | 3yo | RTV
At Carlisle, this seven-furlong Listed race for fillies often turned into something of a black type hunt. Over the last ten years, finishing in the first three typically took a performance in the low-to-mid 90s on Racing Post Ratings.
This year, at more forgiving Haydock amid a reduced programme of racing, eight of the 13 declared runners have already run to a figure of 93 or higher. In theory, it has the look of a more convincing launchpad to Group races.
To emphasise the point, one of the most significant form lines to this race is the Rockfel Stakes. It was won by Daahyeh, who went on to be second at the Breeders' Cup, with 1,000 Guineas second Cloak Of Spirits third. Completing a group of four who pulled clear were Stylistique and Under The Stars, beaten half a length and a length respectively. Both run here.
Under The Stars is likely to be favourite, having since won a valuable sales race and been sixth in the Guineas. Neither performance has been within 10lb of her Rockfel fourth.
The other proven Group performer is Boomer, who won the Prestige Stakes and was second in the May Hill. The second of those efforts would not have suggested running over 7f come almost July of her three-year-old season, but the drop in trip is somewhat commensurate with how she shaped in the Fillies' Mile and Guineas.
Most of the others have come from the more familiar route of maidens and novices. Jovial convincingly won a handicap off 84 on her reappearance. Normally that would make her a firm contender in the Eternal Stakes, but in a year like this she will need to find a bit more.
Keith Melrose, betting editor
What they say
Tom Dascombe, trainer of Boomer
She performed really well at two and we were very happy with her. We opted to go for the Guineas and I just thought she was too keen and didn't stay, so we're dropping her back in class. That said, there are three horses in the race who also ran in the Guineas. There's some very good horses in the race but this seems a more sensible approach and hopefully we'll get her back on a winning thread.
Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager to Khalid Abdullah, owner of Jovial
She won what was quite a rough race at Lingfield and has come out of that well, but she'll need to be progressive as it's a smart race.
Rebecca Menzies, trainer of Stormy Girl
She's obviously a talented filly. We're hoping she'll stay the seven furlongs but it's a bit of an unknown for her. I think the important thing is that if she settles nicely then she'll stay the trip. It's a tough race but I'd like to think she'll be in with a squeak.
Roger Varian, trainer of Stylistique
She's come out of her Newbury win in good shape and this looks the right race for her. We could have done with a better draw but she'll like the ground.
James Tate, trainer of Under The Stars
She ran really well in the Guineas and it looks like the drop to seven furlongs would be ideal as she was a bit too fresh early on. The draw could've been a bit kinder to us but she always runs a good race and I'm confident she'll run well.
Reporting by Andrew Wilsher
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