Can Shimmering Dawn silence the doubters and book her ticket to Lingfield?
Get Your Ladbrokes Daily Odds Boost Fillies' Conditions Stakes (Class 2) | 4yo+ | 7f | Sky
Shimmering Dawn sets a high standard in this Fast-Track Qualifier for Finals Day at Lingfield on Good Friday, but there are a couple of doubts surrounding her chance.
The surface is the major one. Shimmering Dawn has proven herself adept on Polytrack with three wins at Chelmsford and one at Lingfield, but she has yet to run at Wolverhampton and her only start on Tapeta resulted in a well-held ninth of 11 at Newcastle last summer.
That was in the face of a stiff task at 40-1 in the Group 3 Chipchase Stakes and Shimmering Dawn finished only four lengths behind the winner. So maybe it wasn't a bad run in the context of this easier assignment, and it was her equal third-best effort on Racing Post Ratings.
If that is enough to convince you she will transfer her Polytrack form, then what do you make of her latest effort at Lingfield? Yes, she won, but she was 14lb ahead of the runner-up Queen's Course at the weights and won by only a neck. The form has taken a knock, too.
Queen's Course was beaten in a handicap off a mark of 80 last week and that casts doubt over Shimmering Dawn's ability to beat rivals rated in the high 80s to early 90s off level weights.
Amniarix is only the fifth best on BHA ratings with a mark of 83, but the daughter of Speightstown is bred to relish artificial surfaces and is improving rapidly on the all-weather.
She has run only four times but now seeks a hat-trick and is a course-and-distance winner.
The Tapeta surface evidently holds no fears for her and Richard Kingscote is a positive booking. The rider has an 18 per cent strike-rate for the Walker stable in the last five seasons.
Race analysis by Graeme Rodway
What they say
James Tate, trainer of Shimmering Dawn
She had an interrupted preparation going into her last start at Lingfield, so we were pretty pleased that she was able to get the job done under a 5lb penalty. She has come out of Lingfield in very good form and I am much happier with her heading into this race. On the ratings she looks to have a favourite's chance and, all being well, she will hopefully be bang there.
Richard Spencer, trainer of Odyssey Girl and Stay Classy
Stay Classy ran here last week, but they went very steady which didn't suit. She's a horse that usually comes into her own in the winter months and we just have to put a line through that last run. Odyssey Girl could have a good each-way chance based on her Newmarket win in October.
Dave Loughnane, trainer of Amber Island
It's a step up in grade and she'll need a career best to win but we're not there to make up the numbers. We think she's got more ability to give and won well round there last time.
Jane Chapple-Hyam, trainer of Starry Eyes
She ran well for us at Wolverhampton last week and, although it's a quick turnaround, the owner was happy for her to take her chance and she's in good order. She showed enough speed the other day to make me think she can hit it out the gates and run well over this slightly shorter trip.
Reporting by Sam Hendry
Join Members' Club Ultimate and read tipping from the likes of Pricewise and Paul Kealy, all the big interviews and features, daily comment and news analysis – plus our Ultimate Daily newsletter. Click here to sign up.