Hunt for black type is on as fillies shoot for Listed prize
Whitsbury Manor Stud & EBF Stallions Lansdown Stakes (Listed Race) (Fillies & Mares) (Class 1) | 5f | 3yo+ | ATR
Clive Cox enjoyed a fabulous 2016, partly due to Alan Spence's sprinter Profitable, and the pair are looking to strike in this Listed contest with Priceless.
The four-year-old is the highest rated among the field of 13 and finished off last season with a Listed win at Doncaster in September. Her trainer has landed this race twice before, with Gilt Edge Girl in 2010 and Place In My Heart in 2013.
Robert Cowell is another who often has a say when sprint prizes are up for grabs, and the trainer is doubly represented here with Evil Spell and Shrill.
For all involved, the desire to pick up some valuable black type is strong, with plenty of broodmare prospects going to post.
An interesting youngster
The sole three-year-old in the field is Swish, trained by Curragh-based John James Feane. She arrives at Bath having won a Dundalk contest in stylish fashion and is not one to be underestimated.
Going a big factor
The winner will have to handle Bath's firm ground and, while there is plenty of reasonable form on offer on good to firm ground, only two of these have encountered firm before. Fredricka finished third on firm ground at Doncaster in July 2013, while Belledesert was a winner at Bath last summer on the same going.
What they say
Clive Cox, trainer of Priceless
She's really just come to herself in the last couple of weeks. She took a while to come to herself last spring, so I'm hopeful rather than certain. She finished last season really well and she'll love the ground. Our horses are running well, it's a race we've won twice in the past and I'm delighted to be going there with a live contender.
Steph Hollinshead, trainer of Belledesert
It's a bit of a tall order but she'll love the ground and she loves the track. I don't think five furlongs will be a problem but it's just about whether she can step up in this grade. She'll have to improve and I think she has improved over the winter, so I don't think we're going there without any chance - hopefully she can run into a place and pick up some black type.
Robert Cowell, trainer of Evil Spell and Shrill
Shrill has been bought as a broodmare prospect and we're trying to get some black type with her. She's an attractive filly, got bags of speed and is fit and well. I'd hope she'll run well. Evil Spell has good form in Italy but I'm not sure how it translates over here. She's been working well and is a big, strong filly, but her form indicates she may prefer a little cut in the ground; we'll see how she gets on.
Adam Ryan, assistant to Kevin Ryan, trainer of Futoon
She progressed well last year and hopefully we can get some black type into her. The track and going should be in her favour. She's wintered well, she looks a stronger filly again this year and hopefully she can run well.
Roger Varian, trainer of Imtiyaaz
Imtiyaaz has been training well this spring and we've always planned on getting her ready for this race. She has a good record fresh, loves fast ground and is well drawn, so I hope she can be very competitive.