Lowther lowdown: all you need to know as Fairyland and Hideaway renew rivalry
Sky Bet Lowther Stakes | Group 2 | 6f | 2yo fillies | ITV/RUK
Royal Ascot in June may be a distant memory for many, but it could offer the key form line for this prestigious Group 2 after the protagonists met in the Albany Stakes.
There was little to split Fairyland and Angel’s Hideaway on that occasion, just one place and one and a quarter lengths, with Fairyland third and Angel’s Hideaway fourth.
The conundrum for punters favouring Fairyland is that she has not been seen since, spending almost nine weeks on the sidelines, in which time Angel’s Hideaway has been enhancing her reputation.
Aidan O’Brien, trainer of Fairyland, said: "She's been consistent and ran very well when third in the Albany. She seems in good form and we're looking forward to getting her out again."
Angel’s Hideaway’s two runs since Ascot in June have been at Group level, first finishing second to subsequent Group 1 winner Pretty Pollyanna at Newmarket’s July meeting before running out a convincing winner of the Group 3 Princess Margaret Stakes back at Ascot last month.
“She won very well at Ascot in a strongly run race and the form of the races she's run in is pretty solid,” said her trainer John Gosden. “She's pleased since and should be suited by the ground and track."
Can impressive pair step forward?
Victory in a four-runner novice stakes at Pontefract would not usually be the path to Lowther success, but it was hard not to be impressed with the way Flawless Jewel came home by 16 lengths last time.
A half-sister to dual 6f Group 2 winner Sands Of Mali, she is out to give trainer Richard Fahey a second win in the race in three years after Queen Kindly triumphed in 2016.
Fahey said: "She needs to step up and it's a big day for her. She has a lot of speed.”
Connections of the inexperienced Flawless Jewel will take heart that last year's winner Threading progressed from taking just a maiden on her debut.
Another with a similar profile is Queen Jo Jo, who got off the mark at the second attempt in novice company at Beverley, where she hit the line strongly over a furlong shorter than she faces here.
Adam Ryan, assistant to trainer Kevin said: “We've always liked her and, after winning on debut, she deserves a step up in class.
"She needs to improve, but we always felt she was capable of making the grade and hopefully stepping up to six furlongs will bring out some improvement."
Can Little Kim bounce back?
Had Little Kim not disappointed in the Super Sprint at Newbury last time she may well be among the favourites, as she was beaten only two lengths in the Queen Mary at Royal Ascot before winning a Group 3 over five furlongs in tenacious fashion at Deauville.
As a consequence, she started joint favourite at Newbury only to finish down the field, although her run was interrupted in the final furlong.
Trainer Karl Burke said: "It's a step up in grade, but she's a high-class filly and her form is good. So long as the ground doesn't dry out much more she'll run a good race."
What the others say
Andrew Balding, trainer of Firelight
We've always thought a fair bit of her and I thought she did well to win her second novice at Kempton as it's tough with a penalty and she threw away a bit of ground by hanging left. It's a big hike, but we're hoping she'll run well.
Michael Bell, trainer of Stage Play
It’s a bit of a dart at the board, but her Vichy form is pretty good and it wasn't surprising she underperformed at Bordeaux last time, having travelled to and from France twice in a fortnight. We’ve a bit to find, but I think she deserves to take her chance.
Brian Ellison, trainer of The Mackem Bullet
She’s a nice filly who ran really well at Ascot, and I do think she'll step up again. I’d say we’d have a job turning the tables on Angel’s Hideaway, but it’s good money and she has a chance of being placed.
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