Graeme Rodway gives his verdict on Princess Margaret favourite More Beautiful
Princess Margaret Betfred Stakes (Group 3) | 6f | 2yo fillies | ITV4/SKY
More Beautiful was one of the disappointments of the week at Royal Ascot last month when she trailed home only ninth of 18 in the Queen Mary after being sent off the even-money favourite.
Aidan O'Brien sends her on a retrieval mission in this Group 3 and it’s an unusual move from the Ballydoyle maestro, who has run only six juveniles at Ascot this century away from the royal meeting. It’s even more surprising when you find out all six of those were beaten.
Two contested this race, with Queen Of Spain only sixth behind Soraaya in 2010 after being beaten at the royal meeting. The other representative, How, was also sixth when no match for impressive winner Fair Eva in 2016. How didn’t compete at Royal Ascot en route, though.
That’s a moderate record for such a powerful yard and, while More Beautiful is probably better than she showed last month, the step up to 6f will need to bring improvement from this half-sister to 2,000 Guineas winner Saxon Warrior if she is to justify her expected short odds.
Caroline Dale finished six places ahead of More Beautiful when third in the Queen Mary and has since had a confidence-boosting win when odds-on at Windsor three weeks ago. She bids to give David Loughnane his first winner at Ascot and is ridden by red-hot Hollie Doyle.
Loughnane is also responsible for the other big danger Santosha, who last time finished third in the Duchess of Cambridge at Newmarket behind Albany scorer Dandalla and Fev Rover.
That might prove the key line of form given Fev Rover cosily landed the Listed Star Stakes at Sandown on Tuesday, and Santosha was only half a length behind that rival after racing green.
Race analysis by Graeme Rodway
What they say
David Loughnane, trainer of Caroline Dale & Santosha
It’s a big day for the yard and I’m going there quite bullish with the two of them. They have the best form in the race and they’re primed and ready to run really well. I sat on both of them this week, which is something I like to do to get a feel for how they are, and I couldn’t split them if I tried. They’re quite different types – Caroline Dale is all speed and wears her heart on her sleeve while Santosha comes with a late run – and it’s the right race for both of them to target.
Adam Ryan, assistant to Kevin Ryan, trainer of Hala Hala Hala
She was impressive at Thirsk on her debut and the better ground at Ascot compared to Newmarket last time will suit her. She's a nice filly.
Jason Maguire, racing manager for Paul & Clare Rooney, owners of Isabella Giles
She improved from her first run to win second time as well and now that she’s won her two it’s time to step up and see where she is. We didn’t throw her in the deep end and have let her come on, so while it’s a big step up on what she’s done we’re looking forward to it.
Aidan O'Brien, trainer of More Beautiful
She's in very good form and we're happy with her. Good ground is the key to her so hopefully the rain doesn't arrive.
Jane Chapple-Hyam, trainer of On My Way
She was due to run at Royal Ascot but when they had all that rain we decided to wait for this instead. It was a good effort from her to win first time and she's had a good break and freshened up since. She’s in good shape.
Reporting by Peter Scargill
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