The Nell Gwyn Stakes is the feature at Newmarket and it often acts as a key trial for the 1000 Guineas.
Aidan O'Brien brings over ROLY POLY and BRAVE ANNA for the contest. Ryan Moore has chosen to ride the former which, on paper, suggests his mount has a better chance. Roly Poly took a while to fulfill her potential as a juvenile but she put it all together impressively in the Cherry Hinton Stakes on Newmarket's July course, scoring by half-a-length. Following on from that effort, the daughter of War Front was second to Queen Kindly at York in the Lowther Stakes and then played bridesmaid to Brave Anna in the Cheveley Park Stakes. Roly Poly signed off the season with a lacklustre effort in the Juvenile Fillies Turf at the Breeders' Cup but that run can be forgiven after a long season. Roly Poly does have form to reverse with her stablemate but when Moore and O'Brien team up at Newmarket they have a 14% better than expected strike-rate. She should get the seven furlongs being out of former Pretty Polly Stakes winner Misty For Me.
Brave Anna tops BTO+ ratings and it is easy to see why given she holds form over Roly Poly. The daughter of War Front was a double-figure price when she bolted up in the Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot and had Queen Kindly in behind that day. Brave Anna finished sixth in her next two starts, both at the Curragh respectively. But, she put it all together at Newmarket in the Cheveley Park under cracking ride by Seamie Heffernan, who takes the reins today. The one question mark around Brave Anna is she steps but to seven furlongs for the first time as her dam never won beyond six.
Andre Fabre has an impeccable record at Newmarket and he brings PAMPLEMOUSSE across the Channel. She is the joint-least experienced filly in the field given she's only won her maiden start but her trainer is a master and must think his charge is in with a shot. Pamplemousse had her debut at Chantilly earlier in the month and she hacked up to score by four-and-a-half lengths from a Bated Breath filly. This is a significant step-up for the daughter of Siyouni but Fabre would not be bringing her over if she wasn't in with a chance.
William Haggas' SEA OF GRACE tops BTO+ speed ratings and she has sound claims. The daughter of Born To Sea has joined Haggas after being at John Oxx's yard last year. In Ireland, she scratched off her maiden tag on the second time of asking before landing a Group Three by a neck. In both of those victories, she beat Dermot Weld's Eziyra, who subsequently landed the Park Stakes in impressive fashion. Sea Of Grace should have wintered well and Haggas has got off to a flying start this term having saddled four winners from just nine runners, at a strike-rate 47% better than expected.
POET'S VANITY is third best rated by BTO+. She was desperately unlucky to meet the classy Wuheida on her debut at Newmarket last year. Andrew Balding's charge was, however, in the winners' enclosure on her second start at Salisbury where she decimated the field and cruised to a 10-length win. That effort gave Poet's Vanity plenty of confidence going into the Oh So Sharp Stakes at Newmarket in October. Despite running keenly in the early stages, Oisin Murphy positioned his mount just off the pace and hit the front two furlongs from home, and never looked like being caught. That effort puts the daughter of Poet's Voice in good stead but she faces a tougher field this afternoon.
John Gosden and Frankie Dettori teamed up to saddle Nathra to victory in the Nell Gwyn last year. DABAN carries the same colours and she's had just the one start. That came at Kempton in November where she clinched the contest by half-a-length but the race didn't look the strongest.
Article Posted on Wednesday 19th April 2017 @ 08.12
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