Stella Bellissima an interesting Lillie Langtry contender
Tomorrow’s Group 3 Lillie Langtry Stakes is an interesting race and I’m inclined to think that the current favourite, Miss United, is underpriced and vulnerable despite dropping in class to tackle lesser performers. Mick Winters’ 7-year-old filly ran the race of her life at Royal Ascot last time out, belying odds of 40/1 to finish a half-length third of 13 behind Leading Light in the Ascot Gold Cup and if she’s capable of running to the same figures this time around, it’ll be a surprise if she’s beat.
However, although Winters has been smart enough to keep her off the track since that race seven weeks ago, it took an absolutely mammoth effort to produce such a performance and I have to be worried about her backing it up now. It would send many tough sorts over the top and an added question is this six-furlong drop in trip, as although she’s yet to win beyond the 1m 6f trip on the flat, 2m 4f clearly helped her to find the improvement needed to finish so close up in the Gold Cup.
These worries may be completely misplaced, of course, and she’s the favourite for a reason, but when I’ve got doubts over a 2/1 shot there doesn’t need to be much out of place to make me swerve in another direction. I’ll happily let her win at the current prices as they’re far too short.
Second-favourite Talent would have every chance if running to ability and she should will probably appreciate this step up in trip, but the ground is likely to be rattling quick and a bit of ease underfoot suits her best. Next up in the market comes STELLA BELLISSIMA at 5/1 and she’s going to be my selection. The ground should be fine for her and I was quite taken with the way she moved before staying on powerfully to win first time up at Newbury four weeks ago. That was only a maiden of course and this demands a lot more, but she won what looked an all right sort of event despite needing the experience (was quite green) and is bound to have come on plenty, mentally and physically. Her pedigree is all about staying prowess as well, so the extra couple of furlongs will be bang up her street and who knows how much improvement could be in the locker of this John Gosden trained daughter of Sea The Stars. It wouldn’t be the first time Gosden has launched one like this into decent company and come up trumps, so here’s hoping he’ll do so again.
Selection for the Lillie Langtry Stakes (3:45 Goodwood):
Stella Bellissima – 5/1, available generally.
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