Minidress looking good on stakes card
It is surprising that nobody has come up with some fatuous new branding for this fixture, now that it contains so many races confined to fillies and mares — including no fewer than three Group Ones. But then life is full of missed opportunities.
How on earth, for instance, did a filly by Street Cry out of Short Skirt end up with any name other than Wolf Whistle?
Minidress, as she was christened instead, has failed to seduce Frankie Dettori for today’s Sakhee Oh So Sharp Stakes.
The Godolphin jockey favours Rakasa, but while her form may be strictly superior, it came in a muddling race at Goodwood last time out.
There could be value, as a result, in the mount of Ahmed Ajtebi.
The former camel rider's profile has dimmed somewhat since his staggering success at the 2009 Breeders' Cup, not least through the emergence of a more obvious heir to Dettori in Mickael Barzalona.
But handsome is as handsome does, and he continues to yield a big level stakes profit.
Minidress made her contribution with an emphatic debut success on the July Course and, while the form has not really worked out, everything else about Minidress (1.15) demands close inspection. From an excellent middle-distance family, she hurtled four lengths clear in a sprint finish that day and Mahmood Al Zarooni can measure her competence for this level against an exceptional team of juvenile fillies.
To date the most accomplished among them is another daughter of Street Cry, Lyric Of Light, herself fast-tracked from maiden to Group company when winning the May Hill Stakes.
She is duly favourite for the Shadwell Fillies' Mile, run at Newmarket for the first time, in dubious part-exchange for the Champion Stakes, but is pursued here by Fallen For You, who only has a neck to find. Their form at Doncaster was diluted by a fairly flat run by Regal Realm, however, and so a chance is taken with the raw potential of Firdaws (3.0).
As has been widely observed by now, it would be difficult to resist a sense of benign destiny should Roger Varian win his first Group One prize in the week he lost his mentor, Michael Jarvis.
And Firdaws could hardly condense the Jarvis legacy better, as a daughter of his last Classic winner, Eswarah. She was not terribly flamboyant at Salisbury, but had an awful draw on dead ground, and Jarvis has plainly taught his assistant not to hasten young horses out of their grade.