Angus McNae's top tips for Sunday: Set In Stone looks a solid option

By Angus McNae
Sun 22 Sep 2019

I was very much against Hermosa in the Matron Stakes last week at Leopardstown.

As it happens the dual Guineas winner ran a blinder to finish second to Iridessa, showing she is back in good form after a dismal run in the Nassau Stakes.

With this run behind her I decided to have a look at her forthcoming entries in conjunction with her pedigree.

Her entry in the QIPCO Fillies and Mares Stakes on QIPCO British Champions day at Ascot on October 19 is most interesting.

It is over 12 furlongs and, if she runs, would be the first time that Hermosa will have encountered this trip.

It should be no problem, though, as her sister Hydrangea won this race in 2017 when upped in distance.

It is also likely to be run on soft ground, as it was in 2017, and Hermosa has only encountered such conditions once - when winning at Galway as a two-year-old.

She has a good deal of untapped potential for this trip on soft ground and is worth a small speculative interest at the 25-1 offered by Coral.

I have four selections at Hamilton for Sunday, starting with:

2.00 Hamilton: Fox Hill

This filly has looked quite quirky at times but she has won two of her past three starts and last time, at Catterick, did well to win a shade comfortably having forced a strong pace and been taken on for the lead early on.

She has to race off a 6lb higher mark promises to get a fairly comfortable time out in front with only Autumn Flight, who wants softer ground, likely to press the pace.

The step up to six furlongs is no problem and she looks certain to continue on an upward curve.

3.00 Hamilton: Jeffrey Harris

This is a weak Class 6 race and many are out of form. At first glance that looks to be the case with this horse, but he ran much better than the bare form indicates when eighth at Musselburgh last time.

He missed the break but then travelled well to get into contention before being badly hampered.

It’s well worth watching the full replay of this run on You can watch the closing stages above.

Danny Tudhope replaces a 7lb claimer and although Jeffrey Harris has a habit of starting slowly the booking of him is definitely a positive.

3.30 Hamilton: Set In Stone

This race looks likely to be dominated by the two Irish raiders, Set In Stone and The Last Emperor.

Both are dropping in grade into this seller and it is the mare, with decent course form, who is my selection.

She won a class 5 handicap here in July and was second here in a class 3 fillies’ handicap where, after six weeks off, she shaped as if she needed the run.

Set In Stone will be all the better for that outing and can repel The Last Emperor, who hails from a shrewd yard but has only been in fair form under both codes this year.

4.30 Hamilton: Lady Alavesa

This filly was an excellent second to the in-form Anna Bunina at Ripon recently and a repetition of that should be good enough here.

That effort represented a return to her best form on just her second start for Michael Herrington and there may be a bit more to come.

She is only 1lb higher and with a decent pace on the cards her hold-up style of racing should see her get involved.

This is no better than the race she ran in last time and she can go one better.

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