Newmarket preview: Shale and Pretty Gorgeous face off again in Fillies' Mile

Thu 8 Oct 2020

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Take a closer look at the leading contenders in the bet365 Fillies' Mile

Donnacha and Joseph O’Brien are both looking forward to a fourth clash between Shale and Pretty Gorgeous in the bet365 Fillies’ Mile.

Shale gave younger brother Donnacha the bragging rights when showing Pretty Gorgeous the way home in the Silver Flash at Leopardstown in early August, before the latter comprehensively gained her revenge in the Debutante Stakes at the Curragh a couple of weeks later.

Shale came out on top by three-quarters of a length when the pair met for the trilogy in last month’s Moyglare Stud Stakes, and her trainer is hoping she can double her Group One tally at Newmarket on Friday.

He said: “The ground is probably going to be a bit softer than ideal, but she’s in good form and we’re hoping for a big run.

“There’s not a lot between our filly and Joseph’s, obviously. I think the step up in trip is going to suit my one, so it will be good fun watching them run against each other and I’m sure it will be another good race.

“There’s some other smart fillies in the race and it will be interesting to see how the Irish and English form lines stack up.”

Shale just got the better of Pretty Gorgeous in the Moyglare Stud Stakes last time out

Pretty Gorgeous had been due to contest the Prix Marcel Boussac at ParisLongchamp, but was declared a non-runner after all horses trained by the O’Brien family were withdrawn from their races on Arc day due to issues surrounding contaminated feed.

Her trainer said: “She’s in good shape. It looks a very good race and we’re looking forward to seeing her run.

“We’re obviously meeting Donnacha’s filly again and it will be interesting to see how it goes.

“It’s probably not the ideal preparation after last weekend, but we’re hoping for a good run.

“She has handled a bit of juice in the ground.”

Aidan O’Brien saddles a couple of outsiders in Mother Earth and Snowfall, while the home team is headed by the unbeaten Indigo Girl, who bids to provide John Gosden with a fifth Fillies’ Mile success.

Impressive on her racecourse debut at Yarmouth, Indigo Girl successfully graduated to Group Two class less than a fortnight later in the May Hill Stakes at Doncaster.

Indigo Girl is reopposed by the second, third and fourth from the May Hill in Dubai Fountain (Mark Johnston), Zabeel Queen (Roger Varian) and Lilac Road (William Haggas).

Isabella Giles has won four of her five starts for Clive Cox and earned her step up to the Group One level by winning the Group Two Rockfel Stakes at Newmarket a fortnight ago.

“She’s been a very pleasing filly and has enjoyed easy ground, which she’s likely to get on Friday,” said Cox.

“We’re obviously stepping up to a mile, but she’s come out of the Rockfel so well and we’re pleased she’s taking this step.

“It’s a strong race, but we’re looking forward to it.”

Seattle Rock (Sylvester Kirk) and Star Of Emaraaty (Kevin Ryan) complete the 11-strong field.

Click here to view the full Cornwallis Stakes racecard plus the best odds for all the contenders.

All eyes will be on Method as the talented youngster goes on a recovery mission in the Newmarket Academy Godolphin Breeding Project Cornwallis Stakes at Headquarters on Friday, live on Racing TV at 1.50pm.

The Martyn Meade-trained colt is on a recovery mission following a luckless run in the Middle Park Stakes, when his saddle slipped – giving Frankie Dettori no chance to ride a race.

Method trailed home last of the eight after being eased down and allowed him to come home in his own time.

He was sent off the 100-30 second-favourite after winning his first two races in impressive fashion.

Meade admits dropping down to the minimum trip for the first time is not perfect – but hopes that will be tempered by the stiff track at Newmarket.

Things did not go to plan for Method in the Middle Park last time out

“Obviously it’s not ideal coming back to five furlongs – he is a six-furlong horse. Having said that, he does have plenty of speed and I have got to run him somewhere before the end of the season,” said Meade.

“He didn’t take anything out of himself in the Middle Park. He seems in good form and we’re hoping he can show his superiority over a distance that is a little bit shorter than ideal.

“It is a stiff five furlongs at Newmarket and the ground isn’t going to be lightning fast. From what I’ve seen of him working on soft ground at home, I don’t think it will be a huge inconvenience.

“Hopefully he can finish his season on a decent note.”

Clive Cox sees going back to five furlongs as a plus for First Edition, after the son of Invincible Spirit found the six a shade too far when fourth to Alkumait in the Mill Reef Stakes at Newbury.

“He ran very well when he was fourth in the Mill Reef and is a horse we like a lot,” said Cox.

“The drop back to five furlongs seems to be a positive move, I just hope the ground isn’t too soft for him.”

Cox expects Snazzy Jazzy to relish the rain-softened going in the Godolphin Stud & Stable Staff Awards Challenge Stakes.

“He’ll love conditions and mainly his performances are very consistent,” said the Lambourn handler.

“He took a little step back on his last run, we’re not quite sure why, but he’s trained well.

“It’s his first run on the track and any rain will be appreciated by him.”

Godolphin have two contenders in Zakouski and Glorious Journey, trained by Charlie Appleby.

“We have been pleased with Zakouski’s preparation and are happy to drop him back to seven furlongs in testing conditions,” the Newmarket trainer told

“He is a horse with a nice profile and doesn’t have to carry a Group Two penalty for his win earlier in the year. We are looking forward to seeing him back running on British soil ahead of another Dubai campaign.

“Glorious Journey has shown that he is capable of winning at this level and conditions will be there to suit. He came out of his run at Newbury well and his confidence is up on the back of that win. We are hopeful that he can put up another decent performance.”

A fascinating Group Two contest features a German raider, the Dominik Moser-trained Namos, fresh from his victory in a Group Three at Baden-Baden a month ago.

Roger Varian supplies the only two three-year-olds in the line-up.

Daahyeh makes a belated seasonal debut after being off the track since finishing second in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf at Santa Anita 11 months ago.

Khaloosy turns up after being withdrawn from the Guisborough Stakes at Redcar last weekend due to issues surrounding contaminated feed.

Joseph O’Brien is looking to pick up some more black type for Thinking Of You in the Godolphin Lifetime Care Group Three Oh So Sharp Stakes.

The American Pharoah filly was third in the Weld Park Stakes at the Curragh at this level after making a winning debut in a Limerick maiden.

“We’re hoping for some black type,” said O’Brien.

“She ran a very good race at the Curragh last time in what was a messy enough race. I’m quite hopeful of a good run from her.”

Opposition includes the Varian-trained Nazuna, who was second to Isabella Giles in the Rockfel Stakes, and Jane Chapple-Hyam’s Saffron Beach. The New Bay filly made a big impression when making a winning debut over this course and distance two weeks ago.

Magic Lily returns from a 115-day break in the Darley Pride Stakes since Royal Ascot.

She was also busy at Meydan during the winter where she lifted the Group Two Balanchine and was second to stablemate Barney Roy in the Group One Jebel Hatta.

Appleby has slight concerns about the ground, but reports the five-year-old to be in good shape.

“Magic Lily was on the go for a while during the first half of the year and we gave her a nice break over the summer,” he said.

“This looked like a nice opportunity for her, particularly as she won’t have to carry a penalty for her victories in Dubai. There is a question mark about how she will handle the ground but she goes into this race fresh and well.”

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