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Star Stakes: The inside track ahead of Sandown Listed prize

Wed 21 Jul 2021

Charlie Appleby is confident that Wild Beauty will be “well suited” to the track as she bids to land a hat-trick of wins in the British Stallion Studs EBF Star Stakes, the Listed highlight on Thursday at Sandown Park.

This will be the quickest ground that the Frankel filly has encountered so far, but Appleby expects his improving juvenile to prove equally as effective on a faster surface in the seven-furlong contest.

William Buick speaks to Rishi Persad after victory for Wild Beauty last time

Appleby said: “She has progressed on each of her last two starts. We stepped her up in trip last time and I was very pleased with that performance on soft ground.

“She deserves to take her chance in a black type level race. It is the right race for her and she will be well suited by the stiff track.

“We’ve got a bit of a wide draw but there are only nine runners so I’m not that concerned about that. She goes there in great order, but like a lot of them in the field she will be testing her mettle there.

“The quicker ground doesn’t worry me as the dam’s side of the family go on quick ground. We’ve not encountered quick ground yet but it doesn’t worry me.”

Mark Johnston will rely on the unbeaten Qipao for a third success in this contest after previous victories for his Walk In Marrakesh (2019) and Fireglow (2015).

Qipao looks useful on debut at Hamilton Park

Charlie Johnston, son and assistant trainer, said: “She has always been a filly that has pleased us at home but has probably come to hand a bit earlier for one by Muhaarar, whose progeny generally take a bit of time.

“We were a little bit concerned six furlongs would be too sharp for her first-time out at Hamilton but as soon as she hit the rising ground she stayed on very strongly .

“She went up to seven furlongs for the first time at Chelmsford and, although she didn’t achieve much, she qualified for two nice bonuses.

“She has got quite a bit to find on ratings but that is only because she has been strategically placed and you can’t knock what she has done so far.

“We sent out Dubai Fountain to finish second last year and this is a race that is always on the radar for this type of filly.

“The dam (The Gold Cheongsam) had plenty of boot but she is a big, scopey filly who we always thought would want seven this year. There should be no excuses regarding ground or trip.”

Connections of the Simon and Ed Crisford-trained Safra hope the decision to retain a visor can help the Kempton Park scorer follow up on turf debut.

Safra stays on strongest under Andrea Atzeni in a cracking finish at Kempton Park

Ed Crisford said of the War Front filly: “She won last time on her first try over seven furlongs. She is a likeable filly and with her breeding she should like the quick ground.

“It is a hot little race but she deserves to take her chance. She is in good form and seems to have improved since Kempton.

“Her form got a nice boost with Value Theory, who finished third, winning at Newmarket on Saturday.

“She has worked on the grass at home but she just wants quick ground. It will be her first time on grass on the racetrack but her breeding suggests she will run well on turf.

“She really stuck her neck out last time and she tries hard. The visor helped her concentrate last time.

“We didn’t have it on the first time but she breezed in one in America and it seemed to do the trick last time.”

Rab Havlin predicts a good future for Inspiral after impressive debut success

Spearheading the John and Thady Gosden pair of runners is the Cheveley Park Stud homebred Inspiral, who made a winning debut on the July Course at Newmarket last month.

Thady Gosden said: “She is extremely well-bred (by Frankel and out of dual Group One runner-up Starscope) and ran well first time out under a nice hands and heels ride over seven furlongs at Newmarket.

“On the basis of that she deserves to go straight into a black type race. She has got a lovely big stride on her and will get further in time.

“It’s a stiff seven at Sandown and hopefully that will suit, while her form was given a good boost after the runner-up in her last race won at Newmarket recently.”

The combination of a switch to a sounder surface and a step-up in trip is expected to benefit the Gosden’s other runner Sunstrike, who runs in the colours of Qatar Racing.

"She's a gorgeous type" - Oisin Murphy after victory for Sunstrike at Kempton

After getting off the mark on her penultimate outing at Kempton Park, the Dark Angel filly finished eighth in the Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot on her latest start.

“She seems like she is a top of the ground filly,” added Gosden. “When we got to Ascot it was when they had that torrential rain and that didn’t help her, but she still ran respectably.

“Hopefully she will be more competitive on the step-up to seven furlongs on better ground.”

Karl Burke’s Almohandesah steps up in both trip and grade as she tackles seven furlongs in Listed company for the first time.

“She deserves her chance and she deserves to take a pop at some black type,” said the Middleham trainer.

“It looks a tough race for her, but we’re happy with the conditions and she’s in good form.

“She won’t mind the ground at all, and seven furlongs will definitely suit her.”

Charlie Hills runs Doncaster debut winner Allayaali, while Profound Alexander searches a first career victory for William Muir and Chris Grassick.

David Evans’ Fabiosa completes the field of nine.

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