This doesn’t look the strongest race in the world, and it is quite possible that the handicapper has let MELNIKOVA in very lightly here off a mark of 83.
She is a half-sister to Davydenko and Marenko and both of them achieved ratings of 103, so she is bred to be very useful indeed. She won on debut at Kempton over 7 furlongs and you always take notice when a Michael Stoute wins first time out with a two-year-old.
The form of that race looks very strong now, the second Stylistique is now rated 104 and the fourth Run Wild is currently rated 109. That win would make a Melnikova to look thrown in off a mark of 83.
While she disappointing when third behind Quadrilateral on her second and final start at two, there was no disgrace that in run and if she is ready to go after the absence, she could prove very difficult to beat.
JONAH JONES was extremely eye-catching on his debut for Ed Walker at Haydock a few weeks back, and with normal improvement for a run, could prove hard to beat here.
He started out his career with Tom Dascombe running over a variety of trips though, showing loads of promise on several of his runs. His run at Haydock came over 5 furlong, where he got badly hampered when just making his challenge – though once he got in the clear he made up a remarkable amount of ground in the final furlong to finish third, beaten around a length.
He’s drawn high in stall 20 here, which is normally the place to be at Ascot, and provided luck in running, I reckon he’ll go very close.
EDRAAK showed an electric turn of foot on his stable debut over this course and distance when absolutely bolting up in a novice event. On his next start he stepped up to 7 furlongs on good to soft ground and while he travelled well into the race, he found a lot less than looked likely and faded to finish 10th of 11.
It’s not hard to excuse that run as the combination of softer ground, a step up in trip and potentially the race coming too soon after his impressive first run of the season. Those factors could all have contributed to the disappointing performance.
He returns to Newcastle and looks on a handy mark, it would be disappointing if he isn’t capable of going very close here.
THANIELLE really caught the eye several times as a two-year-old and I’ve been waiting for her to enter handicap company as a three-year-old.
She is up three furlongs in distance from her reappearance, which can only benefit being by Nathanial. If she settles well, I believe she will go close at a price.
Jessie Harrington’s rapid DICKIEDOODA couldn’t have been more impressive in a warm contest on debut at the Curragh.
The blistering turn of foot shown when Shane Foley asked her one furlong out was enough to consider her to line up in the Queen Mary just seven days later. The quick turn around and gluey ground seemed to go against her as she travelled very strongly before fading as she attempted to make her move.
She was still only beaten 7 lengths at the finish in a race which is proving red hot. This return to Listed company and the dry weekend in store should see her to better effect, as she re-opposes Grammata and can confirm that debut form under optimal conditions.
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