Sacred looked like a really promising filly when winning in good style at Newmarket on debut and she took a step forward to finish runner-up to US raider Campanelle in a strong edition of the Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot. That race was run in a good time and there’s little doubt it is the strongest form on offer. There is plenty of stamina on the dam’s side of Sacred’s pedigree so this step up to six furlongs could unlock an even better effort, and she is very much the one to beat for William Haggas, who has his string in fine form.
Devious Company has the best form on offer, arriving on the back of runner-up efforts in the Superlative Stakes and Vintage Stakes, and he is clearly entitled to respect. However, Uncle Jumbo created a fantastic impression when seeing off another talented rival on debut at Doncaster in June and is taken to land this valuable prize. Uncle Jumbo is closely related to smart sprinter Major Jumbo, and he has clearly inherited plenty of speed based on what he showed at Doncaster, taking the field along before battling back gamely once headed. The time suggests that was a useful performance and he is a horse to be positive about.
Top Rank is extremely lightly raced for a four-year-old, but there’s no doubt he has plenty of talent and he remains unbeaten after four starts. He was a hugely impressive winner on his reappearance at Thirsk last month, taking apart a field of established handicappers with ease, cruising four and a quarter lengths clear. He has gone up 12 lb for that wide-margin winner but he deserved such a hike and this smart colt could be destined for better.
Love has been a revelation this season, slamming her rivals by four and a quarter lengths in the 1000 Guineas before improving for the step up to a mile and a half in the Oaks, winning by a remarkable nine lengths at Epsom. That was one of the best performances seen in the Oaks this century and Love should be difficult to beat on the back of such a dominant success. She could yet have even more to offer over a mile and a half.
Albaflora was unraced as a two-year-old but she made a successful debut at Haydock in June and then showed better form in defeat when finishing runner-up here in the Group 3 Musidora Stakes. She found a much more experienced rival too strong in that mile and a quarter contest, but she shaped like the best prospect in the field and looks sure to appreciate this step up to a mile and a half. There is more to come from this lightly-raced filly.
Mayaas, a 425,000 guineas purchase as a yearling, offered something to work on despite being held back by inexperience on debut at Haydock, and he showed improved form on much faster ground at Ascot last time, finishing third in a strong-looking maiden. He was beaten less than a length at Ascot, closing all the way line in the style of colt who will appreciate this step up to seven furlongs. He has more to offer and can take advantage of a lenient opening mark.
Lawahed didn’t need to improve on her previous form to get off the mark at Haydock last time, scoring with plenty in hand after quickening clear stylishly, and she looks to have been handed a fair opening mark on her handicap debut. The well-bred Lawahed has only had three starts, but she has shown ability on each outing and she remains with the potential to do better.
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