DID YOU hear the one about the English, Irish and American two-year-old fillies?
Well, those are the three battling it for favouritsm at the top of the market for this afternoon’s Lowther Stakes (2.25pm).
Anyone who joined me in backing Happy Like A Fool in the Queen Mary at Royal Ascot certainly wasn’t laughing when Wesley Ward’s well-backed flying filly was headed by Heartache.
At halfway in that contest, the trip over from the states looked worthwhile, but then she seemed to fall in a hole late on.
She is back over for more this afternoon and this time steps up to six furlongs for the first time.
On breeding grounds it’s a move that should suit, but I’m not sure her running style will help her see out the extra trip.
So, if it’s not the American filly, could it be the Irish one?
Actress, trained by Aidan O’Brien, won a Group Three at the Curragh last month before stepping up again to finish a close third behind the colts in the Group One Phoenix Stakes.
That form entitles her to be in the mix here, but the feeling is she is no world-beater and may be some way down the Ballydoyle pecking order.
Therefore, that just leaves the English filly, but I’m not siding with the one you might be thinking of.
Madeline heads most lists and is 3/1 favourite with 188BET on the back of her impressive win at Newbury last time.
That followed a decent fifth at Royal Ascot and the daughter of Zodiac is certainly respected.
However, she is pretty short on the back of just a Listed success and I am prepared to take her on with William Haggas’s unbeaten SPECIAL PURPOSE.
Haggas has won two of the last five renewals of this Group Two prize and his filly looked smart in two low key novice events last month over the minimum trip.
The daughter of Scat Daddy looks to be crying out for the step up in trip and looks a nice each-way alternative to the market leaders at 15/2.
Another filly worthy of a mention is Mark Johnston’s Threading who bolted up by a wide margin on debut at Goodwood and could be anything.
On paper, the trappy-looking 17-runner fillies handicap (4.50pm) that ends the card looks one to avoid, but I fancy another Haggas-trained entry to run well here too.
GHEEDAA performed really well over inadequate trips on both starts this season and looks to be crying out for the step up to seven furlongs.
She made late headway in both of those two races and a handicap mark of just 92 may just underrate her ability.
Finally, the Galtres Stakes (4.15pm) is run in memory of the great Sir Henry Cecil this year so it would be appropriate that a daughter of two horses he trained landed the spoils.
Ryan Moore teams up with Sir Michael Stoute to ride MORI who is by Frankel out of Midday and can make up for a close defeat in the Ribblesdale at Royal Ascot last time.
She was only beaten a rapidly diminishing neck by Coronet last time where she seemed to relish the step up to 12 furlongs.
Dropped back down into Listed company this afternoon, it would be a big surprise were she not to return to winning ways.
Special Purpose e/w 2.25pm York
Mori 4.15pm York
Gheedaa e/w 4.50pm York