It should be an informative day at Lingfield on Saturday, and Ryan Moore - boosted by a successful May meeting at Chester - has strong claims in both the Oaks and Derby trials...
"She improved markedly on her debut effort at two when spread-eagling her field there, pulling away to win by 10 lengths in the manner of potentially a very smart filly."
- Ryan Moore on Flattering
Potentially very smart filly for O'Brien
As we have seen at Chester this week, Aidan's fillies can make giant strides forward at this time of year and that is exactly what Flattering did over 1m2f at Cork recently. She improved markedly on her debut effort at two when spread-eagling her field there, pulling away to win by 10 lengths in the manner of potentially a very smart filly.
That was obviously in deep ground and she faces a different test here, but her half-sister Lucky Kristale won a Lowther on a fast surface and I don't anticipate the longer trip being a problem. But she clearly meets similarly promising and unexposed fillies with the same profiles, so who knows what we are up against? Then again, they don't either.
Longer trip set to suit
You would have to think the step up in trip will really suit him here. We saw that stamina was his forte when he beat the Chester Vase runner-up Dee Ex Bee emphatically in the Zetland Stakes last season and I was happy enough with him in the Feilden considering the step down to 1m1f was never going to play to his strengths.
You would expect that run to have brought him on fitness-wise, and he sets the form standard on that Newmarket win, for all that he picked up a 3lb penalty for it here. Once again though, there are a lot of once-raced winners ranged against him, so you have to respect them all. But they have to come up to my colt's level now.
Yard in great form ahead of Group 3 stint
I liked her when I won on her at Yarmouth last season, so I wasn't totally shocked when she went on to win at Ascot on her next start. Don't get me wrong, she obviously showed massive improvement to win that Listed race given that she went into it on a mark of just 75 after Yarmouth, and I'd like to think there was more to come from her this season.
William's horses continue in great form, as well. It is a decent Group 3 though, with the likes of German 1,000 Guineas winner Unforgetable Filly in opposition, as well as a couple of others with similar ratings to my filly, so let's see.
Promising comeback suggests time to be positive
This race has cut up a lot. I haven't ridden him before but he was obviously a progressive horse last season when his only modest runs came with dig in the ground. He should be fine here on the expected quick ground and he looks to have shaped promisingly on his comeback at Kempton, as well. I think you have to be pretty positive about his prospects.
Well-bred filly should have the speed
She seems to have shown some promise in a couple of maidens last season, and the switch to William won't have done her any harm. She is a well-bred Dubawi filly and her dam was a smart juvenile, winning over 5f and beyond, so hopefully she will have the speed to cope with her first start at 6f.