One race on Thursday offers the potential to be rewarding for punters, despite there only being 7 runners engaged in the 3.45 Height Of Fashion Stakes (Listed). The contest is run over a distance of 1m 1f 192yds and looks a decent contest for 3yo fillies.
I have carried out my research and pinpointed a possible dutch bet for those wishing to play it more safely. This involves two runners against the field, which I am very hopeful will prove a wise investment as we head into a thrilling weekend of racing in the UK and Ireland.
The filly I prefer actually runs at the bigger odds and has been lowly rated by the handicapper, considering what she appears capable of. This filly is ZAINA who runs for trainer Gerard Butler and after two runs on the polytrack to gain experience last season, ran very well to win this year on her turf debut. With that win she beat a very useful performer who is now rated 96 and it is interesting her connections head straight to this Listed race, given that she has a very viable rating for a handicap win.
Obviously black type is the main aim with her and she looks sure to run well on a track expected to suit. The jockey Dane O'Neill also has a fair 17% strike rate with the stables runners, but more interestingly when filtering his performances on the stables 3yo's this increases to a favourable 33%!
At 8-1 Zaina is a must bet, but I cannot be certain she will win fully, given the unexposed look of some of her rivals. Stable form and overall profile of some opponents has helped me narrow down the likelihood of positive result, but I have to include the returning GATHERING to my thoughts as well.
This filly ran twice as a 2yo for trainer John Gosden, and he has a fair record in this event having won it twice himself in the last decade. The filly she beat on her 2nd start went onto finish 4th in the Group 2 Rockfel Stakes, suggesting the form was above average. She was described as a big, scopey filly who would improve with a Winter on her back and she returns to the track with the stable running well.
What is noticeable is that the Gosden filly has no big entries, suggesting that this level may be as good as she is for now, where as Zaina has a Ribblesdale engagement still on her radar. At the bigger price I am VERY keen on the latter filly at 8-1, but I simply cannot leave the Gosden filly out of the equation in case she runs well in her first time cheekpieces, first time out!
I see Gathering as the possible pacesetter and if events run as planned, Zaina will be running very quickly late on and pass her towards the line. An Exacta bet is also worthy of an interest at small stakes. Minidress and Nayarra may prove best of the rest.
Best prices are 8-1 Zaina and 4-1 Gathering. A dutch bet on both selections would return as a 9-4 bet. I think these two combined offer a 6-5 chance of victory! Or perhaps I should say, I am hoping that this proves to be the case!