Pleascach hard to oppose in Ribblesdale Stakes
The third race on the card at Royal Ascot on Thursday is the Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes for fillies over a mile and a half.
Jim Bolger saddles the hot favourite here in Irish 1000 Guineas winner Pleascach. The daughter of Teofilo won at Leopardstown last summer and began her summer by chasing home Bocca Baciata at Navan.
She advertised her Guineas chances when beating Zannda by eight and a half lengths at Naas last month in good to soft ground. She dropped back to a mile at the Curragh where she held the late challenge of Found by half a length. Kevin Manning made the most of her stamina that day by leading just inside the quarter-mile pole and she looks certain to be even more effective over this trip.
Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin operation was sufficiently impressed to buy the filly in the wake of her Classic victory and they will be expecting an immediate return here. Ireland could have the second favourite if David Wachman elects to run Curvy, a filly by Galileo out of Frappe by Inchinor. She has won her last three races, culminating in a neck victory over Derby fourth Giovanni Canaletto. She would certainly be a threat to the favourite on that form.
Luca Cumani saddled Lady Of Dubai to finish third in the Epsom Oaks and is represented here by Pamona.
She is by Duke Of Marmalade out of Palanca and caught the eye when running on strongly behind Crystal Zvezda at Newbury last month. That form took a big knock when the winner pulled far too hard in the Oaks and failed to show her true form. Pamona did not get out of the pack in time to lay down any sort of challenge at Newbury but she gets an extra two furlongs here.
John Gosden could have three runners here in Gretchen, Entertainment and Zamoura. Gretchen is by Galileo out of a Danehill mare and won on her debut at Newmarket over a mile and a half but this is a big step up in class. Entertainment looks held by Pamona on Newbury form and Zamoura also needs to find plenty of improvement.
Aidan O’Brien also has three entries, the pick of them possibly being Wedding Vow who looked unlucky when third in the Lingfield Oaks Trial. She didn’t get a clear run until it was too late, staying on behind Toujours L’Amour.
Pleascach – Ribblesdale Stakes (Royal Ascot 3.40 Thursday) @1.90 Sportsbet