Mori seeking Group prize
Sir Michael Stoute’s Mori gets the chance to live up to her breeding in Thursday’s Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot.
By Frankel and out of the brilliant mare Midday, who won six Group Ones, including three Nassau Stakes and the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf, connections will be hoping this is the stepping stone to a career at the highest level for Mori.
The Irish Oaks entry was unraced at two and only fifth on her debut at Newbury, but she opened her account at Ascot in May and won a Listed race over 10 furlongs at Goodwood last time out.
Mori was bred by owner Khalid Abdullah, whose racing manager Teddy Grimthorpe said: “She would certainly be pretty high on our priorities for the week.
“She’s progressed very well and she’s a stakes winner already, so we have to be pretty pleased about that.
“Everyone has been very happy with her since Goodwood and we’re looking forward to running her.”
Pat Smullen was booked to ride some time ago and is understandably pleased to be on board.
“She’s a lovely filly with a great profile,” he told At The Races.
“She’s progressing along nicely and I think she’s there with a live chance. I’m really looking forward to riding her.”
John Gosden poses the biggest threat to Mori, numerically at least, with four runners.
Coronet finished fifth in the Oaks while Gracious Diana and Astronomy’s Choice ran respectably in Oaks trials, but Hertford Dancer performed way above expectations when winning the Lingfield Oaks Trial.
She is owned by a syndicate, 5 Hertford Street Racing Club, which is managed by Harry Herbert, who said: “Hertford Dancer is a remarkable filly.
“John Gosden, John and Jake Warren and myself had thought about running her in an Oaks Trial and the Lingfield race seemed to break up a bit. We hoped we could get some black type and give everyone a fun day out as lots of the people involved in the syndicate are new to racing.
“It was absolutely astonishing that she won so well. She won well and won on merit. She improved her rating by 23lb. If she can improve by just half as much again, everyone is going to have a lot of fun.”
Aidan O’Brien runs Alluringly, arguably the form pick given she was second to Enable at Chester and third, albeit beaten over 11 lengths, in the Oaks.
John Oxx’s Naughty Or Nice is the only unbeaten filly in the field and wears blinkers for the first time while Roger Varian runs Serenada, third to Shutter Speed in the Musidora.
Hugo Palmer’s Apphia finished second behind Serenda in a Sandown maiden in April and has since struck gold at Goodwood.
“She’s a very good looking and beautifully bred daughter of High Chaparral,” Palmer told Betfair.
“She’s run twice, she was beaten a nose by a filly who went on to be third in the Musidora at York and then she dead-heated to win a good maiden at Goodwood last time.
“We expect her to improve a lot for stepping up in trip.”
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