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2018 Fillies’ Mile tips – 9/2 shot can get one ova her rivals in Newmarket’s Friday feature

Jonathan Vine 10 Oct 2018
Ryan Moore riding Rhododendron to victory in the 2016 Fillies Mile at Newmarket.

Our expert takes a look through the ante-post betting for the Fillies’ Mile and provides readers with his tips for this Group One at Newmarket on Friday 12th October.

Newmarket’s Cesarewitch Festival gets off to a flyer on Friday, with a card featuring four Grouped races, a Listed contest and the Old Rowley Cup Heritage Handicap. The feature race of the day is undoubtedly the Fillies’ Mile – a Group One for juvenile filly’s which has been won by greats like Oh So Sharp, Cherry Hinton and Soviet Song in its 45-year history.

Like with many Group Ones across Britain and Ireland, Aidan O’Brien has an excellent recent record in the Fillies’ Mile, saddling three of the past five winners. Three of his best two-year-olds feature at the top-end of the betting for Friday’s renewal, with Hermosa (4/1 William Hill) looking like his leading candidate.

Having twice lost out to Skitter Scatter – including a third-place finish in the Moyglare Stud Stakes – Ryan Moore pushed Hermosa to an excellent victory in a Group Three over seven furlongs at Naas. Second-placed Foxtrot Liv, a likely entrant in next year’s Irish Guineas, was left trailing three lengths in her wake that day and, being a daughter of Galileo, Hermosa should take the step up to a mile in her stride.

Zagitova (9/2 Paddy Power) crossed the line one place behind Hermosa in the Moyglare Stud, despite carrying a much shorter price to post. The Galileo filly hasn’t been seen since that disappointing effort last month, but she does have an emphatic victory over a mile at Cork to bolster her bounce-back claims.

Just Wonderful (5/1 William Hill) carried a price of 9/2 to post in the Moyglare, but barely got involved in the race, trailing past the post seventh of the ten runners. The daughter of Dansili returned to winning form here at Newmarket two weeks ago as she powered to victory in the Shadwell Rockfel Stakes and that course form could come in handy as she steps back up to eight furlongs.

Harry Bentley riding Antonia De Vega (right) to victory over Zagitova (centre) at Newmarket on their first career starts.

Frosty (25/1 Coral) could join her stablemates at Newmarket, but it would be a big ask to contend here having won a minor contest on her only career start at Dundalk. Peach Tree (50/1 Paddy Power) and Pink Dogwood (33/1 William Hill) also feature in the betting, but it’s unlikely either will make the cut, judging by their current odds.

Heading the Ballydoyle battalion in the Fillies’ Mile betting is Antonia De Vega (7/2 Coral), who upset Zagitova to claim victory on her debut at the July Meeting. Ralph Beckett’s filly then extended her unbeaten record with an impressive victory in the Prestige Stakes at Goodwood, where Harry Bentley’s mount bolted up in the final furlong to secure a commanding victory.

After struggling for pace in her Cheveley Park Stakes defeat, Michael Bell has decided to step Pretty Pollyanna (11/2 Paddy Power) up to a mile a little sooner than expected. Following a narrow victory in the Prix Morny, the Oasis Dream filly carried the tag of favouritism into that Group One, but Silvestre De Sousa never seemed happy during that six furlong burn-up and Pretty Pollyanna did well to finish fourth in the end.

John Gosden looks set to step Shambolic (8/1 William Hill) up to Grouped company for the first time in her short career, having watched his filly claim narrow victories on both her starts. Shambolic may have winning form over this trip, but the form of both races looks fairly weak and her inexperience lessens her appeal even further.

Beyond Reason (16/1 Paddy Power) is a horse I’ve been tracking for much of the season and I was pleased to see Charlie Appleby’s filly bounce back from a disappointing showing at Royal Ascot by winning two Grouped prizes over in France during the summer. An uncompetitive showing in the Moyglare Stud Stakes further emphasised her need for juice in the ground, but there is some rain in the Newmarket area towards the end of the week.

Beyond Reason (right) winning the Prix du Calvados during the summer.

If the rain does indeed soften the Rowley Mile and the official going come up good-to-soft, then Beyond Reason’s price of 16/1 will be too good to pass up. 

By Derby winner Australia and out of four time Group One winner Azamour, Beyond Reason is bred to succeed at the highest level and staying a mile should be no problem at all. That being said, I doubt Friday’s weather forecast will have as much influence on the ground as Charlie Appleby would like and the history of the Fillies’ Mile tells us that the winner is likely to come from the head of the betting. 

The way Antonia De Vega finished the Prestige Stakes suggest the step up to a mile should suit and Pretty Pollyanna is a Group One winner who cannot be ignored. However, I don’t want to side against Aidan O’Brien in this year’s renewal and ZAGITOVA makes the most appealing case at her current price.

Under a strong ride from Donnacha O’Brien, Zagitova led from start to finish when winning over this trip at Cork, totally dominating a chasing pack headed by 103-rated Bandiuc Elle. O’Brien’s filly was found to be lame on her return to the stables and you could argue that she needed the two races following her injury to get back up to optimum fitness.

It’s clear that O’Brien has had this race in mind for Zagitova since the Moyglare, unlike Hermosa and Just Wonderful, who have both run their way into contention. With Ryan Moore down in Australia to ride US Navy Flag in the Everest, Donnacha is likely to have the pick of his father's yard and he was Zagotva's pilot during that runaway Cork victory. I feel this daughter of Galileo could be the classiest horse in the field and Zagitova could be hard to peg back if she’s back to the peak of her powers.

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2018 Fillies’ Mile tips – 9/2 shot can get one ova her rivals in Newmarket’s Friday feature

Our expert takes a look through the ante-post betting for the Fillies’ Mile and provides readers with his tips for this Group One at Newmarket on Friday 12th October.

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