2019 Dick Poole Fillies’ Stakes tips – Appleby’s 13/8 chance can return to winning form in Salisbury feature

Summer Romance can get back to winning ways in Thursday's feature race at Salisbury.

Summer Romance can get back to winning ways in Thursday’s feature race at Salisbury.

Brian Healy takes a runner-by-runner look at the big race field for Thursday’s Group Three feature race at Salisbury, the Dick Poole Fillies’ Stakes.

Thursday’s feature race at Salisbury is the Group Three Dick Poole Fillies’ Stakes which goes to post at 3.40pm as the fourth race of the afternoon.

Boasting a first prize in excess of £25,000 to the winner, the six furlongs sprint has attracted a solid entry of eleven runners to contest for the valuable purse which has been won in the recent past by the likes of Anna Nerium, New Providence, Joyeuse and Sajwah.

Brian Healy takes a race-by-race look ahead to Thursday’s big race at the Wiltshire track and gives his big race selection for the days feature contest.

The racecard is headed by Richard Hannon’s Dark Lady (17/2, William Hill) who has been running well thus far this term, winning at the second attempt when successful at Lingfield back in July.

The Dark Angel filly has since acquitted herself well in defeat in a trio of Group Three races at Ascot, Newmarket and Goodwood respectively, latterly beaten only a neck behind Boomer in the Prestige Stakes.

A strong travelling sort, she ought to be suited by the likely strong pace in this contest and a drop back to six furlongs could yield dividends. Others may boast stronger form, but she is likely to be involved and it would no surprise to see her going close.

Richard Hannon

Richard Hannon saddles two runners in the feature race at Salisbury on Thursday

Hannon also sadles Kemble (33/1, Ladbrokes) in the contest, and the Kodiac filly was a winner over the useful Illusionist at Windsor in May before contesting the Albany Stakes where she was never competitive behind Daahyeh.

Subsequently last of five runners back at Ascot in July, she has made the frame since in a French Listed contest and she ran better than the bare result behind Alligator Alley at York latest. Both those last two runs came over five furlongs, and she’s not certain to appreciate a return to this longer trip.

On form she has a bit to find also, and she may be already be more exposed than a few of these rivals so no doubt faces an uphill task here and others hold stronger claims.

Dear Power (15/2, William Hill) made a good first impression when scoring at Chelmsford last month, and Roger Varian’s charge is likely to build on that experience where she can improve as a result.

The Acclamation filly ran out a two lengths’ winner over Jm Jackson on that occasion, forging clear from a field that included a next-time winner. This is obviously a tougher test of her credentials taking a marked step up in class, but she looked progressive and may have considerable improvement to come switching to turf.

Entries in both the Rockfel Stakes and Cheveley Park Stakes suggest she’s well regarded, and it wouldn’t come as a surprise to see her in the mix here for all she needs to prove she can handle turf as well find some progress on the back of that sole effort to date.

Final Option (22/1, Unibet) also made a winning debut, scoring at Ripon last month with a four lengths’ defeat of Feelinlikeasomeone, and William Muir’s charge is similarly open to progress on the back of that run.

The Lethal Force filly overcame a slow start before quickly recovering, and she looked a progressive sort in posting what was arguably a cosy success. The fourth horse home from that race has won since, and she is another who can find improvement.

On the bare form of that win however she’ll need to improve, and it doesn’t quite stack up against a few of the others’ form. While respected, she’ll need a bit more to come out on top here.

Dr Simpson (20/1, William Hill) got off the mark at the second attempt with a defeat of Enjoy The Moment at Chester back in July where she ran out a seven lengths’ winner.

Tom Dascombe’s charge has since acquitted himself well in defeat, making the frame in a pair of Listed contests latterly which include being denied only by a length behind Alligator Alley at York latest.

A repeat of that run could see the Dandy Man filly get competitive, but she struggled at this level back in July at Goodwood and possible that others may just have greater scope to improve while the softer ground may not ideally suit.


Salisbury is the scene for Thursday’s Dick Poole Fillies’ Stakes

Good Vibes (7/1, Paddy Power) meanwhile has seen her progress stalled since posting back-to-back wins earlier in the campaign, but David Evans’ charge could bounce back with a better effort.

A York Listed winner earlier in the season, the Due Diligence filly has struggled to get competitive in a trio of starts since returning from a break although her latest third in the Group Two Lowther Stakes was a big step back in the right direction.

A repeat of that effort will put her firmly in the mix, and she has course winning form to her name which is a positive. Drying ground will be in her favour given both wins have come on quicker ground, and if the conditions are suitable then she could post a big run although the yard is struggling for form.

It could however be worth giving another chance to SUMMER ROMANCE (13/8, Coral) who was disappointing when last seen out in the Group Three Princess Margaret Keeneland Stakes at Ascot, and Charlie Appleby’s charge can prove that run to have been an aberration.

The Kingman filly had looked an exciting prospect in racking up wins at Yarmouth and Newmarket, scoring by six lengths on the latter occasion in the Listed Empress Stakes. However she never appeared to be travelling behind a couple of these at Ascot latest where she turned in a laboured performance and all may not have been well with the Godolphin runner.

Given her earlier demolition job at Flat HQ, she could be worth forgiving for that poor run latest where the softer ground may not have suited, and the drying conditions ought to be more in her favour now.

She had looked an exciting prospect prior to that Ascot run, and it is perhaps too soon to write her off on the back of that performance. She can bounce back here with a better effort, while the yard is in decent form currently and so a big run wouldn’t come as a surprise.

Charlie Appleby

Charlie Appleby can win the Dick Poole Fillies’ Stakes on Thursday with Summer Romance

So Sharp (12/1, Bet365) finished behind the Godolphin runner and a couple of these in that Ascot contest, but Archie Watson’s charge had made a good first impression with a debut win at Newbury, beating Dark Lady who reopposes and was ahead of the Bated Breath filly at Ascot when the pair next clashed in the Princess Margaret Stakes.

The softer ground might not have been in her favour, and she is another for whom better ground will likely suit. However, her performance at Ascot was disappointing and while she remains open to progress she’ll need to bounce back from that effort which on balance leaves her with a bit to find.

Millisle (4/1, Ladbrokes) is a very interesting Irish raider from the Jessica Harrington team, and the Irish handler boasts an enviable crop of exciting juvenile fillies this term, including the daughter of Starspangledbanner who has won two of her three starts.

A debut winner at Bellewstown, she finished runner-up on her next outing at Down Royal before getting back to winning ways in the Curragh mud last month with a defeat of Isabeau in the Curragh Stakes.

She stayed on really well on that occasion having looked outpaced and beaten, and the emphasis on stamina clearly suited so she’ll be well served by this step up in trip. This is tougher, but she looks to be going the right way and she’s sure to make a bold bid for a yard rarely seen on this side of the Irish Sea outside of the big jumps festivals.

Jouska (16/1, William Hill) was an easy winner of a Sandown maiden contest on her second start, beating Poet’s Dance by two lengths, and Henry Candy’s charge wasn’t disgraced at Newbury latest in the Listed St Hugh’s Stakes where she met with trouble in running.

The Cable Bay filly looks a useful prospect, and she is another who can find improvement although she has looked all speed in her starts to date and this step up to six furlongs isn’t sure to suit. Nevertheless, she can give a good account of herself here although others boast stronger claims on the formbook and she’ll need to find a significant jolt of progress if she’s to collect this prize.

She Can Dance (33/1, Coral) completes the field, and Kevin Ryan’s charge arrives here following a win on the all-weather at Chelmsford where the Acclamation filly ran out a two lengths’ winner over Dazzling Des.

She had shown some ability previously on turf, and she looks one who can improve again to win more races. However, this is a big step up for her and she was more workmanlike than impressive in that last success so this may prove a step too far for her.


SUMMER ROMANCE (13/8, Coral) looked a very exciting prospect in racking up back-to-back wins which included an impressive Listed success at Newmarket. However, Charlie Appleby’s charge failed to give her running stepped up to Group Three company at Ascot latest where she finished behind a couple of these.

Possibly she didn’t handle the ground on that occasion, but with a quicker surface here much more likely to be in her favour the Kingman filly can bounce back for a yard which is in good heart.

Given the manner of her earlier success at Flat HQ it is easy to overlook that lesser effort, and given another chance to build on the promise of that six lengths’ victory she can bounce back here to prove that run to be an aberration with a return to winning ways.