The 2020 Flying Fillies’ Stakes takes place over 6-furlongs at Pontefract on Friday 14 August. It is a Listed race for fillies and mares aged three and older and has attracted a field of 13 runners.
There are eight 3-year-olds in the field, but the Classic generation have won just four of the last 20 renewals. Many are taking the step-up to Listed company from handicaps, and Exceptional could find more improvement after winning over course and distance last time.
Crispina was another impressive winner of a course and distance maiden after being well-backed into favouritism last time, but the second has been beaten even further since. Stormy Girl could go also go close if showing the form that she did on her first two runs at Haydock this season but Pontefract is a much stiffer course.
The 5-year-old Lady Arran shouldn’t be winning off a mark of 82, but the 4-year-olds deserves plenty of respect with that age group winning nine of the last 12 renewals of the Flying Fillies’ Stakes.
Burmese Waltz was possibly flattered by the draw when a good second in a handicap at Royal Ascot off a mark of 93 and she’s been kept fresh since. But the winner and third have done little to advertise the form, despite being well-fancied for some big races.
Last Empire is one of just two fillies dropping down in class here after running in a Group 3 last time. She wasn’t disgraced in finishing seventh there, beaten just three lengths but behind our tip, and could go close in this lower grade from what could be a good draw in stall-5.
One horse that hasn’t been done any favours by the draw is Natalie’s Joy, who has the widest draw off all in stall-13. That’s a shame as she was a Listed winner as a 2-year-old and led a decent field for a long way over a mile here last time. She drops back to her last winning distance today, but she could struggle to get a good early position.
That’s why last year’s runner-up Shades Of Blue is our Flying Fillies’ Stakes tip dropping back down in class. There doesn’t look to be a horse as good as last year’s winner in the field and in-form trainer Clive Cox fits a first-time visor for what looks an obvious target.
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