The Valiant Stakes (Ascot 3.30pm, Friday) is a one-mile Listed Race for fillies that provides an interesting mid-season meeting between the three-year-olds and older horses, often offering insight into the merits of the particular generations.
The 3-year-olds have dominated the 18 renewals with 13 victories, though 4-year-olds have staged somewhat of a recovery mission in recent years by winning 3 of the last 5.
Michael Stoute is the leading trainer with 4 winners, whilst William Haggas has trained 2 of the last 9 winners, and Ryan Moore has ridden 2 of the last 7 winners – 1 for Stoute and 1 for Haggas.
9 Runners are set to go to post for the 2016 Valiant Stakes.
Form figures aren’t that inspiring but they’re better than they look as she was only 1-length behind recent Group-2 winner Decorated Knight. However, she last won off a mark of 84, and probably needs to find more.
Despite the presence of Stoute and Haggas trained runners, it’s no surprise that Ryan Moore has opted to ride last year’s French 1,000 Guineas runner-up. She’s got the best form, but her habit of finding one or two too good tempers enthusiasm.
Light And Shade
One of two runners for the Tate stable and, though she was only third at this level last time she tried it, she has won two handicaps since, and has won both starts over course and distance.
No better than fourth in her last 3 Listed Races last year, and Wiliam Haggas will have had to have improved her a lot since for her to win this on her seasonal debut.
The second of the Tate runners won over a mile on debut, but then failed to hit the target in 5 runs between 10-furlongs and 12-furlongs. However, she dropped back to win over 7-furlongs last time, and has the potential to find more improvement over this trip.
Trained by Michael Stoute, but only won a maiden so far, and this looks a good Listed Race.
Mix And Mingle
Didn’t seem to like the soft ground on her seasonal debut, and then had no luck in running in the 1,000 Guineas. Withdrawn at Royal Ascot because of soft conditions, and she is expected to go close here on a much quicker ground.
Best run this year was when second behind the horse that finished directly in front of Mix And Mingle in the Guineas, but Mix And Mingle looks less exposed.
Ridden aggressively to win a Classified Stakes on the all-weather and, though the trainer does well with his Cheveley Park bred horses, she may not be good enough to win a race like this yet.
Valiant Stakes Summary
Irish Rookie definitely has the best form in the book but, as 3-year-olds have a better overall record, it may well be worth chancing the potential of Mix And Mingle who looks unexposed after just 5 runs.