Hugo Palmer is hoping a combination of fast ground and the application of blinkers will bring about a change of fortune for Unforgetable Filly in the Markerstudy British EBF Valiant Stakes at Ascot on Friday.
Little has gone right for the daughter of Sepoy since she won the Group Two German 1000 Guineas in June 2017. She did not beat a single rival in her two subsequent starts last year and this season has not been much better.
A late withdrawal on several occasions this season, she ran reasonably well when third at Leicester on her return, but found the company too hot when 10th of 11 in the Duke Of Cambridge Stakes at Royal Ascot.
“She’s doing great. She’s been very unlucky with ground. She’s been a non-runner at least three times this year on ground, if not more,” said Palmer.
“For a filly that wants fast ground in this summer, it really is bad luck because there has been very little rain, but it seems to have rained on the occasions when we’ve wanted to run her.
“The ground was a bit too soft for her on the occasion we did run her at Leicester. She ran OK there.
“I think Ascot was too big a step for her. She didn’t run much of a race there, but first-time blinkers will hopefully bring out some improvement. She has worked well in them.
“She is the highest-rated filly in the race, but there are some very progressive-looking fillies in there.”
One of those potential unexposed types is Preening, who was sent off the 5-2 favourite for Sandown’s Coral Distaff at her first attempt at this level, but could only manage to take third place behind Awesometank.
The James Fanshawe-trained filly had been an emphatic winner of a handicap over the Sandown mile in what was only her second start since returning after a 211-day break.
Awesometank’s trainer William Haggas is represented by Beshaayir, who showed her well-being by winning over this course and distance two weeks ago.
Ralph Beckett’s Di Fede, fourth to Awesometank at Sandown and successful at Leicester when Unforgetable Filly was third, is another interesting contender.