Manuela bids for March honours

Beckett runner seeking Group Three prize

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Ralph Beckett expects Manuela De Vega to demonstrate stamina is her forte in Saturday’s Ladbrokes March Stakes at Goodwood.

The Lope De Vega filly has her second start over a mile and three-quarters after finding only Enbihaar too strong over course and distance in the Lillie Langtry Stakes earlier this month.

Without a win since claiming a Listed event at Pontefract last October, Manuela De Vega has run a number of solid races in defeat this season, including a fourth place in the Oaks and fifth in the Irish equivalent.

Beckett said: “Manuela De Vega is in great shape and this looks like the right the right place to go after the Lillie Langtry. It won’t be easy, but she is training well and I’m happy with her.

“I thought it was a good effort last time. She was a bit tight for room at one stage, so you can probably upgrade the performance on that basis.

“She was a clear second best and had plenty of nice horses in behind her. I think she saw out the trip well and I’m happy we are going again over it on that basis.”

John Gosden has enjoyed a summer to savour with his team of fillies and Promissory will try to keep that momentum going by following up her facile success at Doncaster when upped in both class and trip.

Jockey Rab Havlin said: “I rode her first time behind Terebellum, who won a Group Two in France the other day, and I loved her that day. She was very green but learnt plenty and won the next day at Doncaster. The Goodwood race could not have worked out any better.

“The penny didn’t drop until the last furlong and a half at Goodwood, but she didn’t half finish off well. Frankie kicked her in the belly three and a half out last time and she just galloped everything into the ground, so the step up in trip won’t be a problem.

“This is only the third run of her life, but she is the least exposed, she has been pleasing everybody at home and is a filly is going the right way.”

The field is completed by Blue Gardenia (David O’Meara), Dal Horrisgle (William Haggas) and Sir Ron Priestley (Mark Johnston).

Charlie Hills is looking for a repeat display from Vividly in the Group Three Ladbrokes Prestige Stakes over seven furlongs after the daughter of Charm Spirit shed her maiden tag over course and distance on her last start.

Hills said: “It seemed to make sense to run her back here after winning over course and distance last time. She has been training well and I’m happy enough with her.

“She was drawn very wide last time and Kieran (Shoemark) did a good job to get her in front. They think quite a lot of the second (Craylands), so it was a good run. This trip is fine for her, but she will probably get a mile in the future.”

Andrew Balding feels the extra furlong should pose no problems to last-time-out Listed scorer Shadn.

He said: “She won a Listed race at Newbury over six last time, which was great for some new owners.

“We have had our hand pushed a little bit into this race, but I don’t think the extra furlong should be any problem to her.

“In hindsight, we should have probably run her in the Albany at Royal Ascot as it was just a bit sharp in the Queen Mary.

“She has speed, but this should suit her well and she has every chance of winning.”

Having claimed the race with subsequent 1000 Guineas winner Billesdon Brook in 2017, trainer Richard Hannon will rely on Dark Lady to land the honours on this occasion.

He said: “On form she has an excellent chance, but she has just not been seeing out her races late on – hopefully that won’t happen on this occasion.

“She came there looking like she was going to win a Group Three at Newmarket in her last race as she travelled great. She deserves to win one.

“This track could help her in fairness, and the form she has shown is solid at this level.”

The field is completed by Alpinista (Sir Mark Prescott), Angel Of Delight (Hugo Palmer), Ananya (Peter Chapple-Hyam), Boomer (Tom Dascombe), Romsey (Hughie Morrison), Stylistique (Roger Varian).

Manuela bids for March honours
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