Aidan O’Brien’s Delphinia steps back up in trip but markedly down in class for the Ladbrokes-sponsored EBF River Eden Fillies’ Stakes at Lingfield on Thursday.
O’Brien is sending four to the Surrey track, headed by a filly who has been placed in multiple Group Ones this season but is – frustratingly for connections – still without a win throughout the campaign.
The Daughter of Galileo finished fifth in the Oaks – and her last three starts have seen her finish second in the Park Hill Stakes, the Prix de Royallieu and the Fillies And Mares race on Champions Day.
There is nothing of the class of Ascot winner Star Catcher in opposition on this occasion, but she still faces 13 rivals under Seamie Heffernan.
Kevin Buckley, Coolmore’s UK representative, said: “Delphinia has come out of her race at Ascot well. Aidan feels she is well in herself, so we have decided to run her again before the winter.
“It is her first run on the surface, so it will be a new experience for her, but we hope she will be fine on it.
“She is a filly Aidan has always thought a lot of. She brings good form into the race, having finished second in Group One races on her last two starts. She has been placed twice over a mile and three-quarters, so the trip won’t be a problem for her.
“Lingfield has been a good hunting ground for us this year, with Anthony Van Dyck winning the Derby Trial, so we hope we can enjoy more good luck there.”
O’Brien also runs Invitation, the mount of Silvestre de Sousa, while two other fillies make the journey from Ireland in the shape of John Oxx’s Moteo and the Jack Davison-trained Fresnel.
Delphinia has an official mark of 113, and only two of her rivals have ratings stretching to three figures – John Gosden’s Hameem (101) and Roger Varian’s Rasima (100).
O’Brien runs Coral Beach in the Ladbrokes Fleur De Lys Fillies Stakes over a mile – and while she is also the highest-rated in the race, she is only 1lb higher than the Stuart Williams-trained Breathtaking Look.
She has won three of her last five races and was a clear-cut winner of the Sceptre Stakes at the St Leger meeting. She does, though, carry a 5lb penalty for that success.
“Breathtaking Look is very well in herself,” said Williams.
“Obviously, she has a penalty for winning at Doncaster, but she does not want soft ground ideally – so there is nothing for her on the turf at this time of the year.
“We also thought we would run her with a view to the final on Good Friday, were she to run well or indeed win the free slot.
“She has not run over a mile before, but I would be very hopeful of her staying the trip.”
Ralph Beckett’s Chaleur, William Haggas’ Solar Gold and the Gosden trio of She’s Got You, Scentasia and Muchly warrant plenty of respect