Stormy Girl broke new ground for Rebecca Menzies when providing the dual-purpose trainer with a first Listed win recently and the filly now steps up to Group Three class in the bet365 Sceptre Fillies’ Stakes at Doncaster.
Bar a disappointing run at York in July, the daughter of Night Of Thunder has been consistent since joining Menzies from David Loughnane.
Before her impressive win at Pontefract last time out, she had gone close behind classy types such as Liberty Beach and Under The Stars, but she is stepping back up in trip on Town Moor.
“Obviously she’s stepping up in class, but she’s every right to be there as she won quite easily at Pontefract,” said Menzies.
“On her first two starts for me at Haydock this year she ran really well, including over seven on one of those.
“The ground drying out wouldn’t worry me – she is very versatile – and hopefully she’s good enough to be placed at least.
“The Listed seven-furlong race she ran in at Haydock was a very good one for the grade, so I think she’s up to it.
“She’s had a good prep between Pontefract and now, she’s had a really clear run and is going there in good form. The rest of our horses continue to run well, too, so you’d have to be hopeful of a good run.”
Richard Hannon’s 1000 Guineas runner-up Cloak Of Spirits arguably sets the standard, while the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Jubiloso needs to put a disappointing effort at Royal Ascot behind her.
Mubtasimah, Althiqa and Onassis are others who bring a strong level of form to the table.
There is also a high-class renewal of the bet365 Scarbrough Stakes on the card, with Dakota Gold and Nunthorpe third Moss Gill carrying 10st 2lb due to the presence of the juvenile fillies Acklam Express and Country Carnival.
Dakota Gold returned to winning ways in the Beverley Bullet last month and finished second to Starman at York on Sunday.
“It was just while we had his suitable ground we thought we’d go again and hopefully it doesn’t dry up too much,” said Dods.
“Obviously it comes quick after York, but he seems well. Unfortunately the two-year-old fillies were declared so the weights went up at declaration, which I don’t really agree with as we thought we’d be carrying 10st.
“He’s well, James Bethell’s horse (Moss Gill) will obviously be tough to beat after his run in the Nunthorpe, but hopefully he puts up a good performance.
“He’s run back quickly before when he won the Great St Wilfrid and then won at York a few days after, but they were handicaps and now he’s in Listed company.
“We just thought at this stage of the season – and it’s been such a strange season – we should give him the chance again.”
Makanah, Tarboosh and Johnny Murtagh’s Urban Beat are others in the reckoning.