Darakah is one of eight declarations for a Fillies’ Stakes over seven furlongs of Lingfield polytrack today, two months after a hugely-disappointing debut on Wolverhampton tapeta; if you recall Charles Hill’s charge was quietly-fancied, and bet, on the back of encouraging preparation on his ‘Faringdon’ gallops and, significantly, tipped in this column.
Seldom do I fall for such information but I’ve been close to the racing family Hills for decades and Charles’ legendary father Barry was quite bullish about the magnificently-bred Dubawi filly beforehand; two-year-olds can, and do, disappoint first-up and spring a surprise next time.
Perhaps Darakah will be a classic example because opposition, apart from a couple of rivals, is shallow and I’m not one to miss an opportunity, nor is one sentimental about thoroughbreds.
‘Faint heart never won fair lady’ however and with three places on offer I’m advising readers to chance an each-way punt on Darakah, bred by the late, great Hamdan Al Maktoum whose colours since his passing last year have been carried by the Shadwell Stud he created.
For what it’s worth the ‘formites’ are once-raced duo Planatatree and Criollo, a beaten William Haggas-trained favourite over a mile on Kempton ‘poly’ three weeks ago.
The former is probably being prepared for a punt and a handicap mark by Jane Chapple-Hyam, a shrewd operator, whereas Qatar-owned Criollo will be off for its life given the potential stud value. There must also have been a reason for market support on this filly by Dark Angel, a flying machine which incidentally Barry Hills trained as a juvenile when we were flying as a combination. Fantastic days and readers were never left out.
Jastar is a long time winning and from the widest draw I’ll be surprised if George Boughey’s charge is able to cope with Misscall and Dirty Martini in the ten-runner Maiden Stakes over five furlongs.
You can’t beat the draw and Dirty Martini, beaten a short-head by Boughey’s Al Ameen first-up at Southwell eight days ago, will be hard-pressed to go one better; this could also be too soon, horses usually need at least two weeks to benefit from an initial experience and so this leaves Misscall with a good opportunity under Hollie Doyle who is threatening to savage the record books with admirable consistency piling up the winners.
Fast-starting Misscall was drawn worst last time when overcooked in the early stages but this time, drawn four, the thrice-raced Kodiac filly appeals as a cracking FUN wager under our sensational ‘pocket rocket!’
Each-way trixie today!
Selections, Lingfield, 2.00 Darakah (e.w); 3.00 Misscall (nap-e.w); Wincanton, 4.20 Farmer’s Gamble (e.w).
Jeffrey Ross, horse-racing correspondent for WMN since 1983 when winning the most prestigious racing journalist award, Sporting Life Naps Table, before winning it a record number of six times collectively in the Racing Post, the current ‘trade’ paper, including 2019