Balanchine (Group 2)

The heat is rising in the desert.

There’s a genuine antcipation about this one we haven’t seen yet this year.

A small field of seven go to load including the top South African filly Igugu.

She’s the talk of the town bringing with her the tall reputation of being her nations best ever filly. Australian bred by Galileo she’s demolished all before her at home clocking up a seven race unbeaten run including the fillies version of the country’s Triple Crown, the Vodacom Durban July and J & B Met. She’s oozed quality and now after a long lay off, in part due to injury and in part due to the rules of quarantine, she finally meets the world stage.

Opposing her is Sajjhaa the primary Godolphin hope after her win in the Group 2 Cape Verdi over the mile here four weeks ago. It was a good performance considering the stop start nature of the pace that day and the bump she took from the second when holding her run to the line. This extra furlong here shouldn’t present a problem to her having won a Listed contest at York over 10f.

Her handler Saeed Bin Suroor also runs Dark Orchid and Spellwork. Both ran in the Cape Verdi with the former setting decent fractions, a job you’d expect her to perform again while the latter’s jockey Kieren Fallon reported concern at his fillies action through the race.

Godolphin also run Prussian from the Mahood Al Zaronni team with Mickael Barzalona on board. She’s a transferee from the Mark Johnston team over the winter who won a few decent handicaps when trained in England but this is a big step up on those efforts especially considering her last twelve runs have been over longer distances than this.

Two Irish fillies make up the line up. Pat Shanahan let’s Colliding Worlds take her chance after opening her Carnival effort with a run in the Al Maktoum Challenge R1 where she was well behind Barbecue Eddie.

Ger Lyons also steps up Lily’s Angel the winner of the Carnival opener.

She looked very decent over 7 f on the Tapeta surface coming through a gap to easily sprint clear off an inside draw. Since leaving Richard Fahy’s yard last summer she has thrived in the Irish countryside benefitting from the quiet life at Glenburnie. She was an easy winner of a premier handicap at Leopardstown first time out for Ger then built on that with two fine displays at Dundalk including at Listed level before coming to Meyden. She was an obvious for the Cape Verdi over the mile but connections rejected that in favour at a tilt at this 9f. This will be the furthest she will have ever travelled but you’d have to think its a smart move. She’s not in on World Cup night however a supplementary entry for the Godolphin mile is an option after the handicap run. Now they look to find out if the Duty Free door can open.

With Sajjhaa having had a tough run and previously shown herself best when fresh and with Igugu having to overcome a year long lay off and a trip short of ideal then the filly on the up drawn 1 gets a great chance to lie up and then dictate 2 f out. If she stays the 9 f they’ll find it very difficult to pass her.

The question is, will she stay?

As they say in her adopted homeland, no bother, no bother at all.

Recommendation: Lily’s Angel (Best Morning Odds)


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