Duntle leads strong raiding party in Beverly D Stakes
The David Wachman-trained Duntle has passed the post first in all but three of her nine career starts and bids for glory at Arlington Park on Saturday in the Beverley D Stakes. David Simcock and Hayley Turner teamed up to win this prize last season with I’m A Dreamer and there is a strong European challenge again this year.
Duntle was denied Group 1 success when controversially disqualified in favour of Chachamaidee in the Matron Stakes at Leopardstown last season. She was victorious at Group 2 level when taking the Duke of Cambridge Stakes at Royal Ascot in June but has since finished second to Elusive Kate at Deauville.
She was always struggling to get in a blow at the impressive winner that day and it was to her credit that she stuck on for second. Duntle is closely matched with Sir Michael Stoute’s Dank on Royal Ascot form.
Stoute’s consistent filly was under a length away in third that day and has subsequently won well in the Group 2 Kilboy Estate Stakes at the Curragh. She was always travelling well that day under Ryan Moore and comfortably held Aidan O’Brien’s Say by a length and three-quarters.
The raiding party is completed by Paul Cole’s rapidly improving four-year-old Gifted Girl who started the season in handicap company. She won impressively off a mark of 85 at Lingfield in November and made light of a 7lb rise at Ascot in May.
She was not suited by the cambers at Epsom when running on strongly to finish second to Thistle Bird at the Derby meeting. The winner has since boosted the form by finishing a close second in the Group 1 Nassau Stakes.
Gifted Girl’s most recent start came at Pontefract where she won nicely on ground that was probably on the fast side for her. This marks a further step up in grade but she is definitely going the right way.
The Canadian-bred Marketing Mix is the ante-post favourite having won nine of her last thirteen starts. She looked a shade unlucky when just failing by a head to catch I’m A Dreamer in this race 12 months ago and this race has been the target all season.