HOPES are high that Dandalla – Yorkshire racing’s heroine at Royal Ascot last year – can get back on the winning trail in today’s EBF British Stallion Studs Cecil Frail at Haydock.
Leyburn trainer Karl Burke’s filly looked a potential superstar in the making as she left rivals trailing in her wake in the Albany Stakes at the Royal meeting after which she touched off fellow Nick Bradley Racing-owned filly Fev Rover in the Duchess of Cambridge at Newmarket.
While Fev Rover has gone on to finish third in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket earlier this month, Dandalla has slightly lost her way – finishing fifth in the Cheveley Park Stakes in September and seventh on her return to action in the Fred Darling at Newbury last month.
The daughter of Dandy Man drops in distance and class for today’s six-furlong Listed feature, and connections are expecting a bold showing.
“This looks a good spot for her,” said Bradley.
“We’re going to do something slightly different regarding going into the stalls, because she’s been a little bit difficult the last couple of times. Hopefully that works, and I think she’ll run a big race.
“I think a repeat of her run at Newbury will probably see her win here, or certainly go close, but I would expect her to come on for the run as well. We’re going there hoping she’ll win.”
Dandalla is set to face five rivals on Merseyside, with Kevin Ryan’s older mare Last Empire and Richard Fahey’s Ventura Diamond renewing rivalry after finishing second and third in the Kilvington Stakes at Nottingham a fortnight ago.
Recent Ripon scorer Twilight Spinner (David O’Meara), Dense Star (Stuart Williams) and Mamba Wamba (Adrian Nicholls) also feature.
Meanwhile next week’s Coral Brigadier Gerard Stakes will be run in memory of Bradford-born Joe Mercer, who died earlier this week.
Mercer will be forever remembered for his partnership with the great Brigadier Gerard, one of the titans of the turf.
Run at Sandown on Thursday, the race’s full title will be the Coral Brigadier Gerard Stakes (In memory of Joe Mercer).
Mercer rode Brigadier Gerard in all 18 of his races, winning the 1971 Eclipse at Sandown among many other highlights.
Phil White, regional director at Jockey Club Racecourses, said: “We were deeply saddened to hear of Joe Mercer’s death earlier this week, and are pleased to be able to mark the occasion in the race which honours the horse he was most famously associated with.”
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