The fillies take centre stage here and one filly that is certainly worth a major interest is the James Fanshawe-trained Preening.
The top-rated five-year-old was consistent all of last season, finishing second to Agrotera in the Listed Snowdrop Fillies’ Stakes at Kempton in the spring and then filling the same spot in the Group 3 Sceptre Stakes at the Doncaster St Leger meeting.
She rounded off her season by collecting the very last race in the black type calendar of 2019 – the Prix Miss Satamixa at Deauville. The daughter of Dutch Art is a big player here under Ryan Moore. Mubtasimah, Lady Foxtrot and Farzeen look like her chief dangers.
Course winner Mrs Bouquet finished last season on a high and there is no reason why she can’t pick up from where she left off in this.
Trained by Mark Johnston and ridden by Joe Fanning, the filly won at Goodwood over 5f when she was last seen out and then she was put away for the autumn and winter. In her short period of racing last year she won four times and was placed once from her six starts.
Mrs Bouquet looks all set to make an even better three-year-old and this Listed race is right within her compass. Wise Counsel and Moyassar look like her more obvious dangers on paper.
Pocket rocket Final Venture will be hoping that a severe dose of seconditis last season will be firmly in the past if he can land the competitive looking Achilles Stakes (Listed) over 5f on Town Moor.
The speedy Paul Midgley-trained gelding was a model of consistency again last season, finishing runner-up four times from his five runs, but he just couldn’t get his head in front where it mattered.
The globetrotting eight-year-old will be fully tuned for his seasonal return and it was around this time three years ago that he registered his last victory. He should put up a bold show and he is a strong choice for win and place purposes.
His stablemate Tarboosh could well rank as his chief danger.