Falmouth Stakes Tips: Primo Bacio to star at Newmarket

Primo Bacio was last seen winning a Listed event at York.
Primo Bacio was last seen winning a Listed event at York.

A star-studded line-up of fillies and mares will congregate for the Falmouth Stakes on Friday at Newmarket, and our man Steve Chambers previews the Group 1 event, and picks out his best bet for the race...

Aidan O'Brien's 1000 Guineas heroine Mother Earth will look to recapture the winning thread on day two of the July Festival, and the Ballydoyle filly is one of a number of fillies vying for favouritism in this mouth-watering contest on Friday afternoon at 15:35. A one-length winner of the fillies' Classic at the start of the season, the daughter of Zoffany will hope a return to Flat HQ will see her return to winner's enclosure. She failed to follow up in the French 1000 Guineas, where she could only finish second, and she was then a creditable third behind Alcohol Free in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot last month.

She will get her chance to reverse that form on Friday as Alcohol Free will take her chance in this showpiece event, and she is one of those exciting three-year-olds towards the head of the betting. Fifth in the 1000 Guineas, Andrew Balding's charge appeared to relish the rain-softened conditions in the Coronation Stakes, and managed to storm to a mightily-impressive win. Conditions maybe a little quicker for her on Friday, but she has shown to be a real top notch performer at the highest level, and has to be on the shortlist.

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Richard Hannon's Snow Lantern was Alcohol Free's nearest pursuer in the Coronation Stakes in June, and the beautifully bred grey will be looking to reverse that form around in the Falmouth. The daughter of Frankel sparkled on her first outing this season, but has failed to get her head in front since, but was an eye-catching runner-up in the Coronation. She was doing some excellent work in the closing stages of that event, and if she can continue on an upward curve then is entitled to make herself known here.

All three of these prominent figures in the betting are worthy of a position in the upper echelons of the betting, but it's Mother Earth that makes most appeal of the triumvirate, as she will enjoy a return to Newmarket, and with the ground likely to be a little sharper then she can replicate her Guineas display and down Alcohol Free for the second time this season.

There's an abundance of talent beyond the top three in the betting and the Ed Walker-trained Primo Bacio could prove to be the best of the entire bunch, if she can continue to blossom. Fourth behind Alcohol Free at 100/1 in the Fred Darling Stakes at the start of the season, Walker's three-year-old progressed impressively next time out when romping to victory in a Listed event at York. A three-length winner over Creative Flair that day, Walker's filly also had Sky Lantern in behind, and connections will be confident she can frank the form,

A late scratching in the Coronation Stakes last month, as the softening ground forced Walker's hand to abort that Group 1 mission, Primo Bacio is a key contender if the rain stays away from Newmarket on Friday, and she looks to have a mighty chance of continuing her development by notching up a fine win here. She will need to improve from that York success, but she shaped like she could be a real top quality Group 1 performer, and having not had a tough race at Royal Ascot like some of her rivals had then she can strut her stuff at Newmarket, and is the selection.

Joseph O'Brien's Pretty Gorgeous was one of the star two-year-olds last season, with her campaign ending with a fine win in the Group 1 Fillies' Mile. However, defeats in a Guineas trial and in the Coronation Stakes have left many punters wondering whether she still possesses the same qualities. She was fifth in that aforementioned Coronation, which wasn't a shoddy effort, and having excelled in top class company at Newmarket as a juvenile, she could enjoy a return to that venue and looks over-priced, and is the each-way alternative.

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Of the others, Jane Chapple-Hyam's Saffron Beach was a fine second behind Mother Earth in the Guineas at the start of the season, but failed to land any sort of blow when down the field in the Derby at Epsom, so a drop back in trip could see her bounce back to form. John & Thady Gosden's Indie Angel edged out Lady Bowthorpe when they did battle in the Duke Of Cambridge Stakes at Royal Ascot last month, and that pair will do battle once again here. But, this is a much tougher test against some of the premier milers in training and they will find it hard to feature, as they give weight to their younger rivals.

Sir Michael Stoute has a sensational record in this race and has been victorious on six occasions and he will unleash Queen Power, who was a decent third behind Indie Angel and Lady Bowthorpe at Royal Ascot, and she can reverse the form here. She had previously won the Middleton Stakes at York over ten furlongs, so while this mile trip may not be ideal she is a class act on her day, and she could be one of the lively outsiders in a race that can see Primo Bacio claim glory.

Falmouth Stakes
Primo Bacio silk

Primo Bacio

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