Ribblesdale Stakes Tips: Dreams to claim Royal Ascot glory

Charlie Appleby can claim Ribblesdale glory on Thursday
Charlie Appleby can claim Ribblesdale glory on Thursday

There may have been widespread disappointment with the news Oaks runner-up Emily Upjohn won't run in the Ribblesdale Stakes, but there are still six classy fillies going to post for the Group 2 contest, which is one of the feature races on day two of Royal Ascot. Our man Steve Chambers previews the race here and picks out his big-race tip...

William Haggas may have Baaeed at the top of his training ranks, but the Queen Anne Stakes-winning trainer has a hugely exciting three-year-old filly in the shape of Sea Silk Road bidding for glory in the Ribblesdale, and the daughter of Sea The Stars is a best-priced 15/8 favourite for this contest. 

Once raced as a juvenile, she failed to fire on debut, but she's blossomed as a three-year-old and having breezed to victory in a maiden event at Nottingham on her first start this season, she then went in and put a serene display in at Goodwood to win the Listed Height Of Fashion Stakes. She kept on well that day over 1m 2f, so a step up in trip to 1m 3f 211y should see her improve again, and she will need to continue on an upward incline if she is to land the prize. She may have only won by half-a-length at Goodwood, but she showed a fine turn of foot to pull clear and duly held off Eternal Pearl comfortably. Entitled to be a major player here, she does look a little short as she takes on some classy rivals on Thursday, and she could be worth taking on.

Charlie Appleby's LIFE OF DREAMS is hugely inexperienced in comparison to some of her rivals here, but the unraced juvenile left a lasting impression on debut when scooting to a fine three-and-a-half length victory at Newbury in April. She was then handed the unenviable task of trying to get the better of Emily Upjohn in the Musidora Stakes at York, and while she could live with that star filly on the Knavesmire she did put up a hugely encouraging effort back in second.

Another that is sure to improve for the step up in trip in the Ribblesdale, the Dubawi filly could well be somewhat of a surprise package and at the current 4/1 she is worth taking a chance on. She pulled two lengths clear of the third placed finisher in the Musidora, and she was certainly doing her best work in the closing stages, where she failed to reel in a top class winner. However, she's sure to improve for that run and has to be a major player here for the Godolphin team.

Jessica Harrington's Magical Lagoon was a Group 3 winner as a two-year-old, but has failed to kick on from that victory, as she was a well beaten seventh in the Fillies' Mile at Newmarket at the end of last season, while she was second on her seasonal reappearance in Listed company at Navan. Edged out by Concert Hall that day, she is entitled to come on for that outing, but she may lack the improvement of those at the head of the betting.

A Group 3 winner at Leopardstown two starts ago, Aidan O'Brien's History was next seen in the Irish 1000 Guineas, where she came seventh, and the daughter of Galileo will need to hope the step up in trip will bring out more improvement, but she has it all to prove.

Completing the sextet will be Roger Varian's Mukaddamah, who was third to Nashwa in Listed company last time out and will need to improve, while George Boughey's Mystic Wells ran well when second in a Listed event last time out, but the outsider of the party will need to come on considerably to feature here.

Ribblesdale Stakes
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