Rockfel Stakes Tips: Commissioning to enhance 1000 Guineas claim with Newmarket win

A stellar field line up for the Rockfel Stakes on Friday.
A stellar field line up for the Rockfel Stakes on Friday.

Some hugely exciting two-year-old fillies will line up for the Group 2 Rockfel Stakes at Newmarket on Friday afternoon on day two of the Cambridgeshire meeting, and our in-house tipster Steve Chambers previews the event here and picks out his best bet, who could turn into a 1000 Guineas contender next season...

Not since Finsceal Beo in 2006 has a filly won this event before going on and claiming 1000 Guineas glory at Newmarket, but the John & Thady Gosden-trained Commissioning will be looking to emulate that mighty Jim Bolger-trained raider, who managed the Rockfel/Guineas double, and COMMISSIONING is set to be a warm order for the 2022 Rockfel.

A sumptuous three-and-a-half length victory on debut in a novice stakes back in July, the daughter of Kingman made a huge impression on her racecourse debut over seven furlongs, as she quickened in the fashion of a very good horse and in the aftermath she was handed quotes of 25/1 for the 1000 Guineas next season. Sure to improve immeasurably for that debut, the Gosden-trained raider will be looking to use this Rockfel Stakes as a stepping stone to the Group 1 Fillies' Mile next month, and the manner in which she shaped in that novice win suggested there's a huge amount to come from her over the next couple of seasons, and she could just prove to be a real cut above her rivals here.

Certainly skinny enough with the bookmakers, Commissioning will face a whole host of rivals bidding for Group 2 glory here and one of the main dangers could be Richard Hannon's Rich (12/1), who like the favourite, is only once raced and that debut saw he win very well at Newbury. The daughter of Cracksman won readily that day, but the going was soft that day, so she's likely to face different underfoot conditions on Friday and that will certainly question her against the market leader.

Eve Johnson Houghton's Rage Of Bamby is another unbeaten filly taking her chance in Group 2 company for the first time and having won narrowly on debut at Newbury she then went and landed a Leicester event in more impressive fashion. That was in novice stakes company again, but at 8/1 she could be a leading each-way play against the favourite, if continuing to blossom.

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Seventh in the Queen Mary Stakes back in June, Olivia Maralda is one of the most experienced contenders lining up, and she really appeared to relish the step up in trip from five furlongs two starts ago at Newbury when breaking her maiden tag. The Irish raider is a 7/1 shot to claim this prize and was last seen chasing home the classy Meditate in the Group 2 Debutante Stakes at the Curragh last month, and a repeat of that effort should certainly see her hit the frame.

Roger Varian trained Daahyeh to victory in this race back in 2019 and the St Leger-winning trainer will saddle 14/1 chance Eximious, who finished a promising second on debut at Newmarket before going on better and breaking her maiden tag at Salisbury next time out. She was an easy winner that day, but this will be much tougher and while she has shown she can act with the idiosyncrasies of Newmarket she may just lack the class of some of her rivals.

A dual winner at Sandown Park, Charlie & Mark Johnston's A Dance In The Grass (12/1) lost her unbeaten record when well beaten in the Group 2 May Hill Stakes at Doncaster, and she could have to settle for minor honours again here. Fifth in the Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot, the Charles Hills-trained Sydneyarms Chelsea was last seen winning a Group 3 event at Deauville and she will return to British shores. This is a lot tougher, but at 11/1 she could be another that makes each-way appeal in what is a fascinating renewal.

Of the others, Leitzel (14/1) has won her two starts to date, but this a whole new kettle of fish, while Electric Eyes (16/1) and Lakota Sioux (25/1) add more depth to the race, but will ultimately flounder to a Gosden-trained raider that could prove to be a real class above her rivals here.

Rockfel Stakes
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