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Vow seeks redemption

Vow seeks redemption
Vow seeks redemption
Sky Sports Racing News

Vow will try to return to winning ways in the Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot on Thursday after losing her unbeaten record in the Investec Oaks.

The William Haggas-trained filly was fourth to Was at Epsom after claiming the Lingfield Oaks Trial on her second start.

Should she come through this test, the next port of call will be the Darley Irish Oaks at the Curragh on July 22.

"We want to fit in a race before the Irish Oaks. She got one race too few this spring because of the horrible conditions, but she's fine and she's got time to make up," Haggas told At The Races.

"I'm hoping Harry (Herbert) and the (Highclere) syndicate will keep her in training as a four-year-old if she's worth it.

"Johnny (Murtagh) wasn't sure she handled the track (at Epsom) well.

"I'm sure that's the same for everyone who didn't win the Oaks, there's an excuse and a reason why they didn't. On the day our filly didn't quite run fast enough.

"We hope she will make some improvement. She's a nice physical specimen and she's got some room for improvement physically and I hope she will keep going forward.

"She's come a long way from that first run at Newbury where halfway down the home straight she looked pretty ordinary.

"She's not dissimilar to (last year's Oaks winner) Dancing Rain, two genuine staying fillies.

"She coped with soft ground all right at Newbury so we'll see."

Murtagh expects Vow will prefer running on a more conventional track.

"Vow didn't handle Epsom, she travelled well but leaned left in the straight. It's a tricky track," he said.

"I think a more straightforward track like Ascot will suit her down to the ground, she won't mind ease in the ground either.

"She's only had three runs and is improving all the time.

"I think she'll come forward from her last run and she could be one of my best chances of the week."

Star to shine?

Vow is one of six fillies running here after Epsom, including the second and third home, Shirocco Star and The Fugue.

Shirocco Star got a little worked up in the preliminaries before the Oaks and trainer Hughie Morrison is hoping to keep her cool on Friday.

He said: "I'm just hoping we can keep the lid on her really. Hopefully she doesn't boil over and if we can keep the lid on her, I think she'll run her race.

"If she runs her race she won't be far away and I'm not worried about the ground. It's there to be proven but I'll be disappointed if she can't handle some ground."

John Gosden's The Fugue was widely considered the moral winner of the Oaks having encountered serious traffic problems before flashing home to pick up minor honours.

Simon Marsh, racing manager for owners Lord and Lady Lloyd-Webber, is hopeful she can gain compensation.

He said: "She's in very good form and I hope she runs well.

"She ran her race at Epsom and I think she'll love the ground at Ascot, that shouldn't be a problem."

Dermot Weld tests Princess Highway at this level after an excellent start to the season.

An impressive Leopardstown maiden success was followed up with a Group Three triumph at Naas.

Stan Cosgrove, racing manager for owners Moyglare Stud, said: "I think she'll run well if the ground is right. She likes top of the ground.

"She's a very good filly and she's done well this year. She only ran once last year at Leopardstown and the ground was too soft that day.

"I think she'll go very well and I think the trip will be all right for her, but it's a very tough race."

Michael Bell is keen on the chances of Momentary, who carries the colours of the Queen.

The three-year-old narrowly beat Shirocco Star in the Swettenham Stud Fillies' Trial at Newbury last month.

Bell said: "Her form is rock-solid. It may look a stiff ask on paper going into the race with others proven in Group One races, but her form is as good as any of them. We are hoping for a very big run.

"As she's so lightly-raced I wouldn't be sure what ground she prefers, but I doubt anyone can use it as an excuse at the moment."

The Roger Varian-trained Pink Damsel is a potential dark horse as she steps up in grade after justifying favouritism on her Newmarket introduction.

Owner Jim Hay said: "Roger Varian likes her a lot.

"We did think of running her in the Oaks but she's a big filly and she probably wouldn't have acted on the Epsom cambers, so we decided to keep her for the Ribblesdale.

"She's being aimed at the Irish Oaks, that's the long-term plan.

"Jamie (Spencer) rode her to instructions at Newmarket, we tried to get rid of the greenness. She's only had the one run and he gave her a good introduction to have a real race.

"She's extremely well-bred, she's by Galileo out of Riskaverse, who's now sadly dead, so she's got a superb pedigree."

View the original article at Sky Sports Horse Racing News

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