Full race preview and free betting tips for the 2.55pm Snowdrop Fillies’ Stakes at Kempton.
After the inaugural All Weather Championships took centre stage on Good Friday, Kempton follows suit with a good Saturday card. A card which includes the Snowdrop Fillies’ Stakes, a listed contest over 1m for horses aged 4 or older.
In a field of nine runners, one horse carries a 3lb penalty for a Listed success – ZURIGHA (5/4 William Hill). A course and distance winner (both in her maiden and a conditions event), she reappears after a successful 3yo season which saw her claim a Listed prize as well as being beaten by just over four lengths by Flotilla in the Group 1 Poule D’essai. Her best form comes when she’s fresh and she seems to thrive at Kempton Park. Her latest victory over C&D was particularly impressive as she was given a patient ride and produced at the ideal point to overhaul Senefe (who reposes today) looking to have plenty in hand at the line. Zurigha represents Richard Hannon who is, unsurprisingly, in good form with plenty of his runners winning on seasonal reappearances. Despite carrying a 3lb penalty, if she continues her love affair with Kempton, she could be a very dangerous contender.
On official ratings, ZIBELINA (NON RUNNER) is the joint highest rated runner in the field. Her rating of 109 matches that of Zurigha, but she has the added advantage of not having to shoulder a penalty. A daughter of Dansili, Zibelina showed plenty of class as a 3yo; winning her first three races impressively (including a Group 3 at Deauville). She faltered slightly on her final start of the season at Sandown where she finished fourth and was beaten just under two lengths by the dead heating pair of Integral and Ladys First with her stablemate Shuruq in third. The four horses finished ahead of the rest of the field and each looked to be exciting prospects. The form with Integral is particularly eye-catching as the Sir Michael Stoute runner went on to finish only one length down on Sky Lantern in the Group 1 Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket. That collateral piece of form stands out a mile in this contest and, if Zibelina is able to perform as well on her seasonal reappearance, she looks to have a huge chance.
Another progressive horse is the James Fanshawe trained Ribbons (3/1 bet365). A winner of her first four starts (including a first time C&D win), this horse developed into a smart handicapper, improving 20lbs from a mark of 75 to a current mark of 95. She ended her season which a third place finish in a Listed contest at yarmouth over 1m2f. As a daughter of Manduro one would think she would get 10f eventually, but she didn't seem to take to the step up in trip well and now back at 8f she could well continue her progression. Undoubtedly this is a far more difficult task but she could be interesting at a price.
Of the others, Auction (5/1 William Hill) is a 99 rated filly who finished runner-up in last year’s Sandringham Handicap. Despite that solid effort she was comfortably beaten by Zibelina on her final start of the season and she should struggle to overturn that form. Senafe (20/1 Ladbrokes) looks held over C&D by Zurigha, Amulet (NON RUNNER) has had the benefit of a run but will need to improve, and Compton Bird (20/1 bet365) has already notched up two successive victories this season over C&D but is only rated 72 and should struggle.
This looks to revolve around the two class horses in the race. Both rated 109, the pair of ZURIGHA and ZIBELINA are clearly the two to focus on, with the latter marginally preferred. Both sets of trainers are in good form and both horses seem to perform well when fresh. Zurigha has the advantage of C&D form and should be given plenty of respect, however the 3lb penalty could make all the difference and she may be vulnerable to the progressive and unexposed Zibelina. The latter has performed well at right-handed tracks and her Sire certainly produces plenty of horses who win on polytrack. Other than the threat of her closet rival, there is a slight concern with the way in which Zibelina tends to take a keen hold early on in here races, however I'm hoping the race is run at a strong pace and her big galloping stride can be seen to best effect. It is a very difficult task splitting the market leaders but in the end Zibelina looks the more progressive and has arguably the best form on offer.
ZIBELINA (WIN) (NON RUNNER)
ZURIGHA (WIN) (5/4 William Hill)
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