Natural Flower Looks For Repeat In Royal North

July 25, 2015

The Grade III Royal North is a key race for the F&M turf sprinters, especially now with the KD Ladies Sprint looming on the horizon, and that is probably why a massive field of 11 has been assembled for this $150.000 event going a speedy six-furlongs on the WO turf. Recent stakes races at BEL run rampant over the field with many facing similar foes and the shorter distance might prove be the main factor, as many will be much better suited to handling their speed over six-furlongs, rather than seven.

1-Natural Flower (Five-year-old bay mare / Owner-Maxmillion Farm)

Last year, Natural Flower came into the Royal North off a score at BEL and came away with a hard-fought nose decision and since then, the now five-year-old has taken three more stakes wins to make herself one of the best bets to repeat, especially off a solid score in the Intercontinental last time out. That sharp win as the choice came off modest fractions and splits will be faster here, leading many to believe that the pace will set things up perfectly for her as she tries for a return to the BC Turf Sprint, this time going shorter at KEE.

Analysis-Defending champion has all the right tools

Fair Odds-5/2

2-Aurora Sails (Four-year-old chestnut filly / Owner-Running Farms)

There is nothing to knock when looking at Aurora Sails and after four straight wins and end 2014 and begin 2015, she was a neck from the win in the License Fee and a charging third in the Intercontinental before being privately purchased. Now, she gets pace to chase to her outside and a turf course that will allow her to stretch her legs and if that last workout is any indication, she will be another huge factor in the final furlong, with the win well within her reach.

Analysis-Comes in with excellent form and the right running style

Fair Odds-4/1

3-Flying Corvette (Six-year-old bay mare / Owner-Maverick Racing)

Irish Stakes winner Flying Corvette tired only late going longer over this same course last time out and will appreciate moving back to six-furlongs, even if the ground does come up softer than she would hope come Sunday. Workouts at the FG since it closed for the season have been solid but a new jockey might be a bit of a worry in this full field and she needs to make sure she times her move just right in order to hit the front first.

Analysis-Cannot afford to use her energy too early

Fair Odds-8/1

4-Hilarity Ensues (Four-year-old bay filly / Owner-Captinj)

Hilarity Ensures has only tasted victory once in the past two years but that did come in the Passing Mood over this same turf course and at the very least, it shows that she likes the course and knows how to handle the sweeping turns. However, she is usually not up to this level and much prefers to go longer than six-furlongs so it will take a quick turn of foot late for her to get up for a placing against ten tough rivals.

Analysis-Probably wants a little more ground

Fair Odds-15/1

5-Ghastly (Four-year-old chestnut filly / Owner-Asgar)

Ten seconds from fifteen starts shows that Ghastly is good but usually not quite good enough and in this field, you cannot take her for a runner-up placing and that makes her a longer shot than she would be in a smaller field. She has never won on the turf, and has not raced on it in quite some time, so take any recent efforts with a grain of salt and hope that she can harness her speed enough to make things interesting late.

Analysis-Not as good on the turf as on the main track

Fair Odds-20/1

6-Evervescent (Four-year-old gray filly / Owner-Threshold)

A winner at first asking off a lengthy layoff, Evervescent was put to the wolves in the Just A Game and understandably, tired late to finish last, but this is a much easier spot and that effort could make her a play at a price if she can get to the lead all by herself. She has the speed and power and sustain things around the far turn and there is class there, as evidenced by her Grade III win at SA, so look for an improving effort from an improving filly, with the potential to hit the board.

Analysis-Interesting off that huge class drop

Fair Odds-8/1

7-Sassy Jones (Three-year-old bay filly / Owner-Bigking)

After winning the Wait A While against three-year-olds, Sassy Jones took on older runners and was a close third over this course going longer, after taking the lead in the middle stages, and now gets five-pounds to work with and speed to chase, and that could make all the difference. Her speed ratings have been improving and that workout at BEL was blistering so look for her to sit perfectly, pounce under a confident rider and make a big move at the defending champ in the final strides.

Analysis-Will be sitting chilly before making a bold bid

Fair Odds-3/1

8-Prudent Ghost (Three-year-old chestnut filly / Owner-Drabfantasy)

Prudent Ghost was an even third in her only start to date and facing Grade III company, on the turf for the first time, she has to be considered the longest shot on the board and will be up against it to make a dent at any stage. None of the winners from the dam even raced on the grass, let alone run, and there are too many factors against her to even continue considering her as a choice.

Analysis-No shot

Fair Odds-50/1

9-Last Gesture (Four-year-old black filly / Owner-Oval Express Farms)

Last Gesture rides a three-race winning streak into the Royal North but those wins have been against easier and she now needs to prove herself against this class and with a quick pace as well. She certainly knows how to get out there and set the early fractions and that last start saw her move forward late in a good effort so take her to complete your exotics and hope that she can make a good account of herself before a trip into state-bred company.

Analysis-Big wins make her a decent shot

Fair Odds-6/1

10-Vorurtle (Four-year-old bay filly / Owner-Sarah Stables)
Vorurtle has been going much longer than six-furlongs this season and has shown little with only some minor placings so while shaking things up might be in order, it probably will not be enough to sway many to back her and she will go from favourite to longshot quite quickly in this spot. She is not fast enough to compete with these splits and will be up against it in the final furlong so the hope is that she can make up some ground before moving into easier company in her next start.

Analysis-Cut back in distance does not help

Fair Odds-25/1

11-Dont Stop (Six-year-old bay mare / Owner-Spankys Barn)

The outside stall in the Royal North goes to Dont Stop, who was a surprisingly good second at outrageous odds in the Bed o Roses Handicap at BEL, and a winner of the License Fee over the turf, and over some of these, before that. Her speed ratings rank with the best but that outside post is cause for concern and unless she saves some kind of ground around the sweeping turn, a final furlong out wide will be her punishment and those precious inches could make a huge impact.

Analysis-Needs to save ground to prove effective

Fair Odds-5/1

Overall

A break in the weights can make all the difference going short on the turf and although Sassy Jones gets five-pounds from nearly everyone in the Grade III Royal North field, it might not be enough to upset Natural Flower, who looks to be in amazing form and should be able to make her own trip from the rail. Aurora Sails has done nothing wrong in recent races, and Dont Stop is only burdened by an outside stall, so look for them to make a race of it late in an event that should be decided by mire milliseconds.

Prediction

Win-Natural Flower (5/2)

Place-Sassy Jones (3/1)

Show-Aurora Sails (4/1)

Triple T Racing 🙂



Categories: Grade III

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