Hirsch Stakes – Grade I [BC]
1 1/16m Dirt Graded Stake
Purse $300.000 For Fillies And Mares Three Years Old And Upward.
1 Dirty Deeds, trained by Aer Stables
The winner of the CCA Oaks and the Cotillion at grade one last year getting the three year old weight allowance she continued this season in that vein with a grade one win in the La Troienne. In her last start she did very well from a wide draw to be a very close fifth in the Phipps and on the balance of form is one of the best in the field. Drawn nicely today she again has a lively chance but this is the first time she will have to cope with giving weight to the three year olds and that may end up being a significant fact.
2 Impressive Mrs, trained by Oval Express Farms
Had been running well this season but managed a much improved effort last time in the grade one Acorn when third. The three year old allowance will certainly help her get closer to some of the classy older horses but i am not sure it will be enough.
3 Viking Vania, trained by Delta Farms
She has taken her time to hit her stride but has come on leaps and bounds this year winning her last three. The last of those was an on pace win in the Iowa oaks and whilst she is undoubtedly improving i just think she may need more time to make this sort of class.
4 Lea, trained by Mb Stables
This filly is better known as a sprinter and hasnt won a route race in seven efforts. That alone may put you off but she is one of the best in the Mb Stables yard and regardless of the trip she will make her presence felt here. Her last two wins have both been at grade one and despite those both being over shorter trips her trainer wouldnt be stretching her out if he didnt think she had a chance. Her last effort at this trip saw her beaten a nose in the grade two Azeri and her trainer held her back that day to get the trip, today we may see he closer to the pace.
5 Casi Kruz, trained by Brave
Another three year old that relies on the weight advantage to give her any chance she isnt a bad sort but does have a bit to find. An easy winner of the Adoration Stakes in muddy going she ran on nicely to be third in the Summertime Oaks last time but her best chance may come if the rains fall.
6 Shake It Off, trained by Our Athletes
Another that took advantage of the three year old weight allowance last year winning the grade one Personal Ensign she has yet to face the three year olds but is certainly on top of her game. Just a head second to Dirty Deeds in the La Troienne she was also just behind that horse in the Phipps when seventh so whilst she looks held by a whisker she is certainly right at the sharp end of this race.
7 Devils Future, trained by Allinthegate
I am struggling to find a three year old to beat the older ones in this race but this is one of the best and wont be far away. She looked very good when taking the grade one SA Oaks back in April but ran poorly on the slushy ground in the KYO. She looked a bit flat in the Summertime oaks last time which certainly brings up some red flags but her works are good enough with the 5Lbs to put her very close to the best older horses.
8 City Bus, trained by Tiratzo
Beat Lea in the Azeri back in March but then finished behind Dirty Deeds in the La Troienne so may find it tough from this draw to turn that defeat around. At her best she would be right in the finish and her last work suggests she is at her best so you would have to include her if you were forecasting a top three.
9 Princess Legion, trained by John Henry
Won the Beholder Mile last time after a string of narrow defeats she may look a notch behind the best of these on bare form but has a few works that put her right in it. The draw may be tough for her especially of fired out to the lead.
10 Conspiring, trained by Mb Stables
No big stakes race would be complete without a very lightly raced three year old off spring of Commanding who shouldnt worry any of them but has an outstanding chance. If she was drawn inside the top three i would be pretty bullish about her chances based on one fact alone – she is working just as fast as the best but gets the weight allowance and has the Mb factor.
So can a horse that was beaten 13 lengths in a free track maiden just four months ago beat the best older fillies in the game. Well at HRP that happens a fair amount. The only question is whether this one is in as a pacemaker for Lea or whether she will be given a chance to win and there’s only one person who knows the answer to that.
11 Sweep The Ash, trained by Eastern Equine
This very good five year old beat Princess Legion in the Doubledogdare and then very nearly beat the wide gate speed push in the Phipps last time so even though she has a nightmare draw you have to respect her chances. She is among five or six that are within a half length of each other in this race and any of them could win but the draw may be enough to put me off today.
Well for once the older horses may actually beat the three year olds. We have some of the best older fillies and mares in this race running against three year olds that would struggle to be in the top 20 of their age group. Can the weight allowance really make that much difference? I hope not, i really do.
So if form pans out then Dirty Deeds, Lea and Shake It Off may be the best but if the three year old dominance transcends common sense then it will be between Conspiring and Devils Future.