Bellarchi backed to make her presence felt at Epsom

Bellarchi brings her experience to the table in the Aston Martin Surrey Stakes at Epsom on Friday.

The Grant Tuer-trained filly has run 19 times already after a busy juvenile season that saw her win three races and collect several placings in contests over five, six and seven furlongs.

This year she has returned in good form for owners Nick Bradley Racing, winning twice at Southwell and Ascot and then making the step up to Listed level at York last time out.

There she was sixth of nine over a mile in the Sky Bet Fillies’ Stakes, but was not disgraced and now returns at the same level on Oaks day.

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“She’s a good filly, I think she’s way overpriced,” Bradley said of the chestnut.

“At York she was too far back, which was a combination of jockey error and my error. We tried to adopt similar tactics to Ascot, but the pace wasn’t there to be run at.

“We’ll sit close, I think the Stuart Williams filly looks smart and I like the Eve Johnson Houghton horse as well.

“She will definitely outrun her odds, I would like to think she’ll finish in the top three and I’d be disappointed if she didn’t.

“She has probably run more than the rest of the field put together. Do I think she can win off her mark? Yes, absolutely. Could she win? If things go her way.

“She looks exposed but a lot of this field have potential rather than have already done it, to me she has already done it.

“She’s overpriced, she’s drawn well, I think she goes there with a good each-way chance.”

Pandora’s Gift winning at Southwell
Pandora’s Gift winning at Southwell (Mike Egerton/PA)

The Stuart Williams filly in question is Pandora’s Gift, a daughter of Churchill who has been on the up since making her debut on the all-weather last year.

Beaten a length and a half on that occasion, she has since enjoyed a four-race winning streak.

She was entered in the Sandy Lane at Haydock last weekend for another step up in grade, but the soft ground scuppered that plan and may scupper this one if more rain falls overnight.

Williams said: “I’d say she wants a bit better ground, I hope it doesn’t rain too much between now and tomorrow. Her participation might be in doubt if we have a lot of rain, as I wouldn’t want to run her on soft ground.

“I would really like to run her, she’s been a rapidly-improving filly every time we’ve run her so far.

“She’s worked nicely on grass at home and I don’t have any problem with her going on grass, but we haven’t had any ground like they had at Haydock last week.

“It would have been very, very testing and I hope it doesn’t rain any more and go that way at Epsom.”

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Williams has entered Pandora’s Gift in the Commonwealth Cup at Ascot, but understandably would like to give the filly as chance to turn her hand to the turf before taking on that Group One assignment.

“There’s not a lot else, we’ve made a speculative entry in the Commonwealth Cup and we really wanted to see the lie of the land with a run on turf before going there,” he said.

“If we don’t run we may run out of options and it’d really be throwing her in the deep end to go straight into a Group One on turf and her first run in a straight line as well, she’s done all her winning around a bend.”

Eve Johnson Houghton’s contender is Balmacara, the winner of two Doncaster novices so far this term, whereas Ralph Beckett has the favourite in Greenham runner-up Zoum Zoum.

Richard Fahey’s Native American, Archie Watson’s Evade and James Fanshawe’s Heritage House complete the field.

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