Dreamloper aiming to continue on upward curve

Dreamloper begins her campaign in the Group Two Betfair Exchange Dahlia Stakes at Newmarket on Sunday.

The Ed Walker-trained five-year-old already has a Group victory to her name after landing the Valiant Stakes at Ascot over a mile in July.

Last year her season ended with an impressive run in the Sun Chariot at Newmarket, where the bay proved herself a match for the undulations of the Rowley Mile when finishing strongly to come home third at 25-1.

Now a step up in trip beckons, with this weekend’s assignment a furlong further than the horse’s most recent performance over a mile.

“We know she handles the track, the extra furlong we don’t think will be a problem,” Walker said.

Dreamloper winning at Redcar
Dreamloper winning at Redcar (Tony Knapton/PA)

“It’s her first run of the year and she’s been training well at home, we’ll see where we are.

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“It’s certainly a very nice place to start her off.”

Among the opposition is Sir Michael Stoute’s Ville De Grace, winner of the Listed John Musker Stakes and the Group Three Pride Stakes last season – both run over a mile and two furlongs.

Francis-Henri Graffard will saddle Neom Cup third Ebaiyra, with William Haggas represented by Pride Stakes runner-up Lilac Road.

Andrew Balding’s Auria, Jessica Harrington’s Climate and George Boughey’s Romantic Rival complete the field of seven.

Another fillies’ race on the same card is the Pretty Polly Stakes, a 10-furlong Listed event that acts as an Oaks trial and has attracted a field of seven.

John and Thady Gosden’s Crenelle is an intriguing runner, a Juddmonte-owned grey who already has form at the track having won a one-mile fillies’ maiden in April.

The three-year-old is from the same family as St Leger winner Logician and jockey Frankie Dettori therefore believes she will have the necessary stamina when stepped up a quarter of a mile in trip.

“Crenelle is an exciting filly and we’re looking forward to stepping her up in distance in the Pretty Polly,” he told Sporting Index.

“We think the extra distance will suit, particularly as she’s related to Logician, and hopefully she can take another step forward.”

Also well-fancied is Godolphin’s With The Moonlight, trained by Charlie Appleby to two all-weather victories last season before a third-placed run on good ground in the Listed Montrose Fillies’ Stakes at Newmarket.

“She was last seen finishing third in the Montrose on ground that wouldn’t have suited her,” Appleby said on the Godolphin website.

“Back on a sounder surface this weekend we would be very confident she would put up a good performance.”

Hugo Palmer runs Arion, a filly who ran twice as a two-year-old when finishing second on debut at Newmarket and then winning a Chelmsford novice.

“We’ve been very happy with everything she’s done, Tom Marquand rode her and was very impressed with how she’d changed since she won her maiden,” Palmer said.

“We feel she’ll stay very well and she ran very well at Newmarket so the undulations of the Rowley Mile should pose no problem, but we’ll find out an awful lot more about her.

“This filly only had two starts last season, we really are going to an Oaks trial with her to try, we are trialling her and trying to find out where we are. She’s got the pedigree and she’s got the looks, now she just has to do the hard bit.”

Also engaged is Henry Spiller’s Mashaaer, an ex-Shadwell filly purchased from Richard Hannon’s yard during their dispersal in February.

Seen on track twice so far, the daughter of Muhaarar was the runner-up in a one-mile Ascot maiden and then went on to finish second again on the all-weather at Wolverhampton in April.

“She’s come on a huge amount, we’d only had her eight weeks at Wolverhampton and she was still very backward in her coat but she’s really blossomed now since that race,” Spiller said.

“She was short on work going there but she’s worked very well since and I’m very pleased with her progress and it looks an open race.

“I think she’ll be better on the grass and better with a little more distance, everything in her pedigree suggests a little more distance will help her.

“She’ll love the ground, which is a plus, I think it’s going to be pretty quick up there at the weekend.

“It’s a little bit of a shot in the dark for a filly that hasn’t won a maiden, but she’s got the ability and we think it’s worth taking a chance with her.”

Roger Varian’s Peripatetic represents Cheveley Park Stud, with the Haggas-trained Cet Horizon and George Scott’s Kick On Girl completing the field.

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