William Haggas is looking to maintain his red-hot run of form with My Astra in the Tennent’s Lager British Stallion Studs EBF Rothesay Stakes at Ayr on Wednesday.
The beautifully-bred filly is by Lope De Vega and out of the Sea The Stars mare My Titania, who won a Group Three for John Oxx.
My Astra was unraced at two but won her first two outings at three last year, before finishing second in a French Listed race over 10 furlongs in heavy ground.
She dropped back down to a mile for the Snowdrop Fillies’ Stakes at Kempton for her reappearance and was narrowly beaten into third by Roman Mist and Haggas feel the step back up in trip to a mile and a quarter will be in her favour in Scotland.
He is, though, mildly surprised at the strength of the race with Andrew Balding, Roger Varian and Jessica Harrington all represented, although John and Thady Gosden’s Darlectable You – a sister to Too Darn Hot – is a non-runner.
“We thought stepping back up in trip is what she wanted, certainly Tom (Marquand) felt that after Kempton, but this is a little bit better race than normal,” said Haggas, who is operating at a strike-rate well over 40 per cent for the past fortnight.
“For the last couple of years this has been a pretty ordinary race but this is stronger, so we’ll just have to see, obviously we’re hoping she’ll run really well.
“Jessie is bringing one over (The Blue Brilliant), I thought Andrew’s looked dangerous (Achelois) and Roger’s (Angel Power) – they are all going to be dangerous but this is what we kept her in training for, to run in these races, so she’s got to run in them.”
Tom Ward, trainer of Roman Mist, runs Luisa Casati while Magnificence (Brian O’Rourke), Minister For Magic (Harry Dunlop) and Twisted Reality (David Menuisier) complete the field.