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Oscula ready to roll in Rockfel Stakes

George Boughey’s Oscula is bidding for another Group prize as she takes aim at the Group Two Unibet Rockfel Stakes at Newmarket on Friday.

The Galileo Gold two-year-old was the winner of the Group Three Prix Six Perfections at Deauville in August, the culmination of a season in which she has barely gone unplaced in a string of high-quality races.

The bay lost her maiden tag at Brighton and was subsequently third in the Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot and fourth in the Duchess of Cambridge Stakes – both times behind Andrew Balding’s Sandrine.

“She’s working well, she’s been a very good filly for us,” said Nick Bradley, managing director of ownership partnership Nick Bradley Racing.

“She’s drawn (in stall) 10 of 10, so we’ll have to work that out, but she goes there with a good each-way chance.

Oscula winning for the first time at Brighton earlier in the season
Oscula winning for the first time at Brighton earlier in the season (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

“She’s the highest-rated filly in the race and I expect her to put up a good show.

“What’s going to beat her? Something that’s only run once or twice potentially, maybe the (Andrew) Balding Frankel filly (Majestic Glory), but I think she sets the standard.”

Ralph Beckett’s Girl On Film lines up having won on her only start, taking a Newmarket maiden by a length and a half in early August.

This therefore represents a significant step up in grade, but Beckett remains hopeful the Dabirsim filly can hold her own in this company after being impressed with her work on the gallops.

“It’s a big ask, but her homework indicates she’s ready for it,” he said.

“We’ll see what happens. She’s a big, raw-boned filly and obviously I’m very hopeful that it works on Friday – but if it doesn’t, she’ll be a better filly next year.

“I’m looking forward to it.”

Hello You (centre) during the Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot
Hello You (centre) during the Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot (David Davies/PA)

David Loughnane’s Hello You is looking for a first black-type victory after going close in a handful of Group-race contests this season.

The daughter of Invincible Spirit was previously trained by Beckett, but transferred to Loughnane’s yard in August and has run twice since, finishing sixth in York’s Lowther Stakes and fourth in Goodwood’s Prestige Stakes.

“Hello You is improving with every run,” Loughnane said.

“She’s starting to settle down as she’s been overly keen on her last two starts and was arguably a bit unlucky in running.

“She’s definitely up to this level and deserves to get a Group win beside her name, she’s been very consistent and has run some solid races so hopefully we’ll have a good run.”

Roger Charlton fields Jumbly
Roger Charlton fields Jumbly (John Walton/PA)

Jumbly has won each of her two starts for Roger Charlton, who admits it is a big leap in class for the Gleneagles filly, who is out of the Beckhampton trainer’s 2014 Pretty Polly winner Thistle Bird.

He said: “She is stepping up and we’re going into the unknown. She won a weak race easily at Kempton, so we’ll see.

“She came into training late, but she’s always been a nice filly. There are lots of other nice fillies in there as well.

“It’s going to be good to firm ground. It was good at Leicester when she won, so hopefully she’ll be OK.”

Majestic Glory has won her previous two outings, the latter being the Group Three Sweet Solera Stakes, and is the likely favourite for the race as a result of that one-length victory.

John and Thady Gosden’s Sunstrike was fourth that day and will cross swords with Balding’s filly again, whereas Ed Walker’s Kawida comes into the race off the back of a triumph having taken a maiden fillies’ race at Haydock last time out.

William Stone’s Romantic Time will be having her seventh career start, with the most recent of her three career victories coming in the Group Three Dick Poole Fillies’ Stakes at Salisbury earlier in the month.

Boughey is also represented by Cachet, who has twice been placed in Listed company, with Roger Varian’s Femme Friendly completing the field.

Giles aiming to graduate to Group Two level in Rockfel date

Clive Cox is looking for Isabella Giles to continue on an upward curve in the Group Two Rockfel Stakes at Newmarket on Friday.

The two-year-old was last seen winning the Group Three Prestige Stakes at Goodwood, where she finished seven lengths ahead of Charlie Hills’ Prado in testing conditions.

That was a third win in four starts for the daughter of Belardo, having also prevailed in her first two racecourse appearances at Leicester and Newbury.

“She was a very impressive winner in the Prestige,” Cox said.

“I was happy to see that Newmarket got some decent rainfall last night.

“She’s in excellent form and we very much hope that she can continue her progression, all being well.”

Prior to Goodwood, Isabella Giles was fourth in the Princess Margaret Stakes at Ascot, suffering her only defeat to date when beaten a length and a half by David Loughnane’s Santosha.

The two fillies clash again on Friday, with Santosha also declared for the Rockfel and Thomas Greatrex due to take the ride.

Loughnane is hoping his charge can bounce back from a disappointing effort when a distant eighth behind Miss Amulet in the Group Two Lowther Stakes at York.

“We’re always hopeful for a big run, she’s a lovely filly,” he said.

“I think the race has probably come about four or five days too soon – in an ideal world I’d prefer it if it was later.

“She’s had a nice little freshen up after the Lowther, she looks great and she’s done really well after a little break. We’ll roll the dice and take our chance.”

Loughnane has no reservations about the step up in distance, with the filly tackling the seven-furlong trip for the first time after being campaigned exclusively over six furlongs so far.

“We’ve always felt she was going to be a stronger filly over seven,” he said.

“That was always the plan throughout the year – we’ve been working up to seven all season.”

Sir Mark Prescott’s Alpinista sets the standard in the Group Three Princess Royal Muhaarar Stakes.

An impressive winner of the Upavon Fillies’ Stakes at Salisbury on her penultimate start, the daughter of Frankel was last seen beating all bar the brilliant Love in the Yorkshire Oaks, having since missed the Park Hill at Doncaster.

Alpinista is one of four three-year-olds in a six-strong line-up, along with the John Gosden-trained Franconia, Sir Michael Stoute’s Katara and Queen Daenerys from Roger Varian’s yard.

The two older fillies in contention are the William Haggas-trained Sea Of Faith – winner of a Listed race in France last week – and Ralph Beckett’s Antonia De Vega, who has not been seen in competitive action since landing a Listed prize at Pontefract in June.

A 17-strong field go to post for the Listed Tasleet British EBF Rosemary Stakes.

Leading contenders include the long-absent Ummalnar from the Haggas yard, Andrew Balding’s Bounce The Blues and Richard Hannon’s Cloak Of Spirits.

The latter kicked off the campaign with a runner-up finish behind Love in the 1000 Guineas, but has failed to better that performance in four subsequent outings.

“Cloak Of Spirits is in good form. She was a little bit disappointing at Doncaster last time out (fifth in Sceptre Stakes), but I think this race will be nice for her as it is a drop down to Listed level,” said Hannon.

“She has been second in a Guineas and placed two other times at Group-race level – she has run good races.

“It is a little bit disappointing she hasn’t won yet this year, so it would be good if she could take advantage in a Listed race like this.

“It gives you a little bit more confidence that she has run well here before as well.”

Listed honours are also up for grabs in the Eqtidaar Godolphin Stakes, which features a trio of Godolphin runners in Charlie Appleby’s pair of Loxley and Walton Street and Saeed bin Suroor’s Volcanic Sky.

Laafy (Stoute), Aloe Vera (Beckett) and Golden Pass (Hugo Palmer) are the other hopefuls.