Rod Milllman’s Tagline leads the field for the Listed European Bloodstock News EBF Star Stakes at Sandown on Thursday.
The Havana Grey filly won a Windsor maiden in June and then took another step in the right direction to finish third behind Lezoo in the Empress Stakes at Newmarket, a Listed event.
Last time out the two-year-old was fourth in the Group Two Duchess of Cambridge Stakes at the same track and will revert to Listed level in Esher as the most experienced of the 10 entrants in a race that could prove most informative.
“She’s probably got the best form going into the race, but she’s taking on blue-bloods,” Millman said.
“They could be anything, they’ve won their maidens and they could be very progressive. We’ve run very well in Group races so they’ll have to show good form to beat us.
“She’s quite well bred herself actually, she’s had a very good season so far. She won her maiden and she’s been placed in a Listed race and run well in a Group race.
“If it was to rain it wouldn’t be against her, but I doubt there’ll be enough to make a huge difference.”
Sean Woods will saddle Acclamation filly Inanna for the seven-furlong contest, a race in which she will make her second career start after winning a Haydock maiden in May.
A second run at the same course was due in July, but the horse’s bridle broke in the stalls and she was withdrawn.
“She did everything right first time, she’s a very nice filly,” said Woods.
“We sent her to Haydock and unfortunately her bridle broke in the stalls so she couldn’t run and was withdrawn, otherwise she’d have probably won on both her starts and be two from two.
“She loves the seven furlongs, she could do with a bit of rain but she’s been pleasing us in her work.
“I’m very happy with her, she’s a filly that’s been uncomplicated.”
Lakota Sioux, third behind Inanna at Haydock, has gone on to win a maiden and place third in the Listed Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot, but there is contradicting form with the Haydock fourth, Zephina, beaten twice since.
“The form on one line works out well with Lakota Sioux, on another line the fourth got beat,” Woods explained.
“You could look at it either way but I’m pleased with my filly, Rod Millman’s is the only one with any stakes form, the rest are all maiden winners coming into a novice with a Listed tag on it.”
Charlie and Mark Johnston’s Dance In The Grass was a two-length winner in her maiden start at Sandown and comes from a stable with form in the race having won it twice before.
“Before she had even pulled up first time out at the track this race had already sprung to mind as a potential plan and it looks the obvious place to go next,” said Charlie Johnston.
“It is a race we often target. We won it with Walk In Marrakesh a couple of years ago and Dubai Fountain was placed in it (second, 2020). We always like to run a nice filly in it.
“She will have to step forward from her last run but you can’t knock the form of her debut run as the second (One Nation) has since gone back and won there.
“It is the obvious place to go as it is the same course and distance, the same jockey (Silvestre de Sousa) is on her and the ground is pretty similar. We are expecting another bold show.
“A couple in there have finished mid-division in Group races so she has got a little bit to find, but hopefully she will do that with natural progression.”