Horses To Follow » Blanche Dubawi

Blanche Dubawi

Blanche Dubawi has progressed very nicely this season and she took another step forward when winning the Listed Boadicea Fillies’ Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday. She is generally held up in her races, she probably doesn’t like being in front for too long, but she has shown a couple of times already this season that she has a fine turn of foot. This was very much in evidence when she won at Goodwood at the end of August, where she travelled supremely well and only had to be briefly shaken up to go past the leader. She acquitted herself well when upped to listed class on her next start back at Goodwood when she was a close third to Monsieur Chevalier, finishing just in front of last year’s Sprint Cup winner Markab, and she built on that to land her listed stripes here.

Not that this was easy. Rose Blossom and Anne Of Kiev provided a decent level of opposition, and those two enjoyed the run of the race against the favoured stands side rail while Blanche Dubawi had far from a perfect trip through the race. She made smooth progress under Richard Hughes just after halfway but then appeared to stumble going down into the Dip. She was short of room between Aneedah and Cochabamba straight after that and so Hughes had to pull out and go widest of all, furthest from the rail, in order to get a clear run. Anne Of Kiev had burst through on the near side as they came to the furlong pole, and Blanche Dubawi had nearly three lengths to find with her by the time she was out and going again, and still two lengths as they set off up the hill, but once again she showed her turn of foot to make up the ground and get up on the line.

Anne Of Kiev is a solid yardstick, she was a listed winner herself earlier in the season before finishing a fine fourth in the Wokingham. Rose Blossom may have been just stretched by the sixth furlong here but she is a good filly, a Group 3 winner last season and a listed one this, while Sandlash, who was a Group 3 winner herself in the spring in Italy, was fourth. Sandlash was carrying a penalty for that win on this, her first start in Britain, and her presence in fourth, beaten two and a half lengths, provides another solid measure for the form.

The time was good, the fastest comparatively on the day, and, while four of the seven races were for two-year-olds, several of those contests featured horses with high class form. Given her style of victory, there it is probable that Blanche Dubawi has not finished progressing yet. Indeed, she could make up into a really useful sprinter next year, such is the ease with which she travels. She seemed to have a slight preference for some ease in the ground coming into this race, but she coped with the faster conditions here fine, and in fact quicker conditions are probably more conducive to her acceleration. She is an exciting horse for her trainer Noel Quinlan to have.

1st October 2011