Past Winners » Ambivalent


I am backing Ambivalent here. I think that she should be a fair bit shorter than the 5/1 at which you can back her.

Roger Varian’s filly is top class, as she proved when she won the Group 1 Pretty Polly Stakes at The Curragh last June, battling on well to get the better of 2012 Oaks heroine Was.

She disappointed on her next run in the Nassau Stakes, but she didn’t seem to be that keen that day – she is quirky, and that is a concern today – and that was a messy race anyway with a stop-start gallop that wouldn’t have suited her at all.

She ran a cracker on her final run last season to finish second to Lost In The Moment in the valuable Group 2 Bospherous Cup in Turkey, when she missed the break and had to be rushed up early.

She made her debut this season in the Dubai Sheema Classic at Meydan, and she probably put up a career-best in finishing third behind Gentildonna and Cirrus Des Aigles. They are two of the best middle-distance horses in training, and Ambivalent was only beaten two lengths by the former and a half a length by the latter, with high-class horses like Magician and Dunaden and Mount Athos and Japan Cup runner-up Denim And Ruby behind her.

That run gives her a massive chance today. She escapes a 4lb Group 1 penalty because her Pretty Polly win was before August last year, so she is effectively 4lb well-in today. Ten furlongs is probably more her trip than 12 furlongs, she does take a strong hold and the faster pace that she can go over 10 furlongs suits her well. Also, crucially, she ran really well on her only run at York, finishing second to the top class French mare Dalkala – who subsequently won the Prix de l’Opera – in this race last year.

She seems to be an improved filly since they have allowed her race prominently or make the running, so hopefully she will break well today and Andrea Atzeni can get her into a nice rhythm on or near the front end. It is still possible to win from the front at York these days, as we saw with That Is The Spirit, and almost with Pilgrim’s Rest, yesterday.

Soft ground would be a concern, but yesterday’s times tell us that it was not as soft as many thought it would be, and they had another dry night at York. The ground on the round course was much better than the ground on the straight course, and it should be very close to good today.

Mango Diva is interesting, she was good in winning at Gowran Park at the end of last season, and Gifted Girl shaped nicely on her debut this term to finish third behind Esoterique and Integral at Newmarket. However, at the prices, Ambivalent is the bet. As mentioned, she is quirky, but if she is on a going day – and the fact that she ran well on her only run at York is a big positive in that regard – then she should go close.