Horses To Follow » French Dressing

French Dressing

French Dressing put up a really nice performance on her racecourse debut to win a good-looking 10-furlong maiden at Ascot on Friday night.

Strong in the market beforehand, the John Gosden-trained filly settled nicely towards the rear of the field through the early stages of the race for William Buick. She was well back in the field entering the home straight, she was no better than seventh of the nine runners as they started the turn for home, and she was niggled along a little by Buick on the crown of the bend. However, once in the straight, she came back on the bridle again. Buick angled her towards the outside, he had to wait for fellow newcomer Distain to come past on his outside. Once in the clear, however, his filly picked up nicely. She joined Distain and Pure Line in front, and Buick even sat up for a couple of strides before he asked her to go and win her race. When he did, the response was impressive. The Normandie Stud’s filly picked up really nicely, joined the two leaders just inside the furlong pole and cleared away to win by two lengths.

It is difficult to gauge the exact quality of this race, only three of the nine fillies had run before, but a lot of the right yards were represented, and the favourite Pure Line, who shaped encouragingly on her debut last season and who was well-backed here, set a good standard. Also, the early pace was not strong, the winning time was not good. The race was run to suit the prominent racers, so French Dressing did well to come from as far back as she did and win as well as she did. Interestingly, this race was won last year by Marsh Daisy, who followed up by landing the Listed Height Of Fashion Stakes at Goodwood and who was sent off at just 16/1 for the Oaks.

French Dressing is a daughter of Sea The Stars, her dam was a listed race winner over 10 furlongs and she is a half-sister to a Grade 3 winner over 12 furlongs and a listed winner over 10. This was an impressive performance on her racecourse debut, she should improve for it, and the progeny of Sea The Stars tend to progress as they mature. Also, Normandie Stud horses tend to improve with age, owner Philippa Cooper said afterwards that she has only ever had one horse before win on racecourse debut. French Dressing does not have any lofty entries, but she is an exciting middle-distance filly. She could be a Ribblesdale Stakes filly, her proven ability at Ascot would be an asset to carry into that race.

8th May 2015