Horses To Follow » La Rioja

La Rioja

La Rioja put up a really impressive performance to win the Dick Poole Stakes, the Group 3 six-furlong juvenile fillies’ contest at Salisbury on Thursday.

Well-backed in the pre-race market, the Hellvelyn filly was a little keen through the opening furlong, but she settled nicely then just behind a fast pace that was set by Thatsallimsaying and Mayfair Lady. Short of a little room towards the stands side at the two-furlong pole, she showed a lot of guts to engineer a gap for herself between the two leaders as Thatsallimsaying faded, and she showed a really impressive turn of foot to come clear. It was the turn of foot of a high-class filly against decent opposition.

A half-sister to Lilbourne Lass and Pastoral Lass, Henry Candy’s filly was racing for just the third time in her life. She had been impressive in winning her maiden on her previous run at Newbury in early July on fast ground, but she handled this easy ground well. Indeed, Andrea Atzeni said afterwards that she is probably at her best on easy ground. She should progress again from this and, while she is not entered in the Cheveley Park Stakes, there was talk afterwards about the possibility of supplementing her. She would be an interesting player in a Group 1 race now over six furlongs, ideally on easy ground, and she is an interesting filly for next year. She is all speed, she may not get a mile, she may not be a Guineas filly, but her trainer is a master with sprinters, and it would be surprising if the Commonwealth Cup was not on his radar for this filly already.

3rd September 2015