Past Winners » Alice Springs


Usherette is a hugely likeable filly, but she is really fashionable now after her Dahlia Stakes and Duke of Cambridge Stakes win, and she may not have as much in hand of today’s Falmouth Stakes rivals under today’s conditions as the market suggests.

She just may be vulnerable on the ground.  Andre Fabre says that he is not worried about fast ground, and she may handle it okay, but her four wins in France were on Polytrack and easy ground (three on Polytrack, one on easy ground).  Also, the ground wasn’t fast at Newmarket for the Dahlia Stakes, and it was decidedly soft when she put up probably the best perfromance of her life in winning the Duke of Cambridge at Royal Ascot.

She may handle it all right, but she has never run at Newmarket, and she has never raced on ground as fast as the ground that she is set to encounter today.

Unusually for an unlucky-looking loser last time, Alice Springs may have been a little under-rated by the market, and I am backing her at 6/1 or 13/2.

Aidan O’Brien’s filly was unlucky in the Coronation Stakes.  She was held up early on, she didn’t have a clear run in the home straight, she had to switch to the outside, she had to check her run, and she finished off best of all to take third place, behind Qemah and Nemoralia.  That is really strong three-year-old filly form.

She is a high-class filly anyway.  She was mixing it with her stable companions Minding and Ballydoyle last season, she was second in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies’ Turf, and she finished third in the 1000 Guineas on her second run this season.

The fact that she was able to record the fastest finishing sectional in the Coronation Stakes tells you that she has a lot of pace, but she stays a mile well, as you would expect from a daughter of Galileo.

She goes well on fast ground, she won the big Tattersalls Fillies’ Trophy last year on fast ground, and we know that she goes well at Newmarket, albeit that all three of her runs there have been on the Rowley Mile.  She gets the 9lb age allowance from Usherette and the other older fillies and mares, and that is a significant concession.  Three-year-olds have a slightly better win-and-place strike rate than older fillies in the race.

Always Smile is interesting, but I thought that she should have been a bigger price than she is.  Amazing Maria is also interesting, last year’s Falmouth winner, last year’s Prix Rothschild winner, and Prix Rothschild winners are two for two in the Falmouth in the last 10 years.  However, I think that the 6/1 that is available about Alice Springs is the value of the race.