Falmouth Stakes Preview – Do Three-Year-Olds Hold All the Aces for Newmarket Group 1?

This is our Falmouth Stakes preview as 13 fillies and mares prepare to battle for Group 1 glory at the Newmarket July Festival. The 1m feature contest headlines the middle day’s card of the meeting this Friday (13:35). It’s not the Rowley Mile but the eponymous July course. See what our in-depth analysis reveals…

Falmouth Stakes preview – Stables to follow: Gosden, O’Brien and Stoute

Three yards trained the winner twice in the last eight years. Firstly, John Gosden saddled Elusive Kate to the spoils in 2013 and struck again with Nazeef last year. Now assisted by son Thady, this local stable has Royal Ascot heroine Indie Angel engaged. She has some questions over her, however, as victory in the Group 2 Duke Of Cambridge Stakes may be attributed to a favourable draw.

Indie Angel wasn’t the only winner to come up the stands’ side rail at Royal Ascot. That is probably why she’s 14/1 with BetVictor to follow-up here after defying odds of 22/1 last time out. Older fillies and mares concede 9lb weight for age to the three-year-olds in the Falmouth Stakes too, giving the youngster a clear edge.

It’s one that benefits Mother Earth from the Aidan O’Brien stable. A Classic winner, she returns to the scene of her greatest triumph, the 1000 Guineas in the spring, albeit on a different course. Mother Earth was given far foo much to do by jockey Ryan Moore in the Duke Of Cambridge; so, granted a better ride, could well be back in the winners enclosure at 7/1 with BetVictor for this.

Sir Michael Stoute is the joint most successful trainer in Falmouth Stakes history with six wins. Queen Power represent this other local stable but has to prove herself as effective over a mile as further, and reverse past form with Lady Bowthorpe. That explains why Betfred are 12/1 about her chances of giving Stoute a seventh victory in the race.

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Ratings toppers – Lady Bowthorpe and Alcohol Free

Speaking of William Jarvis’s stable star, Lady Bowthorpe took the Group 2 Dahlia Stakes here over 1m 1f on reappearance. The five-year-old has since found only two older horses too good for her over a mile in subsequent Queen Anne winner Palace Pier in the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury and then the aforementioned Indie Angel.

While Lady Bowthorpe, a 7/1 shot with 888Sport, has an official rating of 117, the highest in the Falmouth Stakes line-up, she does have that weight for age to concede to the three-year-olds. Adjusting the handicapper’s official assessment to reflect that, it’s Alcohol Free who comes out as top filly for reigning champion jockey Oisin Murphy.

Rated just 2lb behind Lady Bowthorpe, Andrew Balding’s runner comes out 7lb ahead at the weights. Alcohol Free is also 3lb and upwards clear of her fellow three-year-olds, according to the assessor. She earned a mark of 115 by winning the Group 1 Coronation Stakes on heavy ground later in the week at Royal Ascot. Comparing form lines between the older fillies and mares and the youngsters is difficult.

This is because the going was completely different in the Duke Of Cambridge to the Coronation Stakes. Alcohol Free disappointed in the 1000 Guineas here when only fifth, yet that hasn’t stopped Bet365 from making her a best-price 4/1 favourite for another Group 1 win here.

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Come on for the run – Snow Lantern

One of the least experienced in the Falmouth Stakes field but with huge potential is SNOW LANTERN. Trained by Richard Hannon, this three-year-old Galileo filly is out of Sky Lantern who loved racing around Newmarket. Snow Lantern’s dam was only second in this to Elusive Kate, so family honour may be upheld if she can foil the Gosden runner.

Snow Lantern has had just four starts, so there’s still plenty more of improvement to come. Her third to Primo Bacio in a Listed event at York saw the three-year-old lose the race at the start. Snow Lantern was slowly away on that occasion and also ran too freely. She learned plenty from her experience on the Knavesmire based on her effort last time out.

As Snow Lantern chased home Alcohol Free in the Coronation when denied a clear run in the final furlong, there may be a different result here. The bookies certainly believe that could happen. Snow Lantern is 9/2 with William Hill to go one better and land the race her mother couldn’t.

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Dark horse – Primo Bacio

If a 7/1 shot can sneak under the radar, then Primo Bacio is that filly. Trained by Ed Walker, this three-year-old Awtaad filly shaped nicely when fourth in the Group 3 Fred Darling at Newbury. Although behind Alcohol Free that day, Primo Bacio was nearest at the finish and only beaten a couple of lengths in that 7f Classic trial.

When stepped up to 1m, it was no surprise she landed the Listed contest at York in which Snow Lantern came third. The form received a boost with the runner-up Creative Flair scoring next time out in the same grade at Newbury. Snow Lantern also advertised it with that Coronation second.

Connections didn’t risk Primo Bacio on the heavy ground at Royal Ascot. She thus comes into the Falmouth Stakes fresher than most fillies. It could be a big advantage. This was the obvious next target. so Primo Bacio is another with claims at 7/1 with Betfair for this wide-open contest.

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Each-Way Option – Saffron Beach

SAFFRON BEACH ran in the Epsom Oaks with no hope whatsoever of lasting home last time out. Horses cannot always belie their breeding, and this was a Classic case – pun intended. Saffron Beach’s trainer Jane Chapple-Hyam is in decent form with her runners now, however.

Now dropping back to 1m at a venue where she has a fine record, Saffron Beach could run into a place. The New Bay filly took her maiden and the Group 3 Oh So Sharp Stakes here as a juvenile. Saffron Beach finished a staying on second in both the Nell Gwynn Stakes on reappearance and 1000 Guineas.

With just a length between her and Mother Earth on that Classic form, she may be overpriced. Punters looking for each-way value on the Falmouth Stakes should consider Saffron Beach. Odds of 14/1 with BetVictor, who pay four places, about her chances appeal.

2021 Falmouth Stakes shortlist

  • ***** Snow Lantern
  • **** Alcohol Free
  • **** Primo Bacio
  • E/W – Saffron Beach
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