The Group 3 Dick Poole Stakes takes place on Thursday at Salisbury and is the Wiltshire venues flagship race meeting each season. The race is for two-year-old fillies and is run over six furlongs. It’s named in honour of Colonel Dick Poole, a racehorse trainer, breeder and owner, and was the brainchild of Peter Walwyn and his one-time assistant Mark Smyly.
This year’s field has some very nice looking fillies in the lineup, none more so than Andrew Balding’s Firelight who two of her first three starts and run very encouragingly when stepped up in class in the Group 2 Lowther Stakes at York. In the Lowther, she finished fourth behind Albany third Fairyland, which reads very well.
Another filly with leading form is Richard Hannon’s Come On Leicester, who has already had a busy juvenile campaign. The daughter of Kodiac ran a huge race to finish fifth in the Queen Mary at the Royal meeting but has been beaten on all three starts since this run and needs to rediscover her Royal Ascot form. Ryan Moore takes the ride again and she will prove difficult to beat.
The Irish raider is Michael O’Callaghans Usra who’s actually having her first run for the trainer having previously been in the care of classic winning trainer Ken Condon. The daughter of Requinto has improved with each run and she had to; considering she was stone last on her first two racecourse appearances. On her final two starts though she won her maiden impressively and the finished third to the very smart Land Force in a listed event.
She will need to improve again if she is to feature here but if she continues to progress from each run then it’s quite possible.
Lady Aria is still a maiden after two runs but she does have form that ties in with Firelight. Michael Bell’s daughter of Kodiac has beaten a neck by Andrew Balding’s filly on debut in a Newmarket maiden.
However, on a line of form through Ralph Beckett’s Scintillating who also runs here, it’s very hard to fancy Lady Aria. Scintillating has only raced twice and following a debut victory and then a six-length defeat at the hands of Angel’s Hideaway in the Group 3 Princess Margaret Stakes, she must be a leading contender.