Atalanta Stakes Guide 2021

Sandown - August 20 2021
Sandown 13:40
6(8)
Frankie Dettori

Indigo Girl

J:
 
Frankie Dettori
T:
 
John & Thady Gosden
Age: 3
Weight: 8-12
OR: 112
Days: 29

John Gosden won this race in 2016 with Persuasive and boasts the leading contender for this years renewal in the form of Indigo Girl, given a further boost by the employment of Frankie Dettori in the saddle who has a staggering 37% strike rate here at Sandown across the last 3 seasons.

Indigo Girl took a huge step forward from her debut win at Yarmouth to land the Group 2 May Hill stakes (8f) at Doncaster on her second career start.

She subsequently took another step forward to finish a half length 2nd in Group 1 company in the Fillies Mile at Newmarket on soft, stand out form in this field.

The daughter of Dubawi went off as a well backed favourite last time out on her seasonal re-appearance for the Valiant stakes (8f) however ran keen in the early stages and was well beaten in the final furlong upon fast ground at Ascot.

She's entitled to improve and strip fitter with that run under her belt on her second run back this season and if replicating her 2yo form in this Group 3 contest, she looks to have clear leading claims.

John Gosden is in fantastic form of late with a 32% strike rate across the last 14 days whilst he has also accumulated the most prize money of any trainer at Sandown across the last 3 seasons, paying further dividends to his runners chances.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
23/07/21ASC8GF8-94
09/10/20NMK8Sft9-02
10/09/20DON8Gd9-01
30/08/20YAR8Sft9-01
Sandown - August 20 2021
Sandown 13:40
4(1)
Oisin Murphy

Auria

J:
 
Oisin Murphy
T:
 
Andrew Balding
Age: 3
Weight: 8-12
OR: 99
Days: 49

Andrew Balding is in good form of late with a 22% strike rate across the last 14 days, whilst jockey Oisin Murphy is also enjoying a fine spell in the saddle boasting a 28% strike rate across the same period.

The pair team up on board entrant, Auria, whom displayed a careers best run last time out over C&D in listed company to record an impressive 2 1/2 length victory.

The daughter of Muhaarar's run signified clear potential for a succesful first time step up into group company given the manner of that win and she's entitled to improve once more.

She has shown a clear liking to the track whilst progeny of Muharaar hold a respectable 16% strike and 40% place rate upon stiff, uphill, right handed tracks like Sandown's.

High on the shortlist.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
08/10/21NMK10GS8-1313
21/08/21SAN8Gd8-127
03/07/21SAN8GS9-01
10/06/21NBY10GF9-04
28/04/21ASC8GF9-32
Sandown - August 20 2021
Sandown 13:40
10(3)
Hollie Doyle

Saffron Beach

J:
 
Hollie Doyle
T:
 
Jane Chapple-Hyam
Age: 3
Weight: 8-12
OR: 109
Days: 43

Albeit across a small sample size of 11 runs, progeny of New Bay's 27% strike rate and 45% place rate at stiff right handed tracks, reads well for Jane Chapple-Hyam's entrant, Saffron Beach, and her fillies chances of running well at Sandown.

As a 2yo, Saffron Beach, had a 2-2 record, latterly including a Group 3 win over 7f at Newmarket.

She was highly impressive when stepping up to 8f at Newmarket on her 2nd run back this season, on the back of her re-appearance 2nd in the Nell Gwyn (G3, 7f), finishing a length 2nd in Group 1 company for the 1000 Guineas.

The step up 12f next time out appeared beyond her and she was well below form last time out at Newmarket back down at 8f for the Falmouth on fast ground.

Should she bounce back today for the switch to what will seemingly be a better suited track, she looks well in contention here with Hollie Doyle booked on board.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
02/10/21NMK8Gd9-01
21/08/21SAN8Gd8-121
09/07/21NMK8GF8-1211
04/06/21EPS12GS9-08
02/05/21NMK8GF9-02
Sandown - August 20 2021
Sandown 13:40
2(10)
P J McDonald

Maamora

J:
 
P J McDonald
T:
 
Simon & Ed Crisford
Age: 5
Weight: 9-4
OR: 106
Days: 77

The Simon and Ed Crisford pairing hold a profitable return at Sandown across the last 5 seasons being +£11 profitable to a £1 level stake at the track, albeit via a mere 17 runners.

5yo Maamora was last years winner of the Atalanta Stakes, achieved on her final run of last season.

Since that run however she has been well below form with a second to last placed finish in listed company on her re-appearance at Goodwood before a last of 8 finish at Epsom last time out.

She's been off for a while now having taken a 77 day break since her last run and she may return a much better article.

The return to Sandown may also spark a revival given she is 2-2 here, both wins coming over C&D.

Having said this, a horse older than 4 has never won this race since its creation in 1986, nor has a horse ever won the race twice in a row.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
24/09/21NMK8GF9-22
05/09/21LON8GS9-12
21/08/21SAN8Gd9-45
05/06/21EPS8.5GS9-68
01/05/21GOO8GF9-75
Sandown - August 20 2021
Sandown 13:40
8(7)
Pat Dobbs

Potapova

J:
 
Pat Dobbs
T:
 
Sir Michael Stoute
Age: 3
Weight: 8-12
OR: 100
Days: 64

Sir Michael Stoute is the Atalanta Stakes' all time leading trainer having saddled 6 previous winners, most recently in 2018.

His entrant for this years affair, Potapova, remains lightly raced and is open to plenty improvement for the contest.

The daughter of Invincible Spirit was a hugely impressive 6.5 length winner on her only start as a 2yo on the all weather (7f) and she subsequently breezed up by 9 lengths on her return in a Redcar novice stakes, albeit a 1/5 favourite for the affair.

She was undone by heavy ground last time out on her first time step up to 8f in the Group 1 Coronation Cup, finishing 9th of 11, and she should now drops back down in grade and returns to better ground for her 2nd attempt at the distance.

It's difficult to gauge where her ceiling lies given that a line can be drawn through her previous run and she could very much be up to winning at this level.

The fact she has been kept in training for the past 64 days and that she is being entered by such a successful trainer in the race shows this contest may have been the plan for her all along.

Very interesting proposition.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
08/09/21DON7GF8-1210
21/08/21SAN8Gd8-124
18/06/21ASC8Hy9-09
17/05/21RED7Gd9-41
26/11/20CFD7St8-121
Sandown - August 20 2021
Sandown 13:40
3(4)
Jack Mitchell

Waliyak

J:
 
Jack Mitchell
T:
 
Roger Varian
Age: 4
Weight: 9-4
OR: 99
Days: 14

Roger Varians yard are very busy with the winners of late, boasting a whopping 37% strike rate across the last 14 days, form that goes hand in hand with jockey Jack Mitchells impressive 27% return across the same period.

The pairs entrant, Waliyak, has been a respectable handicap prospect for much of her career however finished a decent 3rd on her first time step up into Group company at Ascot in July.

The daughter of Le Havre improved again for the drop back down into listed company upon soft ground last time out to land the Dick Hern stakes by a dominant 3.25 lengths and she now looks primed for another crack at Group success.

Any rainfall would further benefit the runner however progeny of Le Havre boast a highly impressive 25% strike rate at Sandown and outperform their expected wins here by a 205% margin.

She looks a very solid each way proposition in the race and appears to be in peak shape for a yard currently displaying the same attributes.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
17/10/21WOO10Y8-124
17/09/21CHA9Sft9-21
21/08/21SAN8Gd9-42
07/08/21HAY8Sft9-21
23/07/21ASC8GF9-33
Sandown - August 20 2021
Sandown 13:40
7(9)
Rossa Ryan

Meu Amor

J:
 
Rossa Ryan
T:
 
Michael Bell
Age: 3
Weight: 8-12
OR: 100
Days: 24

Michael Bell is yet to win the Atalanta Stakes and tries his hand in the race with entrant Meu Amor.

The daughter of Siyouni proved her natural speed in sprints as a 2yo, placing 2nd in listed company at Newmarket on her final start last season.

She was subsequently stepped up to 7f on her seasonal re-appearance, finishing 4th in a Group 3, however was unable to replicate that run in a small field on the drop back down to listed company.

She was a comfortable 2.75 length winner next time out at Carlisle in listed company (7f), improving for the switch to fast ground before making no impression at Goodwood in a Group 3 contest upon soft ground.

This will be her first try at 8f and she may improve for the new trip.

Having said this, others look to have more solid claims and she still has plenty to prove at this level.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
28/07/21GOO7Sft8-1011
23/06/21CRL7GF9-01
04/06/21EPS7GS8-93
08/05/21LIN7Sft8-64
30/10/20NMK6Hy9-02
Sandown - August 20 2021
Sandown 13:40
5(5)
Charles Bishop

Illykato

J:
 
Charles Bishop
T:
 
Mick Channon
Age: 3
Weight: 8-12
OR: 100
Days: 14

Mick Channon's yard have been firing fairly consistently of late with a 20% strike rate across the last 14 days and they pin hopes of Group 3 success upon entrant, Illykato.

Illykato was a sprinter as a 2yo, running some respectable races without making too much of a mark at Group level, however proving her natural speed.

The daughter of Toronado was clearly in need of her first run back on her first time step up to 7f however improved vastly to step up to 8f and nose out Agincourt in listed company on fast ground at Goodwood next time out.

A trio of below par runs have followed, including a speculative attempt at the Group 1 Falmouth stakes (12th/13) and last time out she was beaten 4.5 lengths into 3rd by re-opposing rival, Waliyak, albeit upon unsuited soft ground.

She looks to have a lot more to find than others in this.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
07/08/21HAY8Sft8-123
09/07/21NMK8GF8-1212
23/06/21CRL7GF9-37
01/05/21GOO8GF8-81
18/04/21NBY7Gd9-013
Sandown - August 20 2021
Sandown 13:40
11(6)
Richard Kingscote

Ville De Grace

J:
 
Richard Kingscote
T:
 
Sir Michael Stoute
Age: 3
Weight: 8-12
OR: 100
Days: 99

Leading Atalanta Stakes trainer Sir Michael Stoute's second entrant in the race is Ville De Grace who looks likely to be well suited to the stiff, uphill nature of Sandown if studying the records of the progeny of Le Havre; they boast a highly impressive 25% strike rate at Sandown and outperform their expected wins here by a 205% margin.

Ville De Grace remains lightly raced and open to plenty improvement after just 4 runs.

She won her debut novice over 6f, proving her natural speed before stepping up to 7f this season in listed company at York, outrunning her odds as a 66/1 5th placed finisher in the Fred Darling.

She appeared to take a backwards step for the increase to 8f last time out at York and now has it all to prove on her second try over the distance.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
01/05/22NMK9GF9-02
08/10/21NMK10GS8-131
15/09/21YAR10GS8-101
21/08/21SAN8Gd8-123
14/05/21YOR8Gd9-07
Sandown - August 20 2021
Sandown 13:40
1(2)
Laura Pearson

Jouska

J:
 
Laura Pearson
T:
 
Henry Candy
Age: 4
Weight: 9-4
OR: 100
Days: 24

Henry Candy's entrant in the race is Jouska who has been a respectable sprinter for the majority of her career with a listed win over 6f at Newmarket.

She proved her capabilities up at 7f at Musselburgh, placing 2nd in a listed race however she was subsequently well beaten up at 8f at Pontefract and only managed 6th back down at 7f at Goodwood in a group 3, albeit outrunning her odds of 40/1.

A second try at 8f looks worth a shot given the manner she kept on at the line last time out, however she still looks to have plenty to find to be competitive with those at the top of the market.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
06/11/21DON6Sft8-12UR
08/10/21NMK7GS9-05
21/08/21SAN8Gd9-46
28/07/21GOO7Sft9-36
06/07/21PON8Sft9-04
Sandown - August 20 2021
Sandown 13:40
9(11)
Nicola Currie

Rosemary And Thyme

J:
 
Nicola Currie
T:
 
Hughie Morrison
Age: 3
Weight: 8-12
OR: 91
Days: 29

Hughie Morrison has been in great form of late with a hugely impressive 36% strike rate across the last 14 days.

He runs 3yo filly, Rosemary and Thyme who has a fairly lower level of form given she had done the majority of her racing in lower grade handicaps.

She has shown hints of higher level abilities thanks to 4th placed finishes in listed company over 7f and 8f trips this season, however she was well beaten in those contests by a number of todays re-opposing rivals.

Appears out of her depth.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
28/10/21LIN8St8-1110
02/10/21ASC7Sft8-126
21/08/21SAN8Gd8-129
23/07/21YOR10.5GF8-96
03/07/21SAN8GS9-04

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