Ed Walker thinks Primo Bacio can put him in place of heavy favorite Inspiral in the Tattersalls Falmouth Stakes, the star race on Friday’s Newmarket card.
Inspiral, unbeaten in five starts, is a two-time Group One winner and is looking to make it a hat-trick of premier class victories against four rivals on the July course mile.
Although Primo Bacio won just two of her 12 starts, she was beaten by three and three-quarter lengths by Saffron Beach in the Duke of Cambridge group two at Royal Ascot last time out. His trainer believes that Rob Hornby’s mount has every right to improve for this effort, having not been completely liquidated.
“You’re never afraid of a horse and I’d be happy to take on any of the others any day of the week,” Walker said.
“Inspiral looks fabulous, but if she doesn’t show up then she looks wide open. Primo Bacio will be better than she was at Ascot. She is in great shape.
“Her last race, when she was third at Saffron Beach, was really in good shape and she didn’t have a good preparation for this race, so hopefully she will be even better, and probably on a more suitable track for her. .
“Will it be good enough or not to get closer to Inspiral, who knows? But we are doing well and she is a filly that I think is really getting back on track. really really excited.”
Inspiral will be a hearty drive to maintain her unbeaten record, with Frankie Dettori renewing the partnership aboard Frankel’s daughter trained by John and Thady Gosden.
While missing the 1000 Guineas, the Cheveley Park Stud-owned filly produced a brilliant toe turn on her late seasonal Coronation Stakes debut at Ascot to win by four lengths and three-quarters from Spendarella.
Thady Gosden hopes the pace of the race will be enough to see Inspiral maintain their progress.
“Obviously it’s a small field with only five riders,” Gosden said. “A race of small runners like this can be a bit tricky, but she came out of Ascot well and it was a very pleasant start to her first race of the year.
“She has a good attitude and obviously has a lot of talent, but a Group One is a Group One and it’s always competitive racing.
“You have the second of the Guineas (Prosperous Voyage), who was in solid form as a two-year-old and things haven’t been going well for the last time.
“Although we have beaten her before, she is a very good filly and there are other quality riders in the field.”
Prosperous Voyage have been unfortunate enough to come up against Inspiral in three of their last four races and have been beaten by nine lengths at Ascot, having played second fiddle in the May Hill in Doncaster and the Fillies’ Mile in Newmarket as she was young.
His trainer, Ralph Beckett, knows the task ahead and said: “There’s a good chance of winning some good prize money – that’s the idea.
“It’s tough. The owners were keen to race here rather than in the Henry Cecil, that’s why we race here.
“She’s in good shape, she’ll run well and we’ll see how we go. Racing against Inspiral again is no problem for me.”
Spain’s Sibila travels from France for the second time in a month, with coach Christopher Head praying there will be no repeat of the stall antics that saw her withdrawn at the start of the Duke of Cambridge as a well imagined chance of 11-2.
Head’s father Freddy won the 2009 Falmouth with Goldikova and Sibila Spain will be the young coach’s first rider in England.
Head said: “I was excited at Royal Ascot but unfortunately she was withdrawn initially. This had never been a problem before and she has since had a stall test at Chantilly.
“Of course she will meet even better fillies here in a Group One, but she has already won a Group Two in France (the Prix Du Muguet de Saint-Cloud) and that is the way we want to stay now. We’ll see what she can do, but she’s a filly I really like and she always does her best.”
Sandrine, trained by Andrew Balding, who won the Duchess of Cambridge over six furlongs in the July course 12 months ago, completes the field. She finished fifth in the 1000 Guineas but was only seventh behind Inspiral in the Coronation Stakes.
“She just got pushed a bit too far at Ascot around the corner. She had a decent run under the circumstances,” Balding said.
“Obviously she has a lot to find with Inspiral, but she should be competitive for a place.
“I think she’s raced well enough at both starts this term to suggest she’s been training and certainly staying on the mile, which is why we’re racing here. The track should be fine for her, Everything is going well.”
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