Haggas runner's 400-mile trek could be a big tip for intriguing Listed contest

Wednesday: 3.20 Ayr
Tennent's Lager British Stallion Studs EBF Rothesay Stakes | Listed | 1m2f | 4yo+ fillies and mares | RTV

There aren’t many, if any, trainers in Britain who consistently operate at a better strike-rate than William Haggas and the Newmarket trainer fired in winners across Britain last weekend. From Baaeed at Newbury to Mandobi at Thirsk and Holocene at Ripon, he was everywhere.

Now it’s the small matter of a near 400-mile journey to Ayr for the red-hot Haggas, who sends just one runner to Scotland. That’s probably a tip in itself about what to expect from the promising My Astra.

The Lope De Vega filly is a half-sister to My Oberon, who ran in Group 1s for the Haggas yard last year, and a Listed win for My Astra would make her an even hotter breeding prospect.

She already has black type after finishing in the first three in Listed company on her last two starts, and her best performance came when second over this trip at Saint-Cloud last year.

She was undone in a tactical race over a mile on her seasonal reappearance at Kempton last month, but the return to a mile and a quarter should see her in a much better light this time.

Achelois has the best recent form, courtesy of her second behind Soto Sizzler in the City And Suburban at Epsom last month, and she returns to Listed company for the first time this year.

Her only start at this level resulted in a fourth of 18 at Doncaster in November and, with a BHA rating of 98, she has 3lb in hand of My Astra. But maybe she lacks her star potential.

What they say 
James Stafford, spokesman for Thurloe Thoroughbreds, owners of Achelois
She ran very well first time out in the City and Suburban at Epsom when she was just touched off which was a bit annoying as she looked all over the winner. She’s up to a mark of 98 now so deserves another crack at Listed level and this looks the right race for her. She coped with some ease in the ground at Goodwood last year but it’s difficult to know how much more they are going to get.

Roger Varian, trainer of Angel Power
She's in good form and ran well on her comeback to be third in the Nottinghamshire Oaks. She’s come forward for the run and I expect the ground, track and trip to suit her. She goes there with a form chance.

Tom Ward, trainer of Luisa Casati
She’s done well over the winter and is a stronger model now. She has a bit to do off her mark but it doesn’t look the strongest Listed race in the world. If she could get some black type it would be marvellous and she’ll enjoy the ground.

William Haggas, trainer of My Astra
She’s fine and the step up in trip should help but it looks a strong Listed race. She should handle the ground and it looks a good opportunity to get her some further black type.

David Menuisier, trainer of Twisted Reality
It’s her first run for us and ideally I'd have liked to have started her in handicaps but the ground has been against so we’ve gone for a Listed race where the good to soft ground will be in her favour. She’s in good form, if a little wintry in her coat, but we’re on a fact finding mission and the icing on the cake would be if she could finish in the first three.