Thorney horse tackles Listed race at Newmarket on Saturday

Thorney trainer Pam Sly saddles her stable star Eileendover at Newmarket tomorrow (July 17) as the exciting mare returns to action in Listed company.

The four-year-old had looked a potential superstar in the making having won her first three starts in the National Hunt sphere. Wide-margin successes at Huntingdon and Wetherby were followed by a smooth six and a half-length win in Listed company at Market Rasen in January, leading Eileendover to be rated as one of the most exciting young horses trained in Britain.

However, the Canford Cliffs filly blotted her copybook slightly when only fourth at Aintree in a Grade Two Mares’ Bumper, despite going off as the even money favourite.

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Sly then decided to launch a Flat campaign with her stable star, who she also owns and bred. Eileendover’s first run on the Flat came in a novice event at Haydock in which she finished second to newcomer Yesyes who has gone on to win again since, highlighting the strength of the form.

Eileendover then went to Pontefract to contest the Listed Pontefract Castle Fillies’ Stakes, but was only fifth in the 12-furlong event behind Katara. However, she did meet interference that day and shaped better than the bare result suggests.

Sly has now decided to have another tilt at Listed company in Saturday’s Ric And Mary Hambro Aphrodite Fillies’ Stakes live on ITV Racing from Newmarket at 3.30pm on the July course over 12 furlongs. Eileendover will be ridden for the first time by Robert Havlin who replaces the injured Shane Kelly.

Sly’s charge will face six rivals in the contest, headed by Free Wind who is unbeaten in two starts this term for John Gosden and Talbeyah who returned to winning ways when scoring at Salisbury last month.

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The class horse in the race could be Oriental Mystique who has finished third on all three of her starts this term, including when behind Zeeyaadah at Newcastle in June. Golden Pass is another interesting runner who was a just a head behind Katara at Pontefract last time out, a race which featured Eileendover. Black Lotus, who was fifth in the same race and Abstinence complete the seven runners.

This looks one of Eileendover’s toughest tests to date on paper, but she remains thoroughly unexposed and is open to plenty of improvement.