Antonia De Vega Could Surprise Fancied Runners in Fillies & Mares Race

The Fillies & Mares race on Champions Day has some big names in it, including Star Catcher for John Gosden who looks set to head the betting market for the race. However, elsewhere there is a filly sticking out who could surprise some of the big names and that is Antonia De Vega. We haven’t seen anywhere near enough of her due to injury problems but she returns here and based on three of her four runs so far, she could well be a top class animal who is capable of winning a Group One contest.

She ran three times last season, winning her debut maiden which looked a strong contest before taking the step up to Group Three company in her stride with a nice success at Goodwood. On her final start of last season she finished last and was found to be lame after the race, a disappointing end to that season.

She has been seen just once this season, reappearing in June with trainer Ralph Beckett taking no chances with her and the performance she put in made it well worth the wait. She dropped down to a Listed race but came away and won by four lengths, confirming that she was certainly a Group filly and one that could run at a much higher level.

Unfortunately due to another niggle we haven’t seen her since but she is back on Saturday and Beckett has decided to throw her in the deepest contest she has faced so far, with a second run at Group One level.

There are a couple of things in her favour though that certainly make her of interest. I do believe that whether it is here or on another occasion, she will prove to us that she is a Group One horse.

The ground on the course that this race will be run on is forecast to be good to soft, which should be ideal for her. She looks like she could go on any ground, but her win at Newbury earlier this season was on soft ground and Antonia De Vega comfortably handled that without any problems.

The other thing in her favour is her freshness. Those looking for a negative will point to her break and the fact she has only had four runs, but don’t let that put you off this horse. She comes here fresh, and will be running against horses who have had multiple runs already and could be getting tired after a long, hard season. I see her lack of runs as a positive, not a negative, she is going up against tired horses.

It is fair to say that Antonia De Vega still has something to prove to show she can win a Group One, and you have to trust that she has more to come and that she is fit and ready to race. However, she looks overpriced here and can shock plenty of these on Saturday with a top quality performance.

She is an each way price, and in a race where a few have question marks over the ground and their tiredness after a long season, she is a big enough price to chance in the Fillies & Mares race on Saturday.

Make sure you take a look at our horse racing tips page to see what else we fancy on Champions Day at Ascot!