Encapsulation to Land York Listed Contest

We may only have a small field for the listed contest at York this evening, but the line up is full of nice prospects in what should be a very good fillies race. Two of them stand above the rest in terms of what they have shown on the racecourse so far, and they are Encapsulation and Frankellina. They have both performed well at this level or higher, finishing behind nice horses in the process. The others will have to take a step forward to get to these two, something I don’t think they will do today and I think it will be left to the two named horses to battle it out.

The Andrew Balding trained Encapsulation has had four runs so far, and she has won one of them. That was a win in a novice race when trained in Ireland at the start of the year, and three of those races came in Ireland before her race last time out, which was his debut for Balding. The key piece of form here is her listed second behind Pink Dogwood at Navan, which was her last start in Ireland. Pink Dogwood has since finished second in the Oaks to give that form plenty of substance, and in the context of this race, that was a very good run and one that puts him right up there form wise.

On her first run in England for Andrew Balding, she remained at listed level although she dropped back to one mile in trip. She showed once again that if she runs against other listed horses she is capable of picking a race up, but the problem here for her was the trip, which was too short. It is no surprise to see her back up to 1m2f today, and when you combine that with a listed race that doesn’t have an absolute star in it, that can be enough to see her get her head in front.

Frankellina is the one to challenge her in terms of form in the book, however she hasn’t shown that level in her last two starts. She was 6th in the Oaks and occupied the same position when running at Royal Ascot last time out in a Group Two. Those runs aren’t good enough to take this, but one run that would be good enough is her second at this course back in May in the Musidora Stakes, a trial for the Oaks. She missed the break through greenness that day but still managed to stay on to finish second. Even without the missed break, that was still a good run and one that puts her right in the mix for winning this race.

However, I am yet to see enough from her in terms of consistency, so for that reason I am more than happy to pass her over until she begins to run at a similar level more often. That is why Encapsulation is the one for me here, she has shown a good level of form in her last two starts, on both occasions showing that 1m2f and a listed contest without a superstar in it is well within her reach.

Those are the exact conditions she gets here today, so I’ll be backing her for the win on Friday night.