Author: Alan Kelly
Published: 11:43 15/06/2014
Warm Favourite to land the Listed Ebf Stallions Cathedral Stakes, Professor can be opposed with Valonia at 3.55 Salisbury today.
In a fairly open looking contest, Professor is of course entitled to respect and looks set to put up a strong challenge in the race he won last year having ran well at Windsor a fortnight ago. But odds of 5/4 about the mount of Richard Hughes make limited appeal and he can be taken on with Valonia, who drops back in trip today and can be backed at best odds 5/1 with Betvictor.
Tipped at 17/2 with the same firm on our Twitter feed earlier this morning, Valonia made an eye-catching start as a 2-year-old when finishing runner-up from a large field in a 6 furlong Newmarket maiden and confirmed her promise when getting off the mark over the same distance at Goodwood. The chestnut filly then posted a creditable effort for fourth in the Group 3 Firth Of Clyde Stakes at Ayr last September and went even closer when pipping subsequent 1000 Guineas and Irish 1000 Guineas runner-up Lightning Thunder for third in the Group 2 Rockfel Stakes at Newmarket.
The selection put in a better effort than the bare result suggests in her seasonal reappearance in the Fred Darling at Newbury in April and did not seem entirely suited to the 7 furlong trip. With a run now under her belt, Valonia returns to 6 furlongs today and should give Professor plenty to think about if re-capturing her 2-year-old form.