Les Bleus was too green to do herself justice in a five-furlong novice at Sandown on debut but she proved much sharper on her next outing, staying on well to win a six-furlong novice at Newmarket a couple of months later. That earned Les Bleus a crack at the Group 3 Sweet Solera Stakes and she enhanced her reputation in defeat, looking suited by the step up to seven furlongs as she kept on well inside the final furlong into third. Les Bleus has continued to run well, finishing in the frame in another couple of pattern events, and she looks to have been handed a fair opening mark as she enters handicap company. The good form of trainer Richard Hughes - highlighted by the Hot Trainer Flag - is also in her favour.
Also prominent on Timeform's weight-adjusted ratings is Adaay In Devon (103) who is progressing well and defied a double penalty in a fillies' novice to complete the hat-trick at Carlisle a couple of weeks ago. That was a weak novice but Adaay In Devon completed the task in straightforward fashion, drawing four and a quarter lengths clear, and an opening handicap mark of 88 looks fair enough on that effort. She has yet to race beyond six furlongs but promises to stay and is respected.
Chic Colombine (100) is another bidding to complete a four-timer here. She looked in trouble in a competitive and valuable six-and-a-half-furlong nursery at Doncaster a couple of weeks ago but she found plenty to lead inside the final 50 yards to win by half a length. The way she kept on there suggests she'll relish stepping back up to seven furlongs here and she ought to give another good account, despite going up 7 lb for her latest success. Her trainer George Boughey is another with the Hot Trainer Flag.
The other trainer with the Hot Trainer Flag is Karl Burke and he is represented by the unexposed Local Arms (97p) who remains open to improvement after only a couple of starts. She made an encouraging start to her career when fourth at Thirsk on debut and built on that when an emphatic winner of a fillies' novice at Beverley last week, seemingly relishing the testing conditions as she pulled eight lengths clear. She has the size and pedigree to suggest she will carry on progressing so she is not taken lightly here, for all this is much more competitive.
One who is likely to be a bigger price but is entitled to respect is Cry Fiction (99). She has been well held in Group company the last twice but prior to that had finished a good second in listed company at Newmarket. It would be little surprise to see her bounce back to form now down in class on her handicap debut.
Timeform's Analyst Verdict:
LES BLEUS has made the frame in Group 2s on her last 2 starts, including when fourth in the Prix du Calvados at Deauville under similar conditions, so is the solid option back down in class. Adaay In Devon and Chic Colombine are both bidding for 4-timers and also need considering on these terms.
Timeform's weight-adjusted ratings:
104 Les Bleus
103 Adaay In Devon
100 Chic Colombine
99 Cry Fiction
97p Local Arms
96 Get Jiggy With It
94 Lexington Belle
88 Unreal Connection
82 Mrs Nell
82§ Les Bleus
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