Izzi Top is the understandable 3/1 favourite to win the Middleton Stakes on Dante day at York, but Beatrice Aurore can lay down a big challenge and is certainly the value call at 9/1 to triumph in the Group Two contest.
In her last four runs, Izzi Top has racked up three victories, with her only failure coming when third in the Epsom Oaks.
The latest of these successes was on her seasonal reappearance at Newmarket, where most notably she finished over eight lengths ahead of Middleton rival Timepiece.
What was even more pivotal is that Izzi Top was giving weight away to Timepiece.
Timepiece is 13/2 in the horse racing odds to win the Middleton and retains each-way prospects as she should improve for her first run of the season and is still considered the best horse in the field based on official ratings.
Another worthy challenger could be the Queen’s mare Set To Music, who substantially climbed the handicap after a progressive 2011 and has triumphed on all of her three previous starts over the Middleton distance of 1m2f.
She would need to improve further to win this, but should not be ruled out at 5/1.
However, Beatrice Aurore should come on substantially for her first run of the season and also for retuning to race against her own sex, having taken on the boys at Newmarket.
John Dunlop’s runners are additionally running into better form of late and the horse did triumph on her second start of last season after a sluggish reappearance.
Beatrice Aurore did finish in sixth behind Izzi Top in the Oaks last year, but the 1m4f appeared to be outside of her stamina range, while the good ground at York will be in her favour.