Tickled Pink can progress again to land Duke Of York Stakes


It took Tickled Pink four races across two short campaigns to lose her maiden tag, with Henry Cecil’s filly finally ending a streak of silver medals when taking a modest Yarmouth heat at odds of 2/13.

Given the faltering start to her career, her entry in last month’s Group 3 Abernant Stakes at Newmarket may have looked more than a shade ambitious, but the four-year-old daughter of Invincible Spirit put in a dominant run to hold off a high class field – many of whom will reoppose in the Duke Of York.

Cecil’s filly came home two lengths ahead of Jimmy Styles, with Hawkeyethenoo, Angels Will Fall, The Cheka and Tiddliwinks all a further three lengths or more behind. That HQ contest was fought out over 6f on good-to-firm ground and the variables are set to be identical when the sextet face off once more on the Knavesmire.

Her handler has endured some recent big-race disappointment with favourite Hot Snap failing to get competitive in the 1000 Guineas, but in Tickled Pink he may have a sprinter with whom he can gain some compensation for that heartache. After her Group 3 success Cecil told the Racing Post “she´ll improve a lot when we get some better weather” so it’s reasonable to expect a good deal of improvement from that run.

There is still the small matter of Roger Charlton’s Mince – the 5/2 ante-post favourite is on a five-timer here – who posted a career-best performance when routing a Listed field at York over six furlongs on her penultimate start of 2012 to contend with.

However in her Abernant victory Tickled Pink beat a field that was, at least in official ratings terms, as good as any the Charlton filly has overcome to-date and having had the experience of less than half as many career races she can improve past the market leader.

Tickled Pink should also have a fitness advantage over that rival, as the Duke Of York will be the seasonal jump-off for Mince, whereas the former has already had the benefit of a warm-up run -Henry Cecil’s grey can be backed for Dante meeting success at 4/1.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.