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Progressive Alive Alive Oh primed for Ribblesdale Stakes

Updated: Wednesday, 19 Jun 2013 15:45 | Comments

Fozzy Stack is confident on the chances of Alive Alive Oh in the Ribblesdale Stakes
Fozzy Stack is confident on the chances of Alive Alive Oh in the Ribblesdale Stakes

Connections of Ribblesdale Stakes favourite Alive Alive Oh are excited about the potential of their star filly but admit she needs to take another step forward at Royal Ascot tomorrow.

The daughter of Duke Of Marmalade made her debut behind Magician last October but has looked a different proposition this season.

She won a maiden at Cork by four and a half lengths and then slammed her field in the Listed Salsabil Stakes by six lengths, being heavily backed in the process.

"Everything has gone well the last few weeks with her," said Fozzy Stack, son and assistant to his father, Tommy.

"She's travelled over well and now we are just hoping for a big run.

"Rain wouldn't bother her and if it doesn't rain that wouldn't be an issue either.

"We're very excited about her but this requires another step up again."

Michael Bell's The Lark represents Classic form having finished a fine third in the Investec Oaks at Epsom.

However, due to her preference for soft ground she will only run if some of the forecast showers hit Ascot.

"Some of the forecasts are encouraging but some of them aren't, so we're on weather watch," said Bell.

"She's entered in France on Sunday (Prix de Malleret) where the ground is soft already but it may dry out so you can see the situation we're in.

"If the ground is right our intention is to run but she definitely won't run if it doesn't rain.

"There are reasons for a degree of optimism but we need to decide whether to send her in the morning because it wouldn't be ideal sending her to bring her back if she was then going to go to France.

"She's in great form and if she runs she'd have a leading chance."

Aidan O'Brien's Just Pretending has improved out of all recognition this term and having won at Navan and in a Group Three at Leopardstown, she ran a fine race to be third in the Irish 1,000 Guineas.

O'Brien steps her up half a mile in distance and while he is not confident she will stay the trip, he says you only find out if you try.

"She's by Giant's Causeway and usually they seem to get better and better if you give them time," O'Brien told At The Races.

"She was a little bit funny and a bit messy in the stalls, but she matured a lot and learnt a lot and when the hood went on her it seemed to step her up a lot.

"She won her maiden very easily at Navan, we took a chance bringing her back for a Group race very quickly and when Joseph (O'Brien) had to get serious with her, she responded, which surprised us.

"She went to the Curragh and ran a great race in the Guineas.

"We'll find out more about her by running her over a mile and a half. It might be a bit far, but we'll find out when we run her."

Michael Stoute last won the race in 2003 with Spanish Sun and saddles two this year in impressive Goodwood winner Elik and Waila, who beat Riposte in a maiden and the pair clash again.

Elik was fourth in the Cheshire Oaks and won the Height Of Fashion Stakes in fine style.

Tony Fry, racing manager to Elik's owner Nurlan Bizakov, said: "She was impressive at Goodwood and we've always thought that a mile and a half would suit her even better, but the one negative is the weather forecast.

"She wouldn't want it soft and it looks like there's going to be plenty of rain.

"We've got our fingers crossed but she ran twice on soft last year and didn't handle it. She's a beautiful mover.

"The race she ran in at Chester worked out and really she should have got black type twice but she got shuffled back.

"She deserves to be there but her chances would be hampered by any rain."

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