07/12/2017 5:05PM

Roly Poly looks for rebound in Falmouth


Friday’s Group 1 Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket is a one-mile race open to fillies and mares age 3 and up, but the older set is little more than an afterthought this year. Five of the seven Falmouth entrants are 3-year-olds, and all get a nine-pound weight break from the two older horses entered, longshots Greta G and Opal Tiara.

Aidan O’Brien won his first Falmouth last year with the good 3-year-old filly Alice Springs, and in Roly Poly he has the antepost favorite for Friday’s edition, but Roly Poly looks vulnerable. Roly Poly has lost seven straight starts, and while she comes into the Falmouth following second-place finishes in a pair of Group 1 races, she was nowhere near her stablemate Winter – the cream of this year’s overseas 3-year-old filly crop – in either of them.

Sea of Grace looks as live as the early Falmouth favorite. Campaigned last year at 2 by trainer John Oxx, the 3-year-old filly was moved into the yard of William Haggas for her 2017 season, and after a mildly promising fifth in the Nell Gwyn Stakes, Sea of Grace finished a strong second of 18 in the French 1000 Guineas. Roly Poly was sixth in the same race, and while very soft ground might have aided Sea of Grace, she could prove similarly effective over the good going forecast Friday.

Wuheida, trained by Charlie Appleby for Godolphin, went two for two last year, including a season-ending victory in the Group 1 Prix Marcel Boussac, but only now gets around to making her 3-year-old debut. Arabian Queen, from the Godolphin string of trainer Saeed bin Suroor, proved an all-weather tiger earlier this year at Kemton and Chelmsford, but has yet to contest a group race at any level. She beat older male rivals June 17 in a listed race at York, but got a significant weight break in that race she will not have over her fellow 3-year-old fillies in the Falmouth.