07/09/2006 11:00PM

Soviet Song faces threats


Soviet Song defends her two-time Falmouth Stakes title on Wednesday, opening day of Newmarket's three-day July Meeting, against fellow Group 1 winners Peeress and Nannina in the $368,000 mile for fillies and mares.

Trained by James Fanshawe, Soviet Song was perhaps the most impressive of all Royal Ascot winners last month when she cruised to victory in the Group 2 Windsor Forest Stakes. First run in 1911, the Falmouth has never been won by any filly or mare three times. Sonic Lady also won it twice in a row, in 1986 and 1987.

With a Timeform rating of 126, Soviet Song is pegged two pounds higher than Peeress, the Michael Stoute-trained filly who beat her into fourth when she won the Group 1 Lockinge Stakes on soft ground against males on May 20. Peeress has since been an unlucky fourth in the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot, but if they both run to their best on Newmarket's good-to-firm July Course, Soviet Song has a slight edge.

The danger to them both is Nannina. A 3-year-old trained by John Gosden, she won the Group 1 Fillies Mile on Newmarket's Rowley Mile course last September. Nannina bounced back from an inexplicable 12th in the 1000 Guineas to win the Group 1 Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot. With a Timeform rating of 119, she will carry nine pounds fewer than both Soviet Song and Peeress in the Falmouth. Given that the scale of weights in England calls for 3-year-olds to carry seven pounds fewer than their elders, and that there is just seven pounds separating Soviet Song and Nannina in the Timeform ratings, Nannina may be accorded the overall edge in a closely matched race.