6.35 Newmarket (July) – KICK ON (nap)
This two-year-old maiden confined to newcomers is often informative – previous winners including Al Zir, Biondetti, Emotionless, Seniority and Vintager, whilst future Group race winners Conduit, Delegator, Most Improved, Snow Sky, Old Persian and Chilean were beaten in their renewals – and this year’s edition looks an interesting one.
The selection is a son of Charm Spirit who is a three-parts brother to 7f 3yo winner Mitigate (by Lawman) and a half brother to Group 3-placed French 5.5-6f winner (including twice at Listed level) Sabratah, smart UK/Australian 9-10f winner (including at Listed level) Raw Impulse, useful 7f-1m winner Folly Lodge and useful dual 10f 3yo winner Nordic Lights, out of a 6f Listed winning half sister to 7f 3yo Group 3 winner/Oaks fourth Sueboog (later dam of French 9.5f Group 1 winner Best Of The Bests) and smart 7-12f winner (including at Listed level) Sell Out. This colt is trained by John Gosden and saw his sales price increase from 80,000gns as a foal to 135,000gns as a yearling, making plenty of appeal on pedigree as a half brother to a handful of above-average performers including debut scorers Nordic Lights and Sabratah, whilst there are a few other winning newcomers in the family. He is by a first-season sire that has made a good start, having a handful of first-time-out winners already; boasting a good pedigree and representing an excellent stable, a winning start for this son of Charm Spirit would come as no surprise.
John Gosden runs a couple of other newcomers, the first of them being Albert Finney, a son of Kingman who is a half brother to 1m 2yo winner Mary Anne Evans and 9.5f 2yo winner City Of Ideas, out of a high-class 8-12f winner (including at Group 2/Listed level)/Oaks fourth who was a half sister to smart 10-10.5f winner (including at Listed level) Dick Doughtywylie and Listed-placed 11f 3yo winner Gertrude Versed out of a French 10f 3yo winning daughter of a half sister to the dam of Notnowcato. This colt makes obvious appeal on pedigree, from a family that has served these connections well, his high-class dam yet to produce anything out of the ordinary to date but both of her foals to race successful at two (over 1m+). His handler has sent out a couple of winning newcomers already by his first-season sire, and an entry in next month’s Group 2 Champagne Stakes indicates the regard in which he’s held; sure to improve with time and distance, but no surprise were he capable of playing a leading role on debut.
The third and final member of the Clarehaven trio is Damon Runyon, a son of Charm Spirit who is a half brother to multiple 6f winner Tawny Port out of a 1m 3yo winner who was a half sister to useful 6-7f 3yo winner Ghasabah and fairly useful 7f-1m winner Manaal out of a UAE 1000 Guineas winner/1000 Guineas runner-up who was a full sister to Dubai World Cup winner Almutawakel and a half sister to several winners. This colt’s sales price rose from 37,000gns as a foal to 70,000gns as a yearling, making some appeal on pedigree as a half brother to a fair sprint handicapper Tawny Port and coming from a good family that goes back to Almutawakel and White Muzzle. He looks to be down the stable’s pecking order on jockey bookings, Robert Havlin seemingly choosing Albert Finney over him (Oisin Murphy retained by Kick On’s owner), while he also lacks the paper credentials of his two stablemates.
The Sir Michael Stoute-trained El Picador is a son of Dansili who is the first foal of a French 9.5-12.5f winner who was a half sister to US 8.5f Grade 2 winner Surya (later dam of US 1m 1f Grade 1 winner Aruna and US 1m 1f Grade 2 winner Hoop Of Colour), French 1m 3yo winner Mundus Novus (later dam of 1m 3yo Listed winner Consort) and French 1m 2yo debut winner Wind Silence (later dam of Irish 7f 3yo Listed winner/French 2000 Guineas third Honoured Guest) out of a French 1m 3yo Listed winner. This colt makes plenty of appeal on pedigree, his dam a decent middle distance performer in France and related to some useful sorts, most of whom went on to produce some smart performers including this yard’s 7f 2yo debut/1m 3yo Listed winner Consort. His top stable has won a couple of renewals of this race since it was confined to newcomers back in 2007, whilst it has also introduced the likes of Conduit and Snow Sky during that period; interesting to see how this colt goes in the market beforehand.
Andrew Balding’s Bye Bye Hong Kong is a son of Street Sense who is the first foal of an unraced sister to US 8.5-9f winner Lord Trondor and half sister to US 6.5f 2yo Grade 2 winner Nonna Mela, Grade 3-placed US 5f 2yo debut winner Nonna Madeline and US 6f 2yo debut winner Storm Of The Nile out of an unraced sister to US 1m 1f Grade 1 winner/Kentucky Derby/Belmont Stakes runner-up Bluegrass Cat and half sister to US Grade 2 winners Lord Of The Game (1m 1f) and Dramedy (12f). This colt was the fourth most expensive purchase at the Craven Breeze-Up sale back in April, selling for a cool 575,000gns (unsold for just $70,000 as a yearling), also looking the part on pedigree, hailing from a very successful US dirt family that includes two-year-old debut scorers. His sire’s two-year-olds haven’t cut much ice on these shores, albeit from limited numbers, while the stable’s youngsters generally benefit for a run; however, he has been handed an entry in the Group 2 Champagne Stakes next month (one of only two for the yard) and it wouldn’t be too much of a surprise to see this son of Street Sense involved in some capacity here.
The Saeed Bin Suroor-trained Madkhal is a son of Distorted Humor who is the first foal of a US 5.5f 2yo debut winner who was a full sister to US 1m 1f 3yo winner Elmutahid and a half sister to US 9-10f winner Barraaq (by Distorted Humor) out of a US 1m 1f Grade 1 winning half sister to 1m 3yo debut winer Tanaami and US 5.5f 2yo debut winner Rajjaas. This colt makes some appeal on pedigree, his dam able to win on debut at two and, though related to three only fair winners in the US, herself the daughter of a high-class performer who could count a couple of debut scorers among her siblings. He comes from a stable that often has its youngsters fully wound up on debut, and it landed the 2009 edition of this race with the smart Al Zir; certainly one of the likelier types in the field.
The David Elsworth-trained Arabian King is a son of New Approach who is a half brother to high-class 5-10.5f winner (including at Group 1 level) Arabian Queen, useful UK/French 8-14.5f winner Australian Queen and dual 7f 3yo winner Cosmopolitan Queen, out of a high-class 8-12f winner (including at Group 2/Listed level) who was a half sister to 1m 2yo Listed winner Doctor Dash, Listed-placed 8-12.5f winner Dashing Star and very useful 10-12f winner Dash Of Spice out of a Listed-placed 9-10f winner. This colt hails from a wonderful, if somewhat quirky family that has served these connections with distinction down the years, though it’s worth noting none of his three siblings made an impact first time out, most of the family improving significantly with age. That is also indicative of the patient approach the yard adopts with its juveniles, and this colt is likely best watched with an eye to the future.