2.20 York – NATHAN (nap)
The selection, trained by Alan King, is a well-bred son of Nathaniel who, following a trio of sound efforts in 10f maidens, made a successful start in handicap company over the same distance at Bath last August, coming from further back than ideal to score by half a length from Seafarer. He followed up in a similar event at Newbury a couple of weeks later, waited with in rear and making smooth progress with over two furlongs left to run, hanging both ways under pressure but leading inside the final furlong and staying on well to score by 1½ lengths from Doctor Bartolo. He failed in his hat-trick bid at Chester the following month, his keenness seemingly blunting what had looked a telling challenge over a furlong out, having to settle for third of four behind Alexander M (beaten half a length). He wasn’t seen to best effect in a small-field, tactical event at this distance last time, sure to be well suited by this bigger field on a more conventional track. The feeling is the best is very much yet to come with this son of Nathaniel, remembering the family tends to excel with age, and a gelding operation since last seen will hopefully see him ration his energies a little better; assuming he’s ready to roll, a winning return would come as no surprise.
8.45 Goodwood – BEER WITH THE BOYS (nb)
The selection, trained by Mick Channon, is a well-related son of Nathaniel who made his debut outing in an 11f maiden at Newbury in April (9/1 chance), slowly into stride but recovering to race in midfield, shaken up with half a mile left to run and unable to get on terms, fading inside the final furlong to come home 12th of 20 behind Young Rascal (beaten 22 lengths). He offered more encouragement in a 12f maiden at Chepstow a month later (13/2 chance), waited with in midfield and racing exuberantly, going better than most passing the three furlong marker but denied a clear run, running on well once in the clear over a furlong out to eventually finish fourth behind Almoghared (beaten 12 lengths). This colt shaped better than the distance beaten suggests last time, short of room at a crucial stage, yet to be asked for his effort when running into trouble as the race began to take shape. The additional two furlongs on offer here is also a major positive, a half brother to the high-class stayer Tungsten Strike and useful middle distance/staying performer Hammerfest among others; open to significant improvement, it wouldn’t at all surprise to see this son of Nathaniel take another step forward and make it third time lucky here.