1.30 Newbury – ALFIE SOLOMONS
The selection is a son of Acclamation who is a half brother to French 1m 2yo winner Luck Money out of a fairly useful Irish dual 7f winner who was a half sister to Group 1-placed 6f-1m winner (including at Group 3/Listed level) Queen Catrine (by Acclamation) out of a maiden half sister to very smart 6-7f winner (including at Group 1 level) Tamarisk and useful 8-10f winner Grand Selection. This colt is trained by Richard Spencer and sold for £85,000 as a yearling last summer, looking the part on pedigree, his dam only a fair performer but herself a half sister to the high-class Queen Catrine, who was also by Acclamation. She was a winner over this six-furlong distance as a two-year-old, while further back in the pedigree is the high-class sprinter Tamarisk (successful first time out at two), and it’s perhaps notable he has been targeted at this traditionally-strong contest by his Coventry Stakes-winning handler. The stable isn’t actually renowned for its prowess with juveniles, but it did have a first-time-out winner on Thursday in these silks, and an entry in the Redcar Two-Year-Old Trophy later in the year suggests this son of Acclamation is held in fairly high regard; absolutely no surprise to see him very much in the thick of things on debut.
4.15 Newbury – AL MUFFRIH (nap)
The selection, trained by William Haggas, is a well-bred son of Sea The Stars whose sole outing to date came in a 1m novice event at Newmarket last October (9/2 chance), taking a keen hold under restraint in midfield, ridden to try and close on front pair over two furlongs out, never threatening but keeping on well to draw clear of the rest of the field (beaten 3 lengths). It was a debut performance that promised much for the future, keen early and showing his inexperience but travelling well for much of the way and, under sympathetic handling, coming home well clear of the remainder. The winner has gone on to land the Lingfield Derby Trial since to give the form some substance, but this colt is almost certain to improve on the form he showed that day whatever the case, bred to excel with time and distance (dam a half sister to French Derby winner Le Havre and 12f Group 3 winner Astronereus (by Sea The Stars). His stable has been represented by some useful types in this race in the past and is currently in a rich vein of form, whilst multiple pattern-race entries indicate the regard in which this son of Sea The Stars is held; all in all, it would be somewhat disappointing if he couldn’t make a winning return here en route to bigger assignments.
4.25 Newmarket – WADILSAFA
The selection, trained by Owen Burrows, is a resplendently-bred son of Frankel who debuted in a 7f maiden at Ascot last September (9/2 chance), close to the action from the outset and travelling well, shaken up to get on terms two furlongs out but outpaced and running green, staying on well inside the final furlong to take second behind the re-opposing Herculean (beaten 1¾ lengths). It was a most encouraging first effort from this colt, not least as the rain-softened conditions wouldn’t have played to his strengths, from a family that is usually best on quick ground. He is now 7lbs better off at the weights with Herculean than when the pair met at Ascot, and that rival, for all his potential is undeniable, comes from a yard that has had a very muted start to the campaign for one reason or another. This colt’s stable in contrast is starting to show signs of clicking into gear, saddling a couple of winners from this age group/in these silks in the past week that were making their seasonal reappearance; given the 7lb pull, the faster conditions and the contrasting form of the two stables concerned, it could well be that Herculean will be at his most vulnerable on this occasion, and it wouldn’t at all surprise to see this particular son of Frankel take full advantage.
5.55 Hamilton – LIFE OF RILEY (nb)
The selection is a son of Showcasing who is a half brother to very useful 6-7f winner Battered, dual 7f winner Dutch Garden and 6f 2yo winner Sunflower, out of a 5f 2yo winning three-parts sister to Listed-placed prolific 5-6f winner Texas Gold and half sister to five winners out of a 6f 3yo Listed winner who was a half sister to the dam of 6/7f Group 3 winner Scarlet Runner. This colt is trained by Karl Burke and fetched 60,000gns as a yearling, making plenty of appeal on pedigree as a half brother to a trio of winners including a two-year-old debut scorer, whilst the dam was successful over this trip at two (went close on debut) and hails from a good family. He represents a top stable that is more than capable of having its youngsters ready to strike at the first time of asking, and it is perhaps notable he starts off in this particular event given his stable has won two of the past three renewals (also won it in 2009) including with the high-class Unforunately last year. Quite whether he’ll prove to be in that one’s class remains to be seen, but he starts out in a race where those with previous form set far from exacting standard; also bred to make an immediate impact, a winning start from this son of Showcasing would come as little surprise.