5.45 Newcastle – FLINT HILL (nap)
This nursery looks a tightly-knit affair, a couple of these already successful in this sphere while one looks to build on a good effort in defeat last time and another steps back in class after a respectable first effort in this company.
The selection, trained by Michael Dods, built on a fairly promising debut effort with a second place finish to the useful Nate The Great in a 6f novice auction event at Carlisle back in June, but he could only manage fourth when 9/4 favourite for a similar event over 7f at Musselburgh a couple of months later. He made a winning start in nursery company in a 7f event back at Carlisle four weeks later, tracking the leaders and ridden over two furlongs out, short of room but switched right and finishing well to lead close home and see off Stronsay by half a length. His latest outing came in a 1m nursery at Ripon 20 days ago, racing in midfield and pushed along from halfway, outpaced until beginning to respond over a furlong out and keeping on well inside the final furlong to finish fourth behind Riviera Nights (beaten 3½ lengths). As was the case at Musselburgh this colt appeared to be unsuited by the sharp nature of the track last time, off the bridle and tapped-for-toe from halfway, but he responded well for pressure to close up late and almost grab a place. The straight mile here looks ideal for him, the stiff finish sure to play to his strengths, while the switch to a synthetic surface could also bring about improvement given his dam’s related to some decent AW winners; no surprise to see this son of Excelebration regain the winning thread here.
The Hugo Palmer-trained Nathless shaped with some promise in a trio of 6.5/7f novice events at Newbury, Newmarket (July) and Redcar back in the summer, and he was far from disgraced on his first attempt in this sphere in a 1m nursery at Doncaster’s St Leger meeting last month, unable to sustain his effort as he came home in fourth behind Leroy Leroy (beaten 4¾ lengths). His latest outing came in a five-runner 9.5f nursery at Wolverhampton a fortnight ago, racing enthusiastically under restraint in rear, shaken up two furlongs out and making progress on the outer, responding well for pressure throughout the final furlong to run Hard Taskmaster to a half a length at the line. For all this gelding never looked like overhauling the in-form winner it was a respectable effort in defeat all the same, travelling with fluency in rear and finishing off to good effect; a 2lb rise for that fair and ought to be involved.
The William Haggas-trained Seductive is a daughter of War Command who found one too good in each of her three outings in novice/maiden company, bumping into next-time-out Listed runner-up Ajrar in a 6f fillies’ novice event at Lingfield on debut back in July before chasing home the useful Roxy Art in a similar event at Chelmsford the following month. There was no disgrace in her proving no match for the 91-rated/next-time-out winner Fox Coach in a 7f event back there next time, and she ran with credit when fifth to Chaleur in a 7f fillies’ nursery at Newmarket 20 days ago, leading/disputing and travelling well enough, headed two furlongs out and unable to go with the leaders. It was a respectable enough effort in what appealed as a useful nursery, soon swept aside but battling on well to lose no further ground inside the final furlong. Has stamina to prove now up a furlong in trip, but this represents an easier task than the one she faced last time and is very much a leading contender racing from the same mark here.
Ed Walker’s Gallic is a daughter of Kodiac who shaped with promise on debut when chasing home Aussie View in a 7f fillies’ novice event at Doncaster back in June, and she again kept on well to take fourth behind the smart Antonia De Vega in a 7f fillies’ maiden at Newmarket (July) the following month. However, she hasn’t really built on those encouraging efforts in a couple of outings since, finishing third behind Querelle in a 7f fillies’ novice event at Kempton a month later and then coming home in fourth behind Lola’s Theme in a 1m fillies’ novice race at Haydock 42 days ago, the rain-softened conditions perhaps finding her out. For all she is by a speed influence, her dam was a Listed winner over 12f and this filly often shaped like in need of a stiffer test over 7f, the ground perhaps not seeing her to best effect last time when tried at this trip; this should reveal more in that respect, but others appeal more.
The Richard Fahey-trained Illusions improved for the step up to 7f on her third outing in novice company at Haydock, and she again ran well at that trip on nursery debut when third behind the re-opposing Flint Hill at Carlisle three weeks later, losing her place at halfway but rallying well for pressure inside the final furlong (beaten 1¾ lengths). She ran no sort of race in cheekpieces in a similar event at Chester next time out but came good in a 1m fillies’ nursery at Pontefract a couple of weeks later, again off the bridle sooner than most but picking up well for pressure in the straight and leading inside the final 150 yards, clearing away to score by 1½ lengths from Lola’s Theme. The runner-up gave the form a timely boost by scoring at York last weekend, leaving a 3lb rise for this filly looking reasonable; promises to be suited by this straight/stiff mile and ought to be on the premises once more.
The Jedd O’Keeffe-trained Dream Poet is a son of Poet’s Voice who improved with each outing in novice company, stepping up on his debut eighth here with a good third to Balance Of Power over the same course and distance next time, taking advantage of the swing in weights with that rival to land a 7.5f novice contest at Beverley at his expense a couple of weeks later. However, he hasn’t really kicked on in nurseries so far, 2/1 market leader when only fourth behind the re-opposing Flint Hill (and Illusions) at Carlisle, with his latest outing seeing him finish fifth of eight to Two Blondes in a similar event at Catterick four weeks ago. He hasn’t had too many excuses the last twice, well positioned and holding every chance both times; been eased just a pound and needs to bounce back here.