2.05 Doncaster – SPACE TRAVELLER
This two-year-old novice race looks a reasonable enough event, a narrow last-time-out winner bidding to defy a penalty against one that shaped well on debut and some interesting newcomers representing powerful yards.
The selection is a son of Bated Breath who is half brother to Group 3-placed UK/US 6-6.5f winner Pellucid out of a 12f 3yo winning daughter of a 7f 2yo debut winner who was a half sister to high-class 7f-1m winner (including at Group 1 level)/Irish 1000 Guineas runner-up Crystal Music, smart 10-12f winner (including at Group 3/Listed level) Dubai Success, Group 3-placed 7-10f winner/Irish Derby third Tchaikovsky, Group 1-placed 7-12f winner (including at Group 3 level) State Crystal and Group 1-placed 6f-1m winner (including at Group 3 level) Solar Crystal. This colt is trained by Richard Fahey and sold for 85,000gns as a yearling, looking the part on pedigree as a half brother to a 6f 2yo debut winner and out of a winning daughter of a 7f 2yo debut winner related to several smart performers, including first-time-out scorers. His stable has sent out eight winning newcomers so far this term, and this son of Bated Breath is also bred on the same cross as their progressive handicapper Aljady as well as the smart Gavota (both debut scorers at two); debuting in a winnable enough race, he’s taken to make a winning start to his career.
The Mark Johnston-trained Spirit Kingdom is a US-bred daughter of Animal Kingdom who was sent off the 5/4 market leader when a good third on debut at Brighton, and she made the most of that experience when landing a 7f fillies’ event at Kempton nine days ago (13/8 favourite), making all and holding on well to fend off Ballet Red by a neck. She was very well ridden that day, kicking on approaching the two furlong marker and having just enough left to hold on from some fast-finishing newcomers. The slight step back in distance here ought to prove suitable and she is sure to give it her best shot from the front, but no great surprise to see her prove vulnerable under a penalty.
Richard Hannon’s Rainbow Girl is a daughter of Kodiac who made her debut outing in a 5.5f novice event at Brighton four weeks ago (11/1 chance), racing towards the rear of the field on the outer, shaken up two furlongs out and making sustained progress throughout the final furlong to take third behind Thegreatestshowman (beaten 1¼ lengths). It was a highly encouraging first effort from this filly, deserving extra credit for being the only debutant in the field, closing in strongly all the way to the line having come from further back than one or two others. The additional furlong on offer here is bound to suit and this daughter of Kodiac is very much a leading contender.
Richard Fahey’s Sword Of Gold is a son of Siyouni who has shown a similar level of form in his two outings to date, fading from prominence to finish eighth of 10 behind Fannar on debut in a 6f maiden at Leicester in May and then beating just one rival home in a 7f contest at Haydock three weeks ago, once again weakening out of contention from over a furlong out. His pedigree suggests he will prove capable of better at some stage, but he hasn’t exactly shaped like a winner in waiting in this sort of event and will be of more interest in nurseries after this run.
The Robert Cowell-trained Sir Ox is a son of Oxbow who have also run to a similar level in two outings, catching the eye with his finishing effort when sixth of 10 behind Lihou in a 5f novice contest at Kempton on debut back in April and then filling the same position in a similar event at Ascot the following month, close up but soon on the retreat once the race began in earnest. The step up in distance for this return to action should suit on pedigree, but he is another who will be of greater interest once returned to an artificial surface/moving into nurseries after this run.
There are a couple of other interesting newcomers aside from the selection, the first of them being the Ed Dunlop-trained Jabalaly, a son of Moohaajim who is a half brother to Group 3-placed 7f-1m winner (including three times at Listed level) Tabarrak, Listed-placed 5-6f winner The Wagon Wheel and 6f 3yo AW winner Dubai Acclaim, out of a Listed-placed 6f 2yo debut winning half sister to Hong Kong 12f Group 2 winner Supreme Rabbit and useful 5-7f winner Zero Money. This colt sold for £85,000 as a yearling and really takes the eye on pedigree, a half brother to a couple of smart performers including a debut scorer over this distance, whilst the dam was successful first time out over 6f at two. He ought to prove more than capable of making an immediate impact and starts out in a winnable enough race, but his stable has endured a muted season thus far and rarely has its newcomers fully wound up.
Karl Burke’s Monsieur Piquer is a son of French Fifteen who is a half brother to French 7f 3yo winner En Dansant out of a French 1m 1f 3yo winner who was a half sister to French multiple 7.5f-1m winner Kilimandjaro and French multiple 8-10f winner Anantapur out of a French 1m 3yo Listed winner/Italian Oaks fourth who was herself out of a Listed-placed French 1m 2yo winner. This colt was picked up for €40,000 as a yearling at auction and makes some appeal on pedigree, from a solid French family that includes a couple of juvenile scorers; representing a good stable that enjoys plenty of success with two-year-olds, market support would bring this colt right into the reckoning.
2.25 Sandown – ALRAJAA (nap)
The first division of a two-year-old novice event that has historically proved a good source of above-average performers – notable past winners including No Excuse Needed, Mister Monet, Melrose Avenue, Zacinto, Talwar and Larchmont Lad – and this year’s renewal sees a once-raced trio of colts looking to build on promising debut efforts against a handful of newcomers, most of whom boast good pedigrees/represent powerful connections.
The selection is a son of Dubawi who is a half brother to very useful 7f-1m winner (including at Listed level) Etaab, useful triple 1m 3yo winner Estiqaama and 6f 3yo debut winner Farsakh, out of a 6f 3yo Listed winning close relation to Group 3/Listed-placed dual 7f winner Muwaary and 7f 2yo Listed winner Mudaaraah and half sister to 7f 2yo Listed winner Sudoor and Listed-placed 7f 3yo debut winner Yasmeen out of an unraced sister to Bahhare and half sister to Bahri. This colt is trained by John Gosden and can hardly fail to catch the eye on pedigree, certainly bred to make an instant impact over this sort of distance at two, a half brother to two decent types and out of a smart close relation to a pair of 7f 2yo debut winners and a half sister to a couple more debut scorers at that trip, while further back in the family are high-class juvenile Bahhare and St James’s Palace winner Bahri. He comes from a stable that has enjoyed success with this family and can have its youngsters ready to strike at the first time of asking; for all he faces one or two promising types, a winning start for this son of Dubawi wouldn’t at all surprise.
The Henry Candy-trained Canal Rocks is a son of Aussie Rules who made his debut over this course and distance three weeks ago (33/1 chance), tracking the leaders and travelling up easily approaching the two furlong marker, shaken up and on terms approaching the final furlong but running green and proving one paced as he came home in third behind Julius Limbani (beaten 3 lengths). This colt offered plenty work on that day, travelling strongly for much of the way but inexperience at the business end contributing to his downfall; remains to be seen how strong a race that was (fourth and sixth already well held since), but he is open to improvement and should be involved.
The Ed Dunlop-trained Sinjaari is a son of Camelot who debuted in the same contest three weeks ago (33/1 chance), well off the pace and involved in some scrimmaging early, short of room over two furlongs out and only really seeing daylight approaching the final furlong, finishing off well to take fifth behind Julius Limbani (beaten 5¼ lengths). This colt didn’t get the chance to show what he is all about that day, poorly placed as things developed up ahead but his finishing effort promising better to come. His stable’s youngsters generally improve for their initial outing and there shouldn’t be much between both he and the re-opposing Canal Rocks second time around.
Mark Johnston’s Arctic Sound is a son of Poet’s Voice who made his debut in a 7f novice event at Haydock 13 days ago (7/1 chance), prominent from the outset and disputing the lead approaching the final furlong, unable to go with eventual winner More Than This inside the final furlong and coming home 2¼ lengths adrift at the line. It was a promising enough first effort from this colt, looking rather ungainly under pressure inside the final furlong having held every chance to that point. He ran to a fair level that day, knowing enough to sit handy throughout but looking a little rough around the edges when it came to the crunch; certain to give it his best shot once again here.
There are some interesting newcomers aside from the selection, the first of them being Charlie Appleby’s Line Of Duty, a son of Galileo who is a full brother to Listed-placed Irish 10f 3yo winner Hibiscus and Irish 9.5f 3yo winner World War, out of a 7f 2yo winner/1000 Guineas runner-up who was a half sister to Listed-placed 10-12f winner Mam’Selle out of a 12f-2m 1f winning half sister to Group 2-placed 8.5-10f winner (including twice at Group 3 level) Regime and 5f 2yo Listed winner Salut D’Amour. This colt fetched 400,000gns as a yearling and makes significant appeal on pedigree, his dam first past the post in the 1000 Guineas and related to some smart sorts; obvious claims, for all the stable has made a steadier start with its two-year-olds than has been the case in recent times.
The Andrew Balding-trained Fox Tal is a son of Sea The Stars who is a three-parts brother to smart 10-12f winner (including at Group 3/Listed level) Laaheb and Group 3-placed 6-7f winner Ruwaiyan (both by Cape Cross) and a half brother to six winners, out of an unraced half sister to high-class/smart performers Luso, Needle Gun, Warrsan, Cloud Castle (grandam to Queen’s Trust) and Luana (later dam of smart pair Hattan and Tastahil). This colt went for 475,000gns as a yearling and very much takes the eye on pedigree, but it is fair to say he’s bred to excel with time and/or distance, by a stouter influence than useful sprinting three-parts brother Ruwaiyan. His stable has won this event in the past and his paper credentials certainly afford him respect, but likely there’ll be other days for him.
Martyn Meade’s Numero Uno is a son of Dubawi who is a full brother to 12f 3yo AW winner Eyeshine and a half brother to US 1m 1f Grade 3 winner Casual Smile, Listed-placed US triple 1m winner Casual Trick and useful UK/UAE 8-10f winner Mushreq, out of an Oaks winning sister to French 10f 3yo Listed winner Shabby Chic (later dam of Italian Oaks winner Fashion Statement) and half sister to several winners including Grade 2/3-placed US 8-8.5f winner American Style. This colt quite clearly takes the eye on pedigree, the latest foal of 2003 Oaks winner Casual Look to hit the track; however, most of her offspring have benefited from time/distance, and this May foal is unlikely prove much different. His stable has saddled a couple of winning newcomers already this term, but their representative on this occasion is perhaps best watched unless the subject of market support beforehand.
5.10 Chelmsford – INDOMITABLE (nb)
The opening two-year-old novice race on the card looks a fairly interesting event, a once-raced pair looking to step up on their debut efforts, a twice-raced colt looking to bounce back and one or two newcomers making appeal.
The selection is a son of Invincible Spirit who is the fourth foal of a Group 2/3-placed French 6f-1m 2yo winner (including at Listed level) who was closely related to Listed-placed Irish 7f 2yo winner Ronan’s Bay and a half sister to Grade 3/Listed-placed Canadian 8-8.5f winner Bala (later dam of very smart North American miler Bay To Bay) and French/US 5-9f winner Melody Dawn out of a lightly-raced maiden three-parts sister to US 1m 2yo Listed winner Sigrun. This colt is trained by Andrew Balding and fetched 170,000gns as a foal, making a good amount of appeal on pedigree, his dam successful on debut at two and progressing into a smart performer whilst she could count some useful sorts amongst her relations, including useful two-year-old performers (this colt is also bred on the same cross as the 2015 Gimcrack Stakes winner Ajaya). For all his stable tends to adopt a patient approach with its two-year-olds and hasn’t made much of an impact with this age group so far in 2018, this son of Invincible Spirit is very much bred to make an immediate impact at two; no surprise whatsoever to see him on the premises first time out.
James Tate’s Zmhar is a nicely-bred son of Shamardal who debuted in a 6f novice event at Yarmouth 44 days ago (14/1 chance), taking a keen hold close up and soon allowed to stride on, shaken up and headed two furlongs out, one paced inside the final furlong as he came home in fourth behind Legends Of War (beaten 8½ lengths). This colt simply did too much too soon on that occasion, fading from prominence having raced freely on the front end for much of the way. He is entitled to have learned from that experience, certainly bred to do better in time; the extra furlong he faces here will suit on pedigree and, provided he settles better, a much improved showing is highly likely.
The Saeed Bin Suroor-trained Jfoul is a son of Zebedee who offered encouragement on debut when keeping on nicely from a fair way back to take fifth in a 6f auction novice event at York in May, but he could only fill the same position in a maiden over the same course and distance last month. For all his previous experience will count for much and the impression he created on debut shouldn’t be forgotten, it was disappointing he couldn’t build on that initial promise last time; hood applied as he goes up a furlong in trip here (plenty of speed in the pedigree).
The Simon Crisford-trained Chance is a son of Lope De Vega who debuted in a 6f novice contest at Newmarket (July) four weeks ago (7/2 chance), tracking the leaders and making progress to challenge over two furlongs out, shifting left and soon beaten as he came home in fifth behind Calyx (beaten 15½ lengths). This colt was quickly left behind once things got serious that day, disappointingly so given the strength behind him in the market beforehand indicated much better was expected. The additional furlong here allied with the experience gained on debut could see him in a much better light, and it’ll also be interesting to see whether or not backers return for a second time.
The most interesting newcomer aside from the selection is Mark Johnston’s Massam, a son of Dubawi who is the second foal of a Group 2-placed UK/US 5-6f winner (including at Group 3 level) who was the daughter of an unraced full sister to US 1m 1f Grade 2 winner Cat Fighter and UK/UAE 6.5f-1m winner Stalking Shadow and half sister to smart 5-6f winner (including at Group 3/Listed level) Ishiguru out of a US 6-7f 2yo Grade 1 winner. This colt sold for 350,000gns as a yearling at auction and looks the part on pedigree, his dam an impressive first-time-out scorer who was smart on this surface and came from a successful family. His stable has enjoyed plenty of success at this venue, including with two-year-olds, and everything points to a prominent first showing from this son of Dubawi.
The Hugo Palmer-trained Startego is a son of New Approach who is a half brother to 6-7f 2yo winner Overpowered and 10f 3yo winner Sovereign Power, out of a maiden half sister to smart 8-9f winner (including at Group 3/Listed level) Tarfah (later dam of 2000 Guineas/Derby winner Camelot) and very useful 10-14f winner Nautilus out of a 10f 3yo Listed winning half sister to 11.5f 3yo Listed winner Birdie. This colt makes a fair amount of appeal on pedigree, a half brother to a useful juvenile performer and out of a half sister to the smart dam of Camelot; his stable has its fair share of winning newcomers but one or two others make slightly more appeal on this occasion.
Marco Botti’s Dobbia is a son of Medaglia D’Oro who is a half brother to Irish 1m 4yo AW winner Robe Of Honour out of an 11-12f AW winner who was a half sister to very smart 6-12f winner (including six times at Group 1 level) Vengeance Of Rain, Australian 12f Group 1 winner Dizelle, and Group 2-placed Australian 5.5f-1m winner (including twice at Listed level) Bernicia (later dam of Australian 10f Group 2 winner Old North). This colt sold for just $50,000 as a yearling but isn’t devoid of appeal on pedigree, his dam related to several high-class performers overseas; that said, his stable rarely has its youngsters wound up on debut and there are much likelier candidates in the lineup.