4.10 Kempton – WISH (nap)
The second division of the two-year-old fillies’ novice event on the card looks just fair with solid form thin on the ground, but one or two are likely capable of much better while there are a couple of interesting newcomers – past winners of this race include Spanish Sun, Ave (Ghanaati third), Splashdown, Zurigha, Raven’s Lady and Teppal.
The selection, trained by Saeed Bin Suroor, is a daughter of Teofilo who made her debut outing in a 7f fillies’ novice event at Goodwood 20 days ago (8/1 chance), slowly into stride and showing obvious signs of inexperience in rear, also refusing to settle fully, ridden two furlongs out and continuing to run green as she came home last of 15 behind Glance (beaten 19½ lengths). This filly is almost certainly capable of better, too green to show to best advantage at a track that has caught out plenty of inexperienced types before, always in rear and never at any stage looking likely to get competitive. Her dam improved from her first run to score at the second time of asking at two (over this course and distance; won her only other start on polytrack in a Listed event) as did half brother Hornsby, whilst another sibling, Emirates Airline left behind his previous form when first faced with synthetic surface and year older half brother Piece Of History has also won on polytrack this season. She was hardly ignored in the betting beforehand for a good-looking race that is already producing winners and, entitled to know a lot more on this occasion, it wouldn’t at all surprise to see this daughter of Teofilo have much more of a say in proceedings now.
The Sir Michael Stoute-trained Gold At Midnight is a daughter of Havana Gold who stayed on nicely late to finish third at Leicester (6f) on debut last month, and she looked set to confirm that promise in a 1m fillies’ novice event here 28 days later, leading and kicking on approaching the two furlong marker, but she saw the healthy advantage she’d built up by the furlong marker whittled away inside the final furlong and had to settle for fourth behind Sweet Pearl (beaten 2½ lengths). She shaped like a non-stayer more than anything, the manner in which she built up her advantage impressive but perhaps committed a touch too soon, readily cut back inside the final 100 yards or so and not even holding on for a place in the end. Interesting to see how she is ridden here now stepped back a furlong in trip and coming from stall ten of eleven; the promise of her debut run combined with the way she strung the field out in the straight last time before fading late on suggests she has enough basic ability to land a race of this nature.
The Andrew Balding-trained Wing Defence is a daughter of Charm Spirit who failed to live up to market expectations on debut when ninth (of 16) in a 6f novice contest at Windsor last month, duly showing more when 3/1 for a 6f fillies’ novice event at Salisbury 10 days ago, sitting second and pushed along to challenge over a furlong out but unable to sustain her effort and having to settle for fourth behind Swift And Sure (beaten 3¾ lengths). As on debut her finishing effort lacked conviction, less forgivable on the latter occasion given she had the benefit of a previous run to call on; clearly well regarded given her market position for both outings to date, but it remains to be seen just how improvement will be forthcoming for this step to seven furlongs (also out of a smart sprinter).
Roger Varian’s Zaula is a daughter of Dark Angel who debuted in a 7f fillies’ maiden at Salisbury 18 days ago (25/1 chance), prominent until ridden and losing her position over two furlongs out, plugging on inside the final furlong and closing up slightly towards the finish to come home in sixth behind Manuela De Vega (beaten 12 lengths). For all this filly knew enough on debut to hold a prominent position for a good portion of the race, she was caught cold when the tempo increased, somewhat outpaced from the two furlong marker but rallying come the line. She boasts a useful pedigree and can only improve for that initial outing, hardly fancied in the market that day after all.
The Richard Hannon-trained Black Medick is a daughter of Dark Angel who made her debut in a 7f fillies’ maiden at Glorious Goodwood 53 days ago (33/1 chance), dropped in from her wide draw and racing in rear, shaken up three furlongs out and left behind approaching the final furlong, eventually coming home last of 11 behind Accordance (beaten 23 lengths). This filly didn’t offer a great deal first time out although like the selection, she wouldn’t be the first newcomer to find it all too much at that particular track; even so, the race in which she debuted hasn’t worked out as well as might have been expected, and this daughter of Dark Angel is likely best watched on this occasion.
There are a couple of particularly interesting newcomers in the field, the first of them being John Gosden’s Mary Somerville, a daughter of Galileo who is the first foal of a Group 2-placed 6-7f winner (including twice at Group 3 level) who was closely related to 7-8.5f AW winner Roedean and two other winners and a half sister to 8-10f winner Glass Mountain out of a maiden half sister to 6f 2yo Group 2 winner Spinola and very useful 6f-1m winner (including at Group 3 level) Shot To Fame. This filly commanded 800,000gns as a yearling at auction and can hardly fail to take the eye on pedigree, being the first foal of the high-class juvenile/Fred Darling Stakes winner Maureen, herself related to some modest winners but out of a mare that produced a couple of Group scoers including at two. She is bred to make an impact in her first season over this sort of distance, and this doesn’t appear to be an overly-strong contest in which she starts out; no surprise to see this well-bred daughter of Galileo very much involved on debut.
The Amanda Perrett-trained Abanica is a daughter of Iffraaj who is the first foal of a 6f 3yo winning sister to Group 1-placed 5-6f winner (including at Group 2/Listed level) Bated Breath and half sister to very smart 8-9f winner (including at Group 1 level) Cityscape and Listed-placed triple 1m 3yo winner Scuffle (later dam of triple US Grade 3 winner Suffused) out of a smart multiple 7f winner (including twice at Listed level). This filly is another to boast impressive paper credentials, her dam just a fair sort but herself related to some very smart performers, the family going back to Xaar. Her handler does particularly well with two-year-olds at this venue, though only a couple (from 24 runners) have actually made winning starts in the past decade; widest stall of all hardly ideal, but she makes plenty of appeal on pedigree in a winnable enough race so a prominent showing on debut wouldn’t overly surprise.