3.20 Chelmsford – REWAAYAT (nap)
This looks an interesting novice event for the time of year, the main interest surrounding the trio of Hamdan Al Maktoum representatives, one of whom was a wide-margin winner over this course and distance, while another looks to step up on his debut effort after an absence and the third a very well-related newcomer from a top stable.
The selection, trained by Charlie Hills, is a well-bred son of Pivotal who made his debut in a 6f maiden at Newbury last September (11/2 chance), keen under restraint towards the rear of the field, travelling as well as any two furlongs out but running green off the bridle soon after and making no impression, fading over a furlong out to come home ninth of 13 behind Beshaayir (beaten 9½ lengths). His refusal to settle fully seemed to cost him at the business end of matters, travelling smoothly to the two furlong marker but running green and quickly done with once the tempo increased, not given a hard time once held. His pedigree and physique alone point to above-average improvement, his dam a half sister to connections’ top-class sprinter Muhaarar among others, and it’s worth remembering he held Group-race entries last summer/autumn. The fact he hasn’t been seen for over 10 months is an obvious concern, having to concede fitness to most of his rivals including a pair of course and distance scorers; also been passed over by Jim Crowley in favour of one of those winners, but this son of Pivotal appeals as the type to make significant progress at three and a bold showing on his belated return wouldn’t at all surprise.
The Marcus Tregoning-trained Margub is a son of Bated Breath who overcame a 13-month absence when stepping up on his debut effort at Goodwood (6f) to land a course and distance novice event four weeks ago (even-money favourite), waited with in behind the leaders and making smooth progress to lead at the top of the straight, ridden clear inside the final furlong to run out a 9-length winner over Domestic Way. It was a visually taking display from this colt, fully justifying the strength behind him in the market beforehand, travelling much the best and quickly sealing matters in the straight. He is clearly a decent prospect on that evidence, though the time was nothing out of the ordinary and the early indications suggest it perhaps wasn’t the strongest of contests, with the runner-up well beaten in a maiden at Wolverhampton last weekend. This colt obviously merits respect given the resounding nature of that success, still wholly unexposed after all, and it’s understandable he’s the choice of Jim Crowley over a once-raced colt returning from a lengthy absence and well-bred colt debuting late in the day for his retained owner.
Sir Mark Prescott’s Done Deal is a son of Azamour who made a winning start to his career in a 1m novice contest here last month (33/1 chance), slowly into stride and racing towards the rear of the field, ridden and making progress three furlongs out, challenging approaching the final furlong and taking over inside the final 100 yards to score by 1¼ lengths from Act Of Bravery. He disappointed under a penalty in a similar event back here seven days later (4/1 chance), close up and ridden over two furlongs out, never able to get on terms with the principals and one paced inside the final furlong as he came home in sixth behind Piece Of History (beaten 5¾ lengths). The quick turnaround allied with a penalty perhaps contributed to his downfall that day, though it is only eleven days on from that outing here; step back to 7f not a bad thing on pedigree, but he’s hardly shaped like one in need of shorter.
The Robert Cowell-trained Emphatic is a son of Epaulette who showed just a fair level of form at two, disappointing when well fancied on debut and then placing in a couple of 6f novice events at Catterick in the autumn, holding every chance on each occasion. He was made 11/8 market leader for a 6f maiden back there on his reappearance in June, close up and leading inside the two furlong marker, headed entering the final furlong and having to settle for second behind Iron Sky. His latest outing saw him finish fifth of 12 in a 6f novice event at Wolverhampton 17 days ago (8/1 chance), caught wide close up initially until settling into midfield, shaken up on the home bend and keeping on nicely inside the final furlong to take fifth behind Play Mate (beaten 2 lengths). His finishing effort last time was eyecatching, especially as he came from a poor draw/was caught wide for much of the way; likely has a race or two in him, but his merits are well established (rated 71) and likely he’ll be vulnerable to improvers once again here.
There are a couple of interesting newcomers in the field, the first of them being the John Gosden-trained Ghalyoon, a son of Invincible Spirit who is a full brother to Group 2-placed 5-6f winner (including at Group 3/Listed level) Swiss Spirit, a three-parts brother smart 5-6f winner (including three times at Listed level) Swiss Dream (by Oasis Dream) and a half brother to six winners including dual French 5f Group 3 winner Swiss Diva, out of a Group 2-placed triple 5f winner (including twice at Listed level) who was a half sister to Listed-placed 5-6f winner Dubai Princess. This colt fetched 300,000gns as a yearling at auction and makes clear appeal on pedigree, a brother to the yard’s high-class speedster Swiss Spirit and related to several other at least useful types. The fact he starts out so late in the day and over this seven-furlong distance is perhaps a slight cause for concern given his pedigree; debuts in a winnable enough race, however, and it isn’t at all difficult to envisage this well-related colt being involved first time out.
Rae Guest’s Minoria is a daughter of Harbour Watch who is a half sister to smart multiple 6f winner (including at Listed level) Minalisa and fairly useful multiple 5-6f winner Peace Seeker, out of a 6f winner who was a half sister to smart 5-6f winner (including at Group 3/Listed level) Miss Anabaa, very useful 5-6f winners Move It and Out After Dark and to the dam of George Bowen, family of Owington. This filly makes plenty of appeal on pedigree, from a fine sprinting family that has served these connections tremendously well over the years; therefore, it is slightly disconcerting she starts out over seven furlongs, but still interesting to how she goes in the market beforehand.