1.10 Southwell – TAILS I WIN (nap)
This looks a useful two-year-old novice auction event for the track, with four previous winners bidding to defy penalties against some interesting sorts to have shown clear signs of promise without being able to win so far.
The selection, trained by Roger Fell, is a daughter of Shanghai Bobby who debuted in a 7f maiden at Dundalk 15 days ago (50/1 chance), settled into midfield from her wide draw and shaken up at the top of the straight, making headway approaching the final furlong and keeping on well for pressure to take fifth behind Excelcius (beaten 3 lengths). It was a promising first effort from this filly, beaten by a trio of more experienced colts that had all shown a reasonable level of form and a well-bred, once-raced improver from Ballydoyle, also coming from further back than the aforementioned quartet to fare best of the newcomers. She was purchased for €20,000 out of the Emmet Mullins yard last week, and it’s interesting she been brought straight here given her pedigree, being a half sister to four dirt winners in the US/Canada and out of a dirt winning half sister to other winners on the surface, whilst grandsire Harlan’s Holiday’s progeny enjoyed success on Fibresand. It is fair to say her handler isn’t renowned for his prowess with juveniles, but the majority would be long-term/handicap projects whereas this filly showed enough first time out to suggest she’s capable of winning a race such as this; no surprise to see her do just that here.
The Keith Dalgleish-trained Theatre Of War is a son of War Command who stepped up from her first two efforts when upped to 7f/switched to Tapeta when landing a novice auction event at Wolverhampton in July, but he was turned over at 4/11 under a penalty over the same course and distance in a similar event the following month. His latest outing came in a heavy-ground 7f novice contest at Ayr 55 days ago (7/2 chance), racing keenly and pulling his way to the front, attempting to kick on over a furlong out but shifting both ways under pressure and collared close home by Guildhall, going down by ¾ length. That form looks nothing special and this gelding clearly has his limitations; sure to give it his best shot once again, but potentially vulnerable conceding weight to most of his rivals.
Michael Wigham’s Anycity is a son of Zoffany who made a winning start to his career for Archie Watson in a 1m auction maiden at Chelmsford in August (7/4 chance), making all and pressed over two furlongs out, ridden and kicking on at the top of the straight, keeping on well for pressure to fend off the renewed challenge of One To Go and score by half a length. He has met with defeat twice since in novice auction events at Kempton (7f) and back over the course and distance he made his winning debut, attempting to make all both times but finding one too good on each occasion. This gelding has displayed a likeable attitude on all three outings, though hasn’t had many excuses the last twice, readily gathered in by a newcomer last time; likely to have competition for the lead this time should he be ridden the same way as his previous runs; has changed hands for 16,000gns since he was last seen.
The Mick Easterby-trained Elysian Flame is a son of Champs Elysees who built on a promising debut effort to land a soft-ground 1m novice event at Haydock four weeks ago (8/1 chance), waited with in rear until moving closer on the outer over two furlongs out, ridden to lead over a furlong out and keeping on well for pressure to score by a length from Coup De Gold. The manner in which this gelding made up ground to challenge was eyecatching, still looking rough around the edges, not doing a great deal once hitting the front but always holding on; new surface and a penalty to contend with here, but he’s thoroughly unexposed and likely open to significant improvement.
The Adrian Nicholls-trained Xtara is a son of Xtension who confirmed the promise of his debut effort in a 6f novice auction at Carlisle back in June by winning an identical event over the same course and distance 11 days later, but he couldn’t get the job when attempting to make all in a four-runner 6f contest at Hamilton the following month, having to settle for second behind Aurag. He again tried to make all when a creditable enough third in a 7f nursery at Newmarket some three weeks later, but his latest effort saw him finish only fifth in a similar contest at Haydock a fortnight later, racing keenly and fading out of contention inside the final furlong. He has been given plenty of time since then and the cheekpieces worn that day are discarded here; one of a few in the field that like to lead.
The Alan King-trained Peckinpah is a son of Excelebration who shaped with promise on debut at York in October and again ran with credit when contesting a 1m maiden at Nottingham 19 days later, taking a keen hold early but soon settled in behind the pacesetters, ridden to challenge well over a furlong out but able to only muster one pace as he came home in fourth behind Dalaalaat (beaten 3¼ lengths). He has shown enough in two runs to suggest a race of this nature is well within his capabilities, perhaps paying for his early exuberance last time; step back a furlong in trip perhaps not the worst move bearing that in mind and no surprise to see him in the thick of things.
James Given’s Cuban Sun is a daughter of Havana Gold who offered precious little on her first two starts, but she showed a lot more when 200/1 for a 1m fillies’ maiden at Nottingham last month, close up and sticking on well to come home in third behind Vivid Diamond (beaten 3¾ lengths). However, she failed to beat a rival home on her nursery bow back over 7f at Leicester 17 days ago, slowly away and quickly done with once the race began in earnest (beaten 16 lengths). The third at Nottingham is very much her standout performance so far, well placed in a race where prominent racers dominated; represents a stable that has enjoyed plenty of success at this venue.