3.05 Newcastle – FEDERAL LAW (nap)
This two-year-old novice event has the potential to be an informative race, with a pair of once-raced colts from powerful southern bases looking to build on solid debut efforts at Newbury, a couple of others arriving here with decent efforts in defeat to their name and one or two of the newcomers making appeal on pedigree.
The selection is a Canadian-bred son of Scat Daddy who is the third foal of a Canadian 6f 3yo dirt winner who was a half sister to high-class Canadian 6-7f winner (including at Group 2/3 level) Smokey Fire, Group 3-placed Canadian 5-6.5f winner Search The Church, Group 3-placed Canadian 6-7f winner Ghost Fleet, very useful Canadian 6-8.5f winner Utterly Cool and three other winners. This colt fetched $220,000 as a yearling and failed to sell for £185,000 at the Goffs UK Breeze-Up 2yo sale in April, certainly looking the part on pedigree as the third foal of a useful half sister to some smart performers in Canada, including a couple of impressive 2yo debut scorers over sprint distances. For all he starts out in a potentially decent contest, he is bred to be smart and ought to know his job better than most given his breeze-up background; representing an excellent young handler who has shown he can ready one to strike first time up, a winning start for this son of Scat Daddy would as come as absolutely no surprise.
The John Gosden-trained Daafr is a nicely-bred son of Invincible Spirit who made his debut outing in a 6.5f novice event at Newbury a fortnight ago (5/1 joint-favourite), waited with in midfield towards the outer, shaken up to move closer over a furlong out but never quite able to get on terms with the leaders, coming home seventh of 16 behind Confiding (beaten 4 lengths). It was a promising enough first effort from this colt, travelling nicely to the two furlong marker but unable to muster the pace to challenge when it came to the crunch, more or less holding his position inside the final furlong. He enjoyed a smoother (albeit wider) passage than a few of his rivals did in an unsatisfactory event, a couple of the chief sufferers that day already successful since; open to progress and representing both a trainer and sire with healthy strike-rates at this venue, it’s clear this colt is a key player here.
The Hugo Palmer-trained Almufti is a son of Toronado who made his debut outing in a 6f conditions event at Newbury 40 days ago (3/1 chance), racing exuberantly close up and right on terms going easily over a furlong out, left behind inside the final furlong and having to settle for sixth behind The Irish Rover (beaten 7¾ lengths). This colt’s refusal to settle that day clearly impacted on his finishing effort, still travelling strongly when holding every chance over a furlong out but soon on the retreat once coming off the bridle. His handler is another that does particularly well at this venue, as evidenced by the fact he has supplied the last four winners of this race; provided he settles better, it would be something of a surprise if this son of Toronado wasn’t very much involved here.
Richard Fahey’s Amber Spark is a daughter of Fast Company who made her debut in a 5f median auction fillies’ novice race at Nottingham last month (9/2 joint-favourite), slowly into stride and driven along in rear, beginning to get the idea entering the final furlong and staying on strongly close home to take sixth behind Dame Gladys (beaten 4¾ lengths). She was clearly in need of the experience on that occasion, learning all the while and picking up well inside the final furlong to close in come the line; a couple from that race have come out and won since, including the eighth, and a good deal better expected from this daughter of Fast Company now stepped up to six furlongs.
The Charlie Fellowes-trained Mayfair Spirit is a son of Charm Spirit who has run to a similar level in 6f novice events at Nottingham and Wolverhampton (16/1 on both occasions), showing some signs of inexperience when fifth to Cool Exhibit on debut last month and then hinting he may not be entirely straightforward when a soundly-beaten fourth behind Burj three weeks ago. He has shown enough to suggest he is capable of winning a small race at some point, far from disgraced last time in a race won by an above-average sort that has already started to work out; this looks no easier, however, and likely to find nurseries more his thing after this qualifying run for a mark.
There are a couple of other newcomers in the field aside from the selection worthy of a mention, the first of them being the Michael Dods-trained Kolossus, a son of Assertive who is a full brother to triple 7f 3yo winner Tight Fit, useful triple 5f 2yo winner John Kirkup and fairly useful 5-6f winner Kommander Kirkup, out of a maiden half sister to UK/Italian 5-7.5f winner Magical Roundabout. This gelding was unsold for a modest 7,500gns as a yearling but does make a fair amount of appeal on pedigree, a brother to three winners including a couple of decent types for this stable, notably triple juvenile scorer John Kirkup. He is clearly bred to make an impact over sprint distances in his first season, but more than likely best watched first time out unless the market strongly indicates otherwise.
Tim Easterby’s Top Cat is a son of Footstepsinthesand who is the second foal of a maiden half sister to smart 6-7f winner (including twice at Group 3 level)/Cheveley Park Stakes third Kiyoshi and useful 2m hurdle/2m-2m 3f chase winner Red Riverman out of a Listed-placed 8-10f winning half sister to useful 6f 2yo winner Cosmo. This colt fetched 30,000gns as a yearling and makes some appeal on pedigree, his dam a fair maiden who counted Albany Stakes winner Kiyoshi amongst her relations. He should prove capable of making his mark at some point in his first season, but his handler adopts a patient approach with his youngsters and almost certainly best watched here.