7.10 Newbury – SPANISH ARIA (nap)
This two-year-old fillies’ novice event has thrown up some smart performers over the years – notable previous winners including Nasheej, Muthabara, Cape Dollar, Questing and Just The Judge – and this year’s renewal brings together a trio of once-raced sorts and a clutch of well-connected newcomers hailing from good stables.
The selection is a daughter of Lope De Vega who is the first foal of a Listed-placed 7-9.5f 3yo winning half sister to high-class 8-10.5f winner (including at Group 1 level) Mukhadram and useful 12f-2m winner Entihaa out of a once-raced maiden half sister to very smart 8-14.5f winner (including twice at Group 1 level) Mastery, high-class 7-12f winner (including at Group 1 level) Kirklees, very useful 8-14f winner Famous Kid, useful 8.5-12f winner First Nation and dual 7f 2yo winner Oscan. This filly is trained by John Gosden and makes significant appeal on pedigree, her useful dam a half sister to Eclipse Stakes winner Mukhadram and out of a half sister to 1m 2yo debut/St Leger winner Mastery and several other winners, including a Group 1 winner at two and a 7f 2yo debut scorer. Her stable has enjoyed plenty of success with its juveniles here over the years, sending out future dual US Group 1 winner Questing to win the 2011 renewal of this race on debut whilst subsequent Group 2 winner Juliet Capulet made the frame 12 months ago; no surprise to see this daughter of Lope De Vega off the mark at the first time of asking.
The Eve Johnson Houghton-trained Lolita Pulido is a daughter of Toronado who made her debut outing in a 6f fillies’ novice event at Kempton a month ago (25/1 chance), waited with in midfield and shaken up two furlongs out, making progress and challenging for second entering the final furlong until fading close home and dropping into fourth behind La Pelosa (beaten 5¼ lengths). It was a promising enough first effort from this filly, travelling fluently in mid-division and closing in from the two furlong marker, briefly holding second place inside the final furlong but unable to sustain her effort. The winner went on to finish second in the Albany Stakes last week whilst the runner-up went one better next time, so there is already a bit of substance to the form for all the third and one or two others in behind haven’t done quite as much for the form. From a stable whose youngsters invariably improve for a run and also bred to appreciate this extra furlong, it’d be rather surprising if this filly wasn’t right there at the finish.
Alan King’s Tronada is a daughter of Toronado who debuted in a 7f fillies’ maiden at Chelmsford 13 days ago (20/1 chance), in rear and shaken up over three furlongs out, making progress with a over a furlong left to run and keeping on steadily to take third behind I’ll Have Another (beaten 4¾ lengths). This filly was learning on the job that day, breaking on terms but soon dropping to the rear of the field, picking up well in the straight and never nearer than at the finish. For all she is entitled to prove sharper for that initial experience, it didn’t appear to be an overly strong race this filly contested on debut while her performance that day coupled with her pedigree suggests she will appreciate a stiffer test of stamina sooner rather than later; could prove vulnerable kept to seven furlongs.
The Mick Channon-trained Cottontail is a daughter of Champs Elysees who made her debut outing in a 5f median auction novice event at Lingfield 17 days ago (14/1 chance), soon outpaced towards the rear of the field, making progress two furlongs out and keeping on nicely to take fifth close home behind Country Rose (beaten 5½ lengths). It was an encouraging enough effort from this filly, unable to go the pace early on but coming through nicely under hands-and-heels riding inside the final furlong or so to lead home the second wave. This is almost certainly a better race than the one she contested on debut and a fair step forward is required, but the additional two furlongs on offer here are sure to see her in a much more favourable light and she ought to be more competitive as a result.
There are one or two other newcomers of interest aside from the selection, the first of them being the Roger Varian-trained Just My Type, a daughter of Iffraaj who is a half sister to UK/US 5.5f-1m winner Sweet Dragon Fly out of a 6f 2yo Listed winning daughter of a 5f 3yo winner who was a half sister to 6f 2yo winners Elshabiba (Listed placed) and Rihan out of a Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies runner-up. This filly sold for €130,000 as a yearling and she looks a likely type on paper, her dam a Listed winner at two and from a family that contains some useful sprinters. She is evidently bred to make her mark at two, but it is rather surprising that she starts out over this seven-furlong distance taking into account her speed-orientated pedigree; the market beforehand ought to prove instructive.
Richard Hannon’s Embrace The Moment is a daughter of Le Havre who is the third foal of a Listed-placed UK/French 7-12f winner who was a half sister to useful dual 1m 3yo winner Rifle Range out of a 7f 2yo debut winning half sister to very smart 10-12f winner (including twice at Group 1 level)/Irish Derby runner-up Hernando, French 10.5f Group 1 winner Johann Quartz and Listed winners Adnaan (10f), Res Judicata (12f) and Walter Willy (13.5f). This filly’s sales price rose from €75,000 to €110,000 as a yearling, making plenty of appeal on pedigree, her dam successful over this trip on debut at two and hailing from a good Niarchos bloodline. She comes from an in-form stable renowned for its prowess in this sphere and, for all its newcomers tend to improve for a run more often than not, a prominent debut showing from this nicely-bred daughter of Le Havre would come as no surprise.
One other worthy of a mention is the Brian Meehan-trained My Law, a daughter of Mayson who is a half sister to useful 7f-1m winner Dutch Law and fairly useful 6-7f winner Dutch Art Dealer, out of a 7f-1m winner who was a half sister to Italian 6f 2yo Listed winner Far Hope (later dam of Italian 10/12f Group 1 winner Voila Ici) out of a 6f 2yo debut winner. This filly makes a fair amount of appeal on pedigree, a half sister to a couple of decent winners whilst her full brother went very close on debut last year (albeit over 1m in mid-December), and the family goes back to very smart juvenile Circus Ring. Her handler isn’t associated with first-time-out winners, but just over one-third of his winning newcomers in the past decade have come at this venue; could run well at likely decent odds.