3.00 Nottingham – TEMPUS (nap)
The Oath Maiden Stakes boasts a respectable roll of honour – past winners including Patkai, Tajaaweed, Mastery, Ceilidh House, Mengli Khan and Merlin Magic – and this year’s renewal sees one that went close first time out face a once-raced colt likely capable of much better than he showed on debut and one or two interesting newcomers.
The selection is a son of Kingman who is a half brother to Grade 1-placed 7-10.5f winner (including at Group 2/3 level) Time Test, useful 8-10f 3yo winner Time Chaser and useful 11f-2m winner Retirement Plan, out of a high-class 7-10.5f winner (including at Group 1 level) who was a full sister to smart 8-12f winner (including at Group 2 level)/St Leger fourth Father Time and three other winners and a half sister to high-class 8-11f winner (including at Group 1 level) Timepiece out of a 12f 3yo winning half sister to the dam of dual Champion Stakes winner Twice Over. This colt is trained by Roger Charlton and makes obvious appeal on pedigree, a half brother to a trio of winners including connections’ high-class performer Time Test (7f 2yo winner) and out of a 10f 2yo Group 1 winning sister to smart middle distance colt Father Time (1m 2yo debut winner) and half sister to Falmouth Stakes winner Timepiece. There are plenty of first-time-out/two-year-old winners in the family, and this colt is by an exciting first-season sire whose progeny continue to impress; no surprise to see this well-related son of Kingman make a winning start to his career.
The Mark Johnston-trained Mind The Crack is a son of Jukebox Jury who debuted in a 10f novice event at Kempton 16 days ago (14/1 chance), slowly into stride and running green in last place, moving closer over three furlongs out and ridden two furlongs out, making good progress to challenge inside the final furlong but unable to overhaul Fearless Warrior and going down by a neck. This colt was very much held back by greenness on debut, running green in rear early on and again displaying his inexperience when closing in on the eventual winners inside the final furlong. He is entitled to know a good deal more this time around, while it isn’t difficult to envisage that he’ll be ridden to make the most of his proven stamina now dropping back in distance; shouldn’t be too far away here.
Charlie Appleby’s Star Safari is a nicely-bred son of Sea The Stars who debuted in a 1m maiden at Newmarket 13 days ago (16/1 chance), in touch in midfield and nudged along from before halfway, ridden and outpaced approaching the two furlong marker, more or less holding his position thereafter as he came home 10th of 18 behind Kick On (beaten 10¼ lengths). This colt was seemingly too green to show to best advantage on debut, rousted along early to hold a prominent position, unable to do so and never really travelling with any fluency, outpaced from the two furlong marker and never involved. It could well be that the very best of him will only be seen next season once tackling middle distances, from the family of Schiaparelli and Sea The Moon; however, that first outing should have put some sort of edge on him and no surprise to see him a lot more involved this time.
The Richard Hannon-trained Octavia Minor is a daughter of Noble Mission whose first two efforts weren’t without promise, closing up late in the day to beat a couple home behind Ceratonia at Ascot (7f) on debut back in July and then staying on steadily for a midfield finish behind Glance in a useful 7f fillies’ novice event at Goodwood last month. Her most recent outing came in a 1m fillies’ novice event at Lingfield 11 days later, tracking the leaders until shaken up and outpaced over two furlongs out, keeping on well for pressure inside the final furlong to take fifth behind Dubai Blue (beaten 5½ lengths). This filly gives the distinct impression there are races to be won with her, but it is likely that will come in nurseries from a mark of 73 and she remains vulnerable in this sort of company.
There are three other newcomers in the field, the first of them being Roger Varian’s Surfman, a son of Kingman who is a half brother to high-class French 10-12.5f winner (including at Group 1 level) Kitesurf out of a Group 2-placed 10-12f winner (including at Group 3 level) who was a half sister to 7f 3yo winner Brother Cha out of a 10f 3yo Listed winner. This colt was bought back for 140,000gns as a yearling at auction, perhaps surprisingly given his pedigree, making plenty of appeal as a half brother to the high-class French middle distance performer Kitesurf and out of a 12f Group 3 winning mare. He is another in the field bred to come into his own as a three-year-old, but his sire’s progeny has made a fine start and it’ll be interesting to see what the market makes of this colt beforehand.
The James Tate-trained Battle Of Wills is a son of Lawman who is a half brother to 6f 3yo winner Dance Band and 8.5f 3yo Flat/triple 2m hurdle winner Mezajy, out of an Irish 7f 2yo debut winner who was a full sister to Group 1-placed Irish 8.5f 2yo winner Chinese Whisper and a half sister to Group 2/3-placed Irish 6-7.5f winner Modeeroch, Group 2/Listed-placed Irish 6f 2yo debut winner Danaskaya (later dam of Belardo) and four other winners. This colt fetched 22,000gns as a yearling and makes a bit of appeal on pedigree, his dam yet to produce anything of note but herself a winner on debut at two and related to some smart performers, including at two. He also comes from a stable among the winners at present, although it’s fair to say its youngsters tend to benefit for their initial outing.
The Stuart Williams-trained Rhythmic Intent is a son of Lope De Vega who is a half brother to 8-10f winner Chance To Dream and 1m 3yo winner Labyrinth, out of an unraced half sister to 7f 2yo debut winner/Irish and French 1000 Guineas third La Nuit Rose (later dam of US 1m Grade 2/UK 10f Group 3 winner Tam Lin), French 1m 2yo debut winner Macheera (later dam of French 1m 3yo Group 1 winner Al Wukair and grandam to 7f 2yo Group 3 winner Antonia De Vega) and Irish 1m 3yo debut winner Lina De Vega (by Lope De Vega). This colt cost 150,000gns and makes plenty of appeal on pedigree, his dam producing a couple of only fair winners but herself related to some smart sorts including a few first-time-out scorers at two. His stable is hardly renowned for its prowess with two-year-olds (5-139 in the past decade with newcomers from that age group), but it’s not as though it has material such as this to work with on a regular basis and a prominent first showing from this colt wouldn’t overly surprise.