7.10 Kempton – GLEEFUL (nap)
This two-year-old fillies’ novice event lacks any real strength in depth, a thrice-raced maiden and one looking to bounce back from a disappointing second run setting the standard for one or two interesting newcomers at aim at.
The selection is a daughter of Pivotal who is the first foal of a useful 6f 2yo AW winner who was a half sister to 5f 2yo debut winner Giddy out of a 6f 3yo winning sister to high-class 6-7f winner (including twice at Group 2 level)/French 2000 Guineas third Byron and prolific 7-8.5f winner (mainly AW) Gallantry, a three-parts sister to useful 7f-1m winner Resort (later dam of useful AW performer Supersta, by Pivotal) and a half sister to useful winners Gallant (1m 1f), Gallant Hero (8-10.5f) and Gallivant (5-6f) and Cheshire Oaks runner-up Gay Heroine out of a Cheveley Park Stakes winner. This filly is trained by Roger Varian and makes plenty of appeal on pedigree, the first foal of a course winner who also finished fourth in the Lowther Stakes at two, herself a half sister to a two-year-old debut scorer and from a good family containing several AW winners. The yard’s youngsters tend to improve for a run, but it has enjoyed success with its newcomers here (7-53) and this daughter of Pivotal’s pedigree suggests she will be able to make a swift and pronounced impact; no surprise to see her off the mark at the first time of asking.
Hugo Palmer’s Deira Surprise is a daughter of Slade Power who debuted in a 6f fillies’ novice event at Haydock back in June (40/1 chance), waited with in midfield and ridden to make progress over two furlongs out, attempting to challenge entering the final furlong but proving no match for Angel’s Hideaway, going down by 2¼ lengths. Her next outing came in a 6f fillies’ novice race at Thirsk 12 days later (4/11 market leader), close up and pushed along from halfway, offering little response for pressure thereafter and coming home in fourth behind Beechwood Izzy (beaten 3¾ lengths). It was a disappointing run on the face of it, turning in a laboured performance, but it perhaps came too soon after what was a big debut effort while the runner-up, third and fifth have all won since. It is also worth bearing in mind she found only subsequent Group 3 winner Angel’s Hideaway too good on debut, finishing some 4 lengths clear of the re-opposing Summer Blossom that day; with her pedigree suggesting both this surface and the seventh furlong here will suit, it’s not difficult to envisage this daughter of Slade Power bouncing back here.
The Archie Watson-trained Summer Blossom is a daughter of Society Rock who came close to make a winning start to her career when a well-supported 4/1 chance for a 6f fillies’ novice event at Chepstow back in May, making good progress two furlongs out and holding every chance inside the final furlong, having to settle for third behind Swinging Jean. She could only manage fifth behind the smart Angel’s Hideaway (and re-opposing Deira Surprise) in a similar event at Haydock a couple of weeks later, bouncing back with a good third place finish to Firelight here in a 6f event four weeks ago, holding every chance but unable to match the first two home inside the final furlong (beaten 1¾ lengths). As on her first two outings, this filly essentially had few excuses last time, having every chance from the top of the straight, slightly hampered approaching the line but very much held at the time. She has been handed a rating of 77 and is probably good enough to win one of these eventually, but, for all the additional furlong here could eke out some improvement, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see something improve past her once again.
The Alan King-trained Sukalia is a daughter of Swiss Spirit who debuted in a course and distance fillies’ novice event early last month (25/1 chance), in rear and shaken up over two furlongs out, readily outpaced approaching the final furlong and coming home ninth of 10 behind Look Around (beaten 12¾ lengths). Her second outing came a couple of weeks later in a 7f fillies’ maiden at Doncaster (66/1 chance), taking a fierce grip under restraint in behind the leaders early, going better than most over two furlongs out but ridden soon after and weakening rather tamely inside the final furlong, coming home sixth of 10 behind Zofelle (beaten 10 lengths). This filly has travelled okay to a point on both outings to date, her early exuberance last time blunting her finishing effort; looks to have a future, but highly likely that the very best of this daughter of Swiss Spirit will be seen in nurseries after this qualifying run.
There are three other newcomers in the field aside from the selection, the first of them being the Ralph Beckett-trained Sand Share, a daughter of Oasis Dream who is the first foal of a Listed-placed French 10f 3yo debut winner who was a full sister French 12f 3yo Group 1 winner/French Derby fourth Zambezi Sun and smart French 9.5-12f 3yo fibresand winner (including at Listed level) Zero Gravity and a half sister to French 10f 3yo Group 2 winner Kalabar and Group 2/3-placed French 11f 3yo debut winner World Heritage. This filly certainly catches the eye on pedigree, hailing from a well-established Juddmonte Farms family that Pascal Bary has done particularly well with in recent times, albeit most of them proved best at three and beyond/over further than this 7f trip. However, she starts out in a winnable enough race and represents a stable that enjoys plenty of success with its youngsters at this venue (including on debut); not too hard to see this daughter of Oasis Dream having a part to play in proceedings.
The Paul Cole-trained Nguni is a daughter of Mount Nelson who is the third foal of a triple 6f AW winner who was a half sister to fairly useful 5-6f winner Extremely Rare and 6f 3yo winner Wotasparkler out of an unraced half sister to smart Irish 7f-1m winner (including at Listed level) Mora, very useful Irish 5-7f winner (including at Listed level) Broadway Rosie (later dam of dual 6f Listed winner Eastern Purple) and Irish 7f 2yo winner Broadway Star. This filly makes only some appeal on pedigree, her dam a triple winner on this surface but only fair at best, with little else happening in the family in recent times. Her handler still gets the odd winning newcomer, but the vast majority of his debutants improve for the run nowadays and his representative here likely best watched on this occasion.