1.50 Newbury – DESIROUS (nb)
This two-year-old maiden has a rather mixed recent history – past winners including Al Jadeed, Etlaala, Pounced, Saamidd, Elm Park and Purser – and the second division of this year’s renewal looks decent enough, a handful of once-raced sorts setting a far from insurmountable standard for one or two interesting newcomers to aim at.
The selection is a daughter of Kingman who is the second foal of a high-class Irish 7f-1m winner (including at Group 1 level) who was a full sister to smart 9-11.5f winner (including at Group 3/Listed level) First Sitting and French 5f 2yo Listed winner Daring Diva (later dam of Irish 1m Group 2 winner Brooch and Irish 9.5/10f Listed winner Caponata) and a half sister to very useful triple 6f winner Striking Spirit out of Listed-placed French 5-6.5f winning daughter of a US 8.5f Grade 2 winner. This filly is trained by Ralph Beckett and makes any amount of appeal on pedigree, the second foal of Matron Stakes winner Emulous, herself a debut scorer over this distance at two and a sister to a couple of smart performers, including the dam of smart pair Brooch and Caponata as well as 7f 2yo debut winner Raymonda. She is very much bred to make an immediate impact in her first season, with entries in the Rockfel Stakes and Fillies’ Mile indicating all has gone to plan in her preparatory work; fact she is pitched in against the boys first time out is also noteworthy, and a winning start for this daughter of Kingman would come as no surprise.
The Andrew Balding-trained Fox Premier is a son of Frankel who debuted in a 7f novice event at Sandown six weeks ago (well-fancied 11/4 chance), very awkwardly away and going right out of the stalls, racing a little worse than midfield and shaken up over two furlongs out, running green and outpaced thereafter as he came home in sixth behind King Of Comedy (beaten 8¾ lengths). This colt’s inexperience was all too evident that day, from leaving the stalls awkwardly to wandering off the bridle, slightly impeded by the winner when first ridden and not given an overly hard time once held. His market position on debut allied with a smart pedigree and hefty price tag suggest he’ll prove capable of better at some point, as do entries in the Champagne Stakes and Dewhurst; from an in-form stable whose youngsters improve for a run, it’d be surprising if this son of Frankel wasn’t a lot more involved now.
The Richard Hannon-trained Ginger Fox is a nicely-bred son of Iffraaj who made his debut outing in a 6f novice event at Windsor 18 days ago (100/30 chance), slowly away but soon recovering to track the leaders, shaken up halfway and rather tapped-for-toe, eventually responding for pressure inside the final furlong to take a distant third Kessaar (beaten 14 lengths). This colt didn’t achieve a great deal in form terms behind a wide-margin winner, but he wasn’t unfancied in the market and quite clearly needed both the experience and a stiffer test of stamina, closest at the finish. He gets another furlong and the services of Ryan Moore this time, while he represents a stable with a decent record in this race; not hard to envisage a good chunk of improvement forthcoming from this son of Iffraaj.
Denis Coakley’s Sheila’s Showcase is a son of Showcasing who made his debut outing in a 6f maiden at Salisbury 20 days ago (16/1 chance), switched across from his wide draw and sitting at the rear of the field, shaken up halfway and making progress over a furlong out, keeping on nicely inside the final furlong to take third close home behind Walkman (beaten 1½ lengths). It was a promising first effort from this colt, finding the six-furlong trip an inadequate test, far from ideally placed but finishing with a flourish. For all he is entitled to improve for both that experience and the extra furlong here, that debut form is nothing more than fair and others make greater appeal here.
The first of the newcomers aside from the selection worthy of a mention is the William Haggas-trained Borehan, a son of Sea The Stars who is a half brother to very useful multiple 5f winner (including at Listed level) Shamshon and useful French 5.5-7.5f winner Shajjy, out of a Listed-placed 7f-1m winner who was a half sister to seven winners, most notably the very useful 11.5-12f winner (including at Listed level) Ithoughtitwasover. This colt fetched 270,000gns as a yearling and makes a fair amount of appeal on pedigree, bred along similar lines to good sprint handicapper Shamshon and out of a useful performer at this sort of trip who was herself related to several decent handicappers. It is highly likely he will prove both a later-maturing type and a stronger stayer than his useful siblings given his sire, as evidenced by the fact his sole big-race entry is in the 1m Royal Lodge Stakes; starts out in a winnable enough race and boasts excellent paper credentials, so not too hard to see him playing a part here.
Roger Varian’s Jaleel is a son of Iffraaj who is the first foal of a maiden half sister to Group 3-placed French 9-10f winner (including at Listed level) Rainbow Dancing, Listed-placed 8-14f winner Handsome Man and useful 6f 2yo winner Zaffaan out of a high-class 7f-1m winner (including at Group 2/Listed level) who was a half sister to French 6/6.5f Group 3 winner Pole Position out of a 5f 2yo winning half sister to Jupiter Island and Pushy. This colt sold for 80,000gns as a yearling and makes some appeal on pedigree, his dam a maiden but herself a half sister to a couple of useful performers and coming from a very good Bloomsbury Stud family that goes right back to 1980 Queen Mary Stakes winner Pushy (herself dam of the smart trio Bluebook, First and Myself). He really ought to make an impact in his first season over this sort of trip, if anything it being something of a surprise he wasn’t quick enough to start out over six furlongs; still, it’ll be interesting to see how this son of Iffraaj goes in the market beforehand.
The Clive Cox-trained House Of Kings is a son of Camelot who is the first foal of an unraced three-parts sister to very smart 6f-1m winner (including the French 1000 Guineas) Elusive Wave and half sister to Listed-placed Irish 7f 2yo winner Million Waves, useful Irish 7f-1m winner Million Spirits and four other winners including the dam of 6f 2yo Listed winner City Image. This colt fetched 42,000gns as a foal but went unsold for €35,000 as a yearling, making a fair amount of appeal on pedigree, his dam unraced but herself closely related to high-class juvenile performer/French 1000 Guineas winner Elusive Wave and a half sister to a handful of winners including some useful two-year-old performers. He should prove capable of making an impact over this sort of distance and his stable gets its fair share of winning newcomers, though doesn’t do well with such types at this track (0-54 in the past decade).
6.30 Newmarket (July) – WALDSTERN (nap)
This two-year-old novice event has been won by some real top notchers – past winners including Let The Lion Roar, Motivator, Centennial, Almiqdaad (Cityscape second), Frankel (Nathaniel second), Ventura Storm and Roaring Lion – and this year’s renewal sees a clutch of promising once/twice-raced types take on some interesting newcomers.
The selection is a son of Sea The Stars who is a half brother to very smart French 8-12f winner (including twice at Group 1 level)/French Derby runner-up Waldgeist and French 12f 3yo Group 2 winner Waldlied, out of a French 10.5f 3yo Group 3 winner who was a half sister to high-class 8-14.5f winner (including the St Leger) Masked Marvel and German 1m 3yo Listed winner Waldnah out of a Group 2/Listed-placed 7f 2yo debut winning half sister to German Derby winner Waldpark and German 10.5f 3yo Listed winner Waldvogel. This colt is trained by John Gosden and cannot fail to catch the eye on pedigree, bred to excel with time and distance but high-class half brother Waldgeist able to get the job done first time out at two as was his smart dam and her St Leger winning half brother Masked Marvel. The fact he starts out in this particular race is perhaps noteworthy, his stable landing this 12 months ago with Roaring Lion (also won it in 2006 and 2007) whilst it has also introduced the likes of Nathaniel, Glencadam Glory and Crossed Baton in the race; concedes experience to a few of his rivals here, but this son of Sea The Stars lacks for absolutely nothing on paper and no surprise to see him off the mark at the first time of asking.
The Ed Dunlop-trained Venedegar is a well-bred son of Dubawi who shaped with some promise on debut in a 7f novice contest at Sandown last month (20/1 chance), slowly away and racing at the rear of the field, shaken up inside the three furlong marker and making progress two furlongs out, unable to go with the leaders inside the final furlong and coming home in fifth behind King Of Comedy (beaten 7¼ lengths). He duly showed improvement in a maiden over the same course and distance three weeks later (6/1 chance), close up and pushed along over two furlongs out, taking a while to find full flow but staying on well to take a share second place on the line behind Beatboxer (beaten 2 lengths). The winner and fourth have franked the form in recent days and this colt shaped as though ready for an eighth furlong on that occasion, in keeping with his pedigree; ought to be on the premises.
The Ralph Beckett-trained Fox Fearless is a son of Camelot who made his debut outing in a 7f novice event here 20 days ago (20/1 chance), in rear and pushed along from an early stage, ridden and making progress over two furlongs out, staying on strongly throughout the final furlong to take third close home behind Dubai Dominion (beaten 1¾ lengths). It was a most encouraging first effort from this colt, coming from a hopeless position to snatch a place in the dying strides having been off the bridle from an early stage, responding well for pressure and particularly strong inside the final 100 yards or so. The extra furlong on offer here is sure to suit on that evidence, whilst the experience gained on debut ought to put a competitive edge on him; very much a leading contender.
Richard Hannon’s Chatham House is a son of Dark Angel who debuted in a six-runner 6f novice event at Newbury 27 days ago (9/1 chance), tracking the leaders and racing enthusiastically, ridden and outpaced two furlongs out, rallying approaching the final furlong and keeping on nicely to come home in third behind Indian Sounds (beaten 2¼ lengths). This colt seemed to lack for speed rather than know-how on debut, caught flat footed when the tempo lifted initially but finishing off to good effect, closing in on a pair with previous experience. He steps up a couple of furlongs in trip now and is entitled to improve plenty, so no surprise to see him in the thick of things here.
The Hugo Palmer-trained Wojood is a son of Dansili who made his debut in a 7f novice event at Newbury last month (16/1 chance), waited with in midfield and pushed along over two furlongs out, making progress when briefly short of room approaching the final furlong, keeping on well once in the clear to finish sixth of 18 behind Momkin (beaten 9¼ lengths). This colt is entitled to improve for that initial outing, messed around when looking to make progress but finishing off to good effect once getting a clear shot of things. The manner in which he shaped that day coupled with his pedigree (out of a relation to Powerscourt, Riposte and the dam of Frankel) suggests the extra furlong here will suit well; open to improvement, but one or two others make a bit more appeal on this occasion.
There are one or two other newcomers of note aside from the selection, the first of them being the Michael Bell-trained Emirates Empire, a son of Authorized who is the first foal of a 9.5-10f winner who was a three-parts sister to 7f 2yo Listed winner Be Ready and a half sister to useful 8-10.5f winner Contango and two other winners out of an unraced half sister to multiple US 7f/1m Grade 1 winner Ventura. This colt makes some appeal on pedigree, his dam nothing out of the ordinary but herself a close relation to smart two-year-old Be Ready and hailing from a decent Juddmonte Farms family. His handler’s youngsters tend to improve for a run more often than not, but he did introduce his 2005 Derby winner Motivator in this very race and has seen fit to give this colt a Royal Lodge entry.
Luca Cumani’s Avenue Foch is a son of Champs Elysees who is the first foal of a once-raced 11f 3yo winner who was a full sister to Group 2-placed 10-12f winner (including at Group 3 level) Koora and a half sister to very smart 7-14.5f winner (including the St Leger)/Breeders’ Cup Turf runner-up Milan, Group 3-placed 7f 2yo debut winner Go For Gold, Listed-placed 10-14f winner Kahara (later dam of German 2000 Guineas winner Karpino) and four other winners. This colt hails from an excellent family that has served these connections well over the years, but he is very much bred to excel with time and distance, also coming from a stable that plays the long game with its youngsters.