5.10 Newcastle – MOUNT ARARAT (nb)
The selection is a son of Sea The Stars who is a half brother to French 8.5-10f winner Fumata Bianca out of an unraced sister to useful Irish 6.5f 2yo winner Chroussa and half sister to smart UK/HK 6f-1m winner (including at Group 2 level) Carrizo Creek and 6-7f winner Violet Ballerina out of an Irish 2m winning daughter of a full sister to very smart sprinting duo Balidar and Balliol. This colt is trained by Karl Burke and fetched 120,000gns as a yearling, making a fair amount of appeal on pedigree as the second foal a half sister to a 6f 2yo Group 2 winner from a good family that contains some talented sprinters, and it is perhaps notable he starts out at this venue given his sire’s impressive strike-rate at the track (13-27 since it switched to a Tapeta surface). It may not be as strong as a race as it looks upon first inspection either, with the undeniably-promising Photographer’s debut form yet to be tested, Galactic Spirit’s form looking nothing special and El Ghazwani, although shaping promisingly, debuting in the weaker/slower run of two divisions of a novice race at the Craven meeting. Also kept in the Derby at the latest forfeit stage, it wouldn’t at all surprise to see this son of Sea The Stars very much in the thick of things first time out.
8.40 Newcastle – DAFFY JANE (nap)
The selection, trained by Nigel Tinkler, is a daughter of Excelebration who showed some promise in novice events last summer, and she duly took a step forward for the move into nursery company at Ripon (5f) in September, caught widest of all but finishing well to take third behind Life For Rent (beaten half a length). She came good at the sixth time of asking in a similar contest at Musselburgh 12 days later (9/2 favourite), soon prominent and taking over at halfway, ridden over a furlong out and fending off all comers to score by 1¼ lengths from Savannah’s Show. The runner-up and third that day went on to dominate in a similar event back there next time, while the fourth placed Lord Of The Glen struck on three occasions through the winter (admittedly improved for a visor/Tapeta), and this filly was one of the few prominent racers that day to see things out. A revised mark of 68 should see her remain competitive for a while yet, and she reappears at a time when her stable are amongst the winners; absolutely no surprise to see this close relation to the yard’s smart speedster Thesme make a successful return to action.