Ratings below for the Kempton 3:30 which is the second division of the
7f fillies' maiden. New trainer David Lanigan runs a filly in each
half with Ay No Now in the first division. She was strongly supported
as favourite in a fillies' conditions race at the course on debut and ran
well enough in second to Godolphin's Moonlife who had already run. Her
strongest opposition seems likely to be Michael Stoute's Ave who
made an above average debut by the trainer standards and his runners (Glass
Harmonium gave a good example at Yarmouth last week) really do come on
for the run. Enough quality in the profiles for the newcomers to make the
paddock review an important input.
The second Division looks stronger in profile and you could make a case
for any of the the top eight or nine winning if they are better than profile
and it ought to be an informative race for the future. It is worth using
Lanigan's filly Lonely Star to revisit the Sandown maiden race that
she ran in on debut (Result).
On the day this looked an above average group of physical types and the
race has been mentioned in the previews before. It has already produced
the (minimum) of 4 later maiden winners that the preview expected and others
have run well in defeat.
The winner at Sandown - Anmar - is Godolphin's only debut winner of the
season and he went on to run in an 8f Listed race at Goodwood. That event
was on soft going and had a slovenly pace which saw the leader - Zafisio
- able to hold off Anmar who did quite well to make ground against the
quickening pace int he straight. The Godolphin representative at Goodwood
said they didn't think the maiden Anmar had won was much good and he presumably
wasn't one of their best. Well, they were wrong about the Sandown race
and interesting to see what they have ofr the 8f races that is so much
better than Anmar.
The runner-up - Souter Point - ran in the 8f Conditions race at Newbury
last Friday but didn't run well in 5th as 9/2 second favourite. The fact
Roger Charlton chose to go for that race rather than a maiden would suggest
he thinks he is above average. The third - Liberation - comfortably won
a modest race at Brighton and Mark Johnston seems to have a typically strong
set of 7f+ 2yos developing (Alcalde was a debut 8f winner on the same card
as Liberation and Quai D'Orsay was his second 8f newcomer to win yesterday.
8f debut winners are usually at least quite good in the long term).
The fourth - Ra Junior - was a good debut by Bryan Meehan's standards and
he was only second in a Sandwon maiden last week. that might look a little
disappointing but the winner of that race (Four Winds) got a good talk-up
from the jockey (Spencer) and presuming he wasn't just being nice to the
owner he probably thinks that horse can go on to higher level and Ra Junior
ran pretty well. The 6th - Alazeyab- was another bulky lad and went on
to win a maiden at Newbury over the weekend wearing Hamdan's second colours
but as the shorter priced runner. He won well and looks a solidly 85+ type.
The runner in the first colours in that race - Tactic (Picture)
- looked a really good type as well and stuck on well late to 4th. The
Sandown 7th - Glass Harmonium - was plain unfit (fat by general standards)
on debut assisted by his barrel build. He snapped to next time to win by
four lengths at Yarmouth last week.
From the 8th placer onwards you are into a mixed group of types some of
whom underperformed on debut. Classic Vintage improved well for the run
and 8f on soft ground to win a Sandwon maiden last week. Charlie Smirke
lacked the quality of the ebst int he field but looked a usable 70s handicapper
in the making and ran a volunteer second at Lingfield last week (behind
Spring To Fame who looked well above the average maiden winner). The podgy
trundlers like Gtaab & Mojeerr have been well beaten since and didn't
reveal they could actually move efficiently like Classic Vintage did STO.
The horse in 8th - Roman Glory - is the one that the paddock reviewer that
day really liked and we haven't seen him since.
Which all means that Lonely Star who looked a lighter filly amongst
that bunch of substantial bruisers ran pretty well in 5th and it would
take something unusually good int he newcomers to beat her today if she
can just improve a little for that initial run. Interesting to see how
big she looks in a field of females when she left the impression of being
a bit lightweight surrounded by by bulky males.
The Mill Reef Stakes at Newbury on Saturday didn't really
advance our knowledge of the 6f form much. The paragraphs above hopefully
convey the interest there is in the 7f+ scene with better horses still
maidens or still to be introduced. The Mill Reef gave us a close finish
between reps of one of the best strands of the British Group form with
Lord Shanakill (placed in the Coventry & Vintage Takes) winning from
Gallagher (placed in the Richmond Stakes) and Sayif (placed July Stakes
& Vintage Stakes). The form beforehand made these colts look of similar
standard and Lord Shanakill had the best form on some ratings and has excuses
for a moderate run over 5f in the Flying Childers. He started at 10/1 with
Gallagher at 11/8 having beaten Lord SHanakill by 2.5 lengths when they
were placed in the Group 1 Prix Morny behind Bushranger. That Irish runner
ran in the Listed race at Royal Ascot and had presumably improved by the
French run but overall left the impression that the Morny form was no stronger
than that already seen in Britain and we had a group of closely matched
colts who (like the current older sprinters) could swap finishing positions
by 2-5 lengths relatively depending upon the ground, draw, wellbeing and
so on. None were really higher class types who could win even when a little
The feeling that the Mill Reef was just more of the same was confirmed
by the result of the 6f Nursery on the card which was won comfortably by
Nasri (who looked well below top condition). He is owned by the
same people who have Sayif and he is the more impressive phyiscal specimen
and you feel could well develop past Sayif who is the neater, readier type.
On the times for the Mill Reef & the Nursery Nasri ran within 10-12lbs
(i.e. rating points) of Lord Shanakill and won 'ears pricked' having raced
lazily early on. Again, jockey Spencer suggested that he liked Nasri and
thought he would have gone close to winning the Mill Reef. The reason for
the Nursery run was that the trainer wanted to make use of the lenient
OR mark (83 and just above the avergae maiden winner range). The fact that
Sayif was already in the Mill Reef and went close to winning probably tipped
the choice. Which, perhaps both?, of the pair will end up in the Group
1 Middle Park over 6f for the males?