Race Time: 1.40pm Meeting: Newmarket Distance: 7f
Full Race Name: Betway Fillies’ Nursery Handicap Class Two
The first race on an intriguing afternoon of Channel Four action sees the two year old fillies line up ahead of this seven furlong handicap with eighteen declared at the four day stage and ten of them a winner last time out which suggests we are in for something seriously competitive, and even the final line up of seven is not much easier to solve. Godolphin’s Charlie Appleby trained Blossomtime (5/1) looks set to carry top weight of nine stone seven here with Adam Kirby booked to ride, and she has earned her rating of 91 after wins at Newmarket and Doncaster, though her first attempt at a nursery saw her beaten close to five lengths in to seventh place back at Newmarket, though to be fair she was slowly away that day and hampered when running on which stopped her being a bit closer to the winner at the very least. Sadly, she does seem quite exposed for a two year old and we would be surprised if there isn’t an improver who is well in at the weights in comparison, such as the Ed Dunlop trained Sharaakah (8/1), a daughter of Roderic O’Connor who won at the second attempt when beating Puzzled Look over course and distance, pushed out and with any amount up her sleeve. She is just the sort of filly her trainer does well with, improving her race on race without her having had a hard time of things to date, and if she keeps on pulling out just about enough to win and nothing more, she remains extremely difficult for the official handicapper to get a true handle on and may be well in at the weights today and for a little while yet as well.
With the stable back in decent form with their two year olds once again, we can expect a big run from the Hannon horses, but with three early entries we voted for Bahaarah (6/1) as the one we really hope showed up and it looks like they listened as here she is. A daughter of Iffraaj, she needed the run at Newmarket over six furlongs when slowly away and looking a little one paced but took her Doncaster maiden next time out even though she still looked to us as if the experience would do her some good. Extremely likely to improve again, she gets nine pounds from the top weight which could well be enough in the context of this race, and she seems likely to be there or thereabouts as they flash past the line. With Yorkshire based trainer Mark Johnston pretty much untouchable in the two year old division this season it would be folly to ignore his challengers, which will hopefully be led by In Ken’s Memory (5/1) who has won her only race to date at Nottingham despite looking as green as grass. A home bred son of Sakhee, he took a while to get the hang of what was expected over the six furlongs that day but with another furlong to travel today and that experience locked away for future reference, she could be very well weighted off a rating of seventy-two and is near or at the top of our short list for race day. Lastly, David Evans may not be the first name most of us would come up with if mentioning top quality juveniles but he has an interesting one in his care with £13,000 purchase Rayaa (14/1), a daughter of Virtual who was an unfancied 16/1 shot on her debut at Wetherby but cheered up the bookmakers with a head success from Invermere. It seems safe to assume she had been showing precious little at home from her starting price (20.5 Betfair SP with an in running high of 1000!), in which case she is likely to improve out of all recognition, making her one of the more interesting entries with John Egan booked nice and early to ride.