Race Time: 2.00pm Meeting: Newbury Distance: 1m
Full Race Name: Al Basti Equiworld EBF Breeding Winners Fillies’ Handicap Class Two
Lady’s first for this one-mile (eight furlong) contest and a really intriguing early line up that has reduced in number since the early declarations, but thankfully not in quality. Roger Varian has decided to send Rekdhat (9/2) here as opposed to her other options and she will now have to carry top weight of exactly ten stone if she wants to win. All the best form today seems to tie up to Lightning Spear who went on to finish second in a Group Two to Arod last weekend, and this daughter of Shamardal was third to Olly Stevens’ colt two races ago which is pretty decent form. Sadly, she wasn’t so impressive when last seen at Pontefract when well beaten in a Listed race, over six lengths behind Nakuti. The yard are in better form of late which we suppose increases her chances, yet we would like to see a little more evidence of her at her best before opening our wallets to get involved.
From the top to the bottom and there is a great chance the in form Andrew Balding yard will allow Farletti (16/1) to step up in class after her easy victory in a Class Five Classified Stakes at Chepstow. Something has changed with the daughter of Royal Applause who was winning at the sixth attempt though we get the feeling it was anything but unexpected. Her first five races saw her sent off at odds of 33/1, 50/1, 9/4, 12/1, and 25/1 yet here she was sent off the 9/4 favourite before winning by close to three lengths, so we suspect either the penny has dropped or they have changed her training routine to great effect. Either way, she has been put up a further eight pounds for that win but gets in at the very bottom and may well surprise a few of these and improve again.
If we are looking for a real dark horse then surely the William Haggas trained Sealife (9/4) is one to consider – after all one race and one win makes her so difficult to judge even if it was only a maiden. A daughter of Sea The Stars out of a Diktat mare, the stable’s horses are rarely if ever at their peak first time out but she went to Windsor and was sent off second favourite at odds of 7/4 before wining comfortable without ever being hard ridden. What the form is worth is open to debate to be honest, but she must be held in high regard to be thrown straight in to a quality race like this and with the stable as shrewd as they get we guess they think she is a fair bit better than her official rating of 83 and win or lose, we shall be watching her progress with great interest for future reference as we feel she may be better over further in the long term.
As we all know to our cost, working out the Godolphin horses rarely seems to work out well as they invariably win when it looks like they should, and lose when they seem ahead of the game. Forest Maiden (6/1) certainly looks like she fits the bill having won at Thirsk when quickening up nicely before the extra six pounds seemed to slow her down when third to Angel Vision at Newmarket. She raced a bit keenly for her own good that day but may well be fitted with a different bit to stop her pulling this afternoon, in which case we can expect a better performance with William Buick in the saddle this afternoon for the first time on the three year old. To round things off, we are big fans of trainer David Simcock and although Cartier (6/10 may be a little pretentiously named, the daughter of Montjeu will appreciate the recent rain that may yet change the going. Perhaps surprisingly her only win to date was over a mile at Kempton with an abject failure when tried over further at York I (may have needed the run to be fair), but ran much better dropped back to this trip when only beaten a length in to third at Newmarket after being overtaken and looking a bit one paced inside the final furlong. That may well all be down to the good to firm going that day but a bit of cut could make all the difference and we can certainly see her making it in to a place this afternoon.