Tuesday 21 June 2011

6:40 Newbury (21st June)

A restricted maiden auction fillies' stakes race over 6f8y on good ground (good to soft in places).

A number of form horses compete for respectable prize money of £3,886.

Lady Gibraltar, trained by Alan Jarvis, has a leading chance today. After a promising debut over course and distance, she was quite well backed at Haydock on her second start. That looked a decent maiden, beating Dare To Dream who had shown a level of ability. This daughter of Rock Of Gibraltar travelled up with the pace and held every chance before being outpointed in the final furlong. It is worth noting that she was rather awkward in the closing stages, hanging to her left and right under pressure, which could be a slight concern if seeing too much daylight over this expansive course. Being an auction race - and relatively cheap purchase - she is much better off in the weights than a conventional maiden. In fact, with her apprentice taking the ride, she has a considerable weight advantage over many of the opposition. Lady Gibraltar should go well today.

Two others with recent form are Rafaella & My Sharona. The former trained by Harry Dunlop is a stocky filly who showed fair speed at Salisbury when a distant second to Blackdown Fair. In many ways that was a decent introduction although it must be noted that although a sizable field it was a very restricted race which beyond the winner may be no more than a moderate contest. This daughter of Holy Roman Emperor out of a listed-placed mare should progress with that experience although she was ridden as if fit so it may be unwise to anticipate marked improvement. On balance, I would prefer others.

My Sharona was slow away and ran on with some purpose. However, I would be surprised if Kirk's juvenile reversed the form with Rafaella.

Brian Meehan's juveniles should always be respected on their second start and Mention may be capable of better. This daughter of Acclamation is an attractive filly with plenty of size and scope for improvement. The Lingfield race she competed on debut was a strong race and she had slim to no chance of challenging such experienced, talented opposition. After being hampered, she wasn't ask any serious questions and  Kelly gave her a considerate introduction. Although beaten a number of lengths she showed promise and improvement can be expected. In what what may turn out to be a weak race, Mention could be of interest and if backed to 7/1 & less would have sound each way claims. Certainly one for the short list.

Love Grows Wild may have been down the field on debut but more can be expected today. A grey filly by Cozzene costing 18,000gns, she is a fair-looking sort and clearly needed the run. In fact Michael Bell said she needed the race quite badly. There were a number of pointers that day which suggest this filly has ability. There was substantial money for her throughout the day of her debut but drifted quite markedly late on, which may have been due to the fact that the word got out she was in need of the race. It was noted on RUK that Turner commented she was a nice horse but looked fat. So it was no surprise to see her show good speed and then fade in the final two furlongs. When a horse shows little on its first run you always have to take a leap of faith in hoping an improved performance is forthcoming. However, I can imagine this two-year-old will be primed for a big run today and most likely backed. An interesting horse at speculative odds.

Conclusion: Lady Gibraltar sets the standard and receiving weight from many of her opponents has a leading chance. Mention is an attractive filly and should improve for that debut effort and would make some appeal if backed to 7/1 & less. Love Grows Wild needs to improve considerably but she isn't without a hope at speculative odds.

HCE: ''Lady Gibraltar continued her errant ways running away from the whip and in the process losing her chance. Mention was quite well backed and made the most of this opportunity with a professional run. Lady Jameela showed promise in third.''