Friday 26 August 2011

1:20 Newmarket (26th August)

A Maiden Fillies' Stakes over 7f on good to firm ground.

An open race. A handful of form horse and many debutantes, some well bred.

Candycakes was made favourite for her debut over course and distance. This good-looking daughter of Cape Cross has plenty of size and scope to progress with racing. Trying to assess the form of that inital start is difficult, the 6th has since shown an element of ability. However, time may tell it was a hot race.  What caught my attention was the way Michael Bell's two-year-old was ridden by Spencer. He hardly moved a muscle, clearly instructed to give her an enjoyable introduction, and in doing so gave the impression this bay filly is held in some regard. I can imagine a few punters being miffed by the ease she was handled when holding every chance of winning, with a sign there was better to come.

An outsider with potential for better is Semayyel. Clive Brittain's season has been horrendous, although one or two juveniles have proven ability along the way. This daughter of Green Desert went to Newmarket last time for the Sweet Solera Stakes (Group 3) but she refused to go into the stalls. Brittain - often over optimistic when entering his juveniles - has given his youngster, owned by Saeed Manana, many flashy Group entries and commented that he holds this filly in high regard. She was quite well backed on debut at Windsor and although her finishing position doesn't look anything to crow about it wasn't a bad debut for the fact she was very slow from the stalls, to a point where she couldn't get competitive. A fair-looking juvenile, at speculative odds she may be something of a dark horse. If backed it would be a sign of confidence.

Of the others, Balady would be a positive if backed to 13/2 & less. John Dunlop's filly showed little on debut but the stable know their horses and if a much shorter price than you would expect, then worthy of note.

Conclusion: A tricky race. I get the feeling Candycakes will run a big race today. It spoke well that Bell's filly was made favourite on debut. An attractive juvenile. The way Spencer was at pains to give her an easy introduction was a pointer that connections hold this youngster in some regard. A fair each way prospect. Clive Brittain has not had the best of seasons but he knows a decent horse when he sees one. If his comments are to be believed Semayyel has a touch of class. She will be much wiser for her initial start, which wasn't as bad as it looked. A hit and hope to some extent,  but at speculative odds it wouldn't be the biggest surprise to see this daughter of Green Desert go well.

HCE: ''Clive Brittain had raved about this Semayyel (most recently in Racing Ahead Magazine) and this would have been a special win for the stable who have not been in the best of form this season. It was great to see Russell Price victorious in the saddle, who regularly rides Semayyel on the gallops. Balady showed improved form to battle up the hill, while the well supported Hazel Lavery finished third.''