Salisbury, Thursday 3rd September
This maiden, one of the most valuable on the calendar, was made up almost entirely of newcomers, and was won by the very promising Lady Hayes (92p), who looked a useful prospect as she stayed on to lead in the last half furlong. She will continue to improve and is sure to win more races going forward.
Light Refrain (89), the only runner in the field with experience, had shown plenty of ability in her two previous outings, finishing seventh at Ascot and fourth at Doncaster. She travelled well, forcing the pace, and went clear halfway round. She had most of her rivals in trouble and looked for a brief period as though she was going to open her account, but Lady Hayes swooped by to snatch the victory late in the day. She is well up to going one better before long, though.
Noon Star (75p) boasts a superb middle-distance pedigree, being a Galileo filly whose dam was a Group 1 winner at up to a mile and a half, and she hails from a stable that won this race last year with a newcomer. Unfortunately for the Sir Michael Stoute team, Noon Star wasn’t quite so clued up as that one on his debut, but he did shape with plenty of encouragement, doing good work late on, taking third in the final 50 yards under a hands-and-heels ride. She is sure to improve, perhaps significantly so, and beside the winner, is arguably the most exciting prospect to emerge from this race.
Sankalpa (72p) is another bred for a bit further, so her debut fourth can be viewed as encouraging, particularly given Eve Johnson Houghton’s yard have just the occasional debutant winner. She should do better in time, perhaps when her stamina is drawn out a little more.
Hasanaat (fifth) and Florence Street (seventh) are also worth a mention. Hasanaat was badly in need of experience despite coming in for plenty of support prior to the off, and given she holds a Rockfel entry, she is clearly thought capable of better. Florence Street paid for giving chase to the runner-up and actually shaped better than the bare result. Both should improve.
A strong performance from Lady Hayes who wins on debut in the British Stallion Studs @BritishEBF Quidhampton Maiden Fillies' Stakes under @Mitchelljack77 for @varianstable 🚀 pic.twitter.com/nXfqZO2yOb— Salisbury Racecourse (@salisburyraces) September 3, 2020
Ascot, Saturday 5th September
Sixteen runners went to post for this handicap, loads of them arriving in good form, and this is a race that should work out. The race split into two groups until just over three furlongs out, but neither was at an advantage, and Documenting (113) proved himself pretty much as good on turf as all-weather as he followed up from last time, making good headway entering the final furlong and keeping on well to lead inside the final 50 yards. He has been unlucky in a couple of listed raced in his time and connections would be entitled to be thinking in that direction again.
Arbalet (100) is proving expensive to follow this season but he ran well in what was a better handicap than some of those he’s been beaten in this season. He was done no favours late on by the third, but was in truth never really any better than his finishing position of second. His task is to now convert some of these efforts into an overdue win.
One of only two three-year-olds in the field, Society Lion (109) arguably went like the best horse at the weights and threw it away a little late on, hanging left in the final furlong and headed with 50 yards to run. He still looks to be well treated and the way he shaped for most of the race is enough to make him of major interest next time.
Fourth home Almufti (98) ran well, proving himself competitively treated, while Revich (106) and Queen’s Sargent (99), who followed him home, both deserve their efforts upgrading a little given they met trouble in running.
Ejtilaab (91), who finished seventh, ran creditably from 2 lb out of the handicap. He may need to find some improvement, or get some help from the handicapper, but easier tasks should be open to him going forward.