This could be a nice little maiden with Wotton Creek coming in here after finishing second to subsequent Group 3 winner Saffron Beach last time at Newmarket and Missile being a 725,000 Guineas Dubawi filly out of the Group 1 winner Ribbons. The one I like though is NOON STAR for Michael Stoute. She is regally bred also, being by Galileo out of the top class Midday and she is a full sister to Midterm.
She was third on debut at Salisbury last month, where she found the seven furlongs on the sharp side but she did run on nicely, suggesting she would benefit from both the experience and a step up in trip. The form of that race looks solid also, with the winner Lady Hayes following up on her next start under a penalty and the second Light Refrain winning her next start before being beaten by a neck at Listed level just last weekend. I expect Noon Star to take a big step forward here and that should be enough to get off the mark.
The booking of jockey’s title-chasing William Buick for KRYPTOS catches the eye here on the back of him being drawn out of things in the Cambridgeshire last time. Those drawn low had no chance in that race but Kryptos ran well, finishing midfield but second in his group on the far side and makes some appeal here, running off a 2lb-lower mark in a lesser grade.
The one small question mark is the 10-furlong trip, as it appears to be the very limit of his stamina but his likely price means it is worth taking the chance that his stamina holds out.
ASK A HONEY BEE managed to win three bumpers last season which is difficult to achieve and while he found the Champion Bumper at Cheltenham a step too far, he might be able to regain the winning thread here now starting off over hurdles.
He managed to carry a double penalty to victory at Wetherby last season, so the track clearly suits and he was a point winner, so the step up in trip could actually see him improve again. Fergal O’Brien continues to be among the winners and Ask A Honey Bee might well make up into a useful novice hurdler this season.
QUEL DESTIN was beaten at 4/5f in this race last season but he had some strong hurdles form last season, winning at Cheltenham and the Contenders Hurdle at Sandown, as well as finishing second in the National Spirit Hurdle at Fontwell.
As a result, his hurdles rating has now risen to 155 and he returns to the flat here off a mark of just 68. Now that is 2lb higher than his mark in the race last year but he has had a wind op over the summer and Paul Nicholls is banging in the winners at the moment. He is operating at a nearly 50 per cent strike rate for the last two weeks, which is sensational. Even allowing for his opposition here having a fitness edge over him, Quel Destin is just too well treated to ignore.
SKY PIRATE is yet to really deliver on the promise he has displayed on a number of occasions but surely he can get his head in front his season and this might be a good opportunity for him to do so. He was travelling very well when falling four out in this race last year off this very mark of 132 and he finished second on both his subsequent starts last season, failing to convince with his finishing effort on both occasions.
He has had a wind op over the summer and that could be very significant. If it helps his finishing effort, he should go very close now.
HELLO ME is by Mehmas, who has had a really promising first season as a sire, producing speedy winners who have won at Listed and Group level like Supremacy, Minzaal, Method and Acklam Express. Hello Me might not reach that level but she was quite impressive in getting off the mark at the first attempt when strong in the market at Wolverhampton.
She won by over four lengths and the time didn’t compare too badly to the maiden won by the 82-rated Isle Of May. She has to concede a penalty here but this might not be the strongest of novice events and she may well be able to keep her unbeaten record intact.
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