Frankel colt among those to look out for on Rowley Mile
The Flat is back with a vengeance and, although the Craven itself rightly holds centre stage as one of the most insightful Classic trials on Thursday, pedigree pointers are plentiful on day one.
Subsequent Coral-Eclipse winner Mukhadram first appeared on this card in 2012 when he won the Wood Ditton Stakes and Lockinge winner Virtual also won his maiden here in 2008.
Sir Michael Stoute’s string have been remarkably forward this year, as Convey proved when winning the Easter Classic, and therefore it may be wise to keep an eye on this New Approach colt.
Buldan was bought for 375,000gns and is out of Group 2 winner Meeznah, who finished second in Snow Fairy’s Oaks before she was disqualified. The mare is a half-sister to capable dual-purpose performer Mirsaale and winning Kingmambo colt Shahin.
Meeznah has also produced Malagasi, an unraced four-year-old gelding by Street Cry, who is with Charlie Appleby. Her Dubawi yearling sold for 200,000gns at the Tattersalls October Sale.
Six years on from Frankel’s demolition job on the Rowley Mile and his name is still on everyone’s lips after a flawless start to career at stud.
Elyaasaat represents him here, who makes his debut with the application of a tongue tie. The colt’s dam, Lahudood, was a dual Grade 1 winner in America and has also produced two-time winner Munasara and Listed scorer Aghareed.
Trainer William Haggas has had an exceptional start to the season with three winners in the last four days and Jim Crowley’s presence in the saddle may also prove significant, as he could have sided with Buldan or Dawaaleeb.
Mark Of Approval
Godolphin have won this race three times since 2011 and although they also saddle Night Circus, Mark Of Approval looks to be their number one chance.
The Lemon Drop Kid colt, who was bought for $400,000 at Keeneland’s September sale in 2015, is a half-brother to one time 2,000 Guineas fancy Faydhan.
His dam Agreeable Miss never raced, but her half-sister Sweet And Flawless was a winner over a mile and placed in Graded stakes company in America. He will be James Doyle’s first ride back in Britain after a stint in Australia.
Never Back Down
Hugo Palmer won this race with Gifted Master back in 2015 and his entrant this year Never Back Down cost £100,000 at the Goffs Doncaster sale last year.
The colt has been the recipient of some glowing reports and has been giving out all of the right signals in his work on the Al Bahathri.
His dam was a winner over both six and seven furlongs and is a half-sister to Listed winner Consort. His sire Kodiac’s record with two-year-olds simply speaks for itself.
Charlie Hills’s Afaak may be the only unraced horse in the 7f maiden but what he lacks in experience, he may well make up for in pedigree.
The three-year-old son of Oasis Dream is out of 1,000 Guineas and Coronation Stakes winner Ghanaati, who has already produced two winners in Alnashama and Almuhalab and is herself a half-sister to Group 3 winner Mawatheeq.
Barry Hills won this race with Snaafy (2007), Infiraad (2009) and Commended (2011), and Charlie will be hoping he can carry on tradition by bagging the first prize.