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Can’t help but fancy this ‘Girl’
Qafilah, mount of former “computer champion” Richard Kingscote, is strongly-fancied for a fascinating thirteen-runner Fillies’ Novice Stakes over six furlongs of Newcastle tapeta tonight; any one of several newcomers from fashionable yards could be special and three other once-raced rivals are likely to improve considerably.
This eight-race programme has to be focus of attention; the surface is magnificent, there is no draw bias whatsoever and three turf-flat meetings, Chepstow, Redcar and Yarmouth will be staged on soft-ish ground.
Leadings trainers have voted with declarations, even though Gosforth Park represents a considerable journey and expense; that isn’t a concern for Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum but Charles Hills will, nevertheless, be on tenterhooks somewhat hoping Qafilah is an above average Arcano filly.
Barry Hills was encouraged by the debut of Qafilah three weeks ago when third (of 9!) to six lengths winner, Gavota, over seven furlongs of good ground Lingfield.
Nowadays so many trainers seem loathe to win first-up because options are limited with penalties and other obvious reasons; plenty of ground work is necessary before ‘parading on the catwalk!’
Twice-raced Peace Trail is an interesting rival, penalised 7lbs for an immediate success but then beaten ten lengths at Goodwood; on this all-the-way climb weight certainly takes effect.
Earlier Karl Burke-trained Broken Force should go close in a Novice Stakes over the straight mile judged on a useful time-handicap mark achieved at York last month.
Burke must think highly of this Broken Vow colt to introduce him in the highly-prestigious “Convivial” won by Dream Today, virtue of a tremendous time-figure.
Despite my preference for all-weather racing I’m aware the back-end is about competing on easy surfaces and Goodnight Girl is a TH special in a Fillies’ Stakes over seven furlongs of the undulating Welsh venue, napped to make it third time lucky.
Chepstow, 10.40 Goodnight Girl (nap)
Newcastle, 4.10 Broken Vow (e.w)
4.40 Qafilah (e.w).