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Two-year-old filly Mackenzie Rose was having her second start for Mark Johnston in this maiden at Ayr and, while she left her debut form well behind, she still doesn’t look the finished article. She was beaten around two and a half lengths into fourth behind favourite Bin Hayyan, chasing the leaders before hanging left when pushed along two furlongs out and then proving one paced.
Things went much more smoothly for Mackenzie Rose than they had on her first start at Brighton last month when she beat only one home, starting slowly and then being unable to recover when hampered over a furlong out.
She’s certainly got the pedigree to do better as she’s by Dark Angel out of a useful mare who won three times as a two-year-old herself and is related to plenty of winners, notably full brother Sovereign Debt who had very smart form at up to a mile. Mackenzie Rose’s latest start should have brought her on again and she looks open to further improvement.
A pair of last-time-out winners fought out the finish to the six-furlong fillies' handicap at Naas, but Mrs Bouquet might have given them something to think about had the gaps opened at the right time.
Mrs Bouquet chased the leaders and was angled out looking for a run over a couple of furlongs out. However, the eventual winner, Affable, was travelling better and managed to keep the door shut. That proved crucial as Affable was delivered with a smooth, unimpeded run, while Mrs Bouquet had to wait and only got in the clear inside the final half-furlong. It was too late by that point but she stayed on strongly, finishing with running left, and she looks capable of defying this mark.
Mrs Bouquet is a consistent filly and has now hit the frame on four of her five starts this season, while she was by no means disgraced on the other occasion when sixth in a competitive big-field affair at the Curragh.
Moshaawer readily defied a penalty to make it two out of two in novice events this season for Roger Varian and looked a lot better than that grade in winning this with plenty in hand. Travelling strongly in touch, he cruised to the front over a furlong out and then kept on well to win by a length and a quarter from Valley Forge.
After a promising third at Newbury on his only two-year-old start when finishing a place behind subsequent Derby runner-up Mojo Star, Moshaawer had to work a lot harder than for his latest success when getting off the mark at Kempton on his return last month, still looking green but showing a good attitude.
By Frankel out Hadaatha who was a smart winner at up to a mile and a quarter for the same connections, Moshaawer will go on improving and his entry in the Great Voltigeur Stakes at York next month is an indication of how highly he’s regarded.
Two-year-old colt Maglev got off the mark at the second attempt in this novice and looks the type to continue to improve for William Haggas. He’d been favourite to make a winning debut in a similar contest at Leicester over five furlongs a month ago but was held back by his inexperience on that occasion, finishing fourth after a slow start. Up a furlong in trip, he was still green here but left his debut form well behind and did well in the circumstances, coming from behind in a race where the pace was on the steady side.
After being shaken up over a furlong out, Maglev stayed on strongly and got up in the dying strides to beat the Godolphin colt Home City by a short head, clearly suited by the extra furlong. Maglev had been bought for £210,000 at the breeze-ups and makes plenty of appeal on pedigree as he’s by 2000 Guineas winner Galileo Gold and is a half-brother to smart sprinter Acklam Express who enjoyed a good two-year-old season himself last year. With more to come, Maglev looks one to note.
At first glance an odds-on defeat in a three-runner race might be deemed an ignominious start to a chasing career, but plenty of encouragement can be taken from Tomorrow Mystery's effort at Worcester and it shouldn't be long before she is off the mark over fences.
The opening novice chase at Worcester on Wednesday was a muddling contest which was run at a steady pace and resulted in a dash up the straight. That meant a premium was placed on accurate jumping in the closing stages, so a couple of minor errors from Tomorrow Mystery handed the initiative to Pisgah Pike, who took advantage and scooted two and a quarter lengths clear. Tomorrow Mystery jumped well in the main, however, and it has to go do down as a promising introduction from a mare who had looked a useful prospect when bolting up in a handicap hurdle at Newbury last season. Her record since that success has been rather patchy but she is still relatively lightly raced, is in excellent hands with Paul Nicholls and connections will have plenty of options, with handicaps or mares-only company to consider.
Three-year-old filly Mikasa was having her third start in this maiden at Brighton and, ridden more patiently than in her first couple of outings, was seemingly handled with her future in handicaps in mind. Held up, she made some headway over a furlong out and then kept on gradually for sixth place in the 11-runner field, eight and a half lengths behind the Godolphin-owned winner Chief of Staff.
Mikasa had also shown a modest level of form on her first two starts at Salisbury and Yarmouth, both those outings also over seven furlongs. She’s speedily bred however, and if she’s anything like the rest of her family, which trainer Rae Guest has handled for generations, sprinting will be her game once she goes handicapping. In fact, her dam Minalisa was a smart filly for the same connections, winning five races, including a listed event in Ireland, and finishing second in the Ayr Gold Cup. The grandam and great grandam (a half-sister to July Cup winner Owington) were also winning sprinters for the same yard and owner and it would be no surprise if Mikasa keeps up the family tradition in due course with improvement to come in handicaps.
Knight Destroyer made his chasing debut for Jonjo O’Neill from a BHA mark of 116 at the beginning of last season but has been tumbling down the weights ever since without taking advantage. That was until today when he stopped his slide, making his current mark of 92 look very much on the lenient side. Knight Destroyer’s first win over fences was clearly not unexpected, either, as he was the subject of strong support and started second favourite to the only recent winner in the field, Kapsize, who ended up running a flat race in fourth.
Jumping well in a share of the lead under Jonjo O’Neill junior, Knight Destroyer drew clear from three out to win easily by 11 lengths from Infinite Sun. He’ll be hard to beat in this sort of form if turned out under a penalty given that it’s only 18 months ago that he was winning off a much higher mark over hurdles when successful at Taunton.
June 21-27 - Clive Cox's juvenile Codify has more to offer in future
June 14-20 - Naval Crown is a horse to take forward from Royal Ascot
June 7-13 - Night Hunter caught the eye at Leicester
May 31-June 6 - To Be Wild was among the latest horses to take the eye
May 24-30 - Eyecatchers from Timeform including Bernardo O'Reilly
May 17-23 - Check out the week's eyecatchers from Timeform including Bezzas Lad
May 10-16 - Including a two-year-old to note from the Sunday meeting at Ripon