It has been an excellent couple of days for the Top 40 Prospects in Ahead On The Flat. Following on from Al Aasy's impressive victory in the Group 3 Bahrain Trophy at Newmarket on Wednesday, Orbaan (25/1) produced a tremendous performance to win the concluding one mile handicap at York later the same afternoon. Bought out of Andre Fabre's yard last Autumn, the five year old looked in need of the outing when well held on his UK debut at Newmarket last time. However, David O'Meara's charge made a big step forward overcoming the widest draw into the bargain. Harry Bentley was forced to sit and suffer early on but the gelded son of Invincible Spirit was always travelling strongly. Asked for his effort inside the final couple of furlongs, he ran on strongly to win by a length off a mark of 100. On this evidence, he looks well bought at 55,000gns and it would be no surprise to see him returning to Pattern company at some stage this year.
Nazeef (9/2) has been one of the real success stories of the Top 40 and John Gosden made it three wins from as many starts during 2020. The four year old won the Listed Snowdrop Stakes at Kempton on her reappearance before producing a gutsy display to lead close home in the Group 2 Duke of Cambridge Stakes at Royal Ascot. The daughter of Invincible Spirit tackled Group 1 company for the first time in the Falmouth Stakes on the second day of the Newmarket meeting on Friday. Jim Crowley's mount was forced to dig deep once again as she got the better of former 1000 Guineas winner Billesdon Brook and Queen Anne Stakes runner-up Terebellum in a driving finish. Nazeef is a very tough filly who has thrived this year winning six of her seven career starts. Races such as the Matron Stakes at Leopardstown (September) and Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket (October) appeal as end of season targets, although it will be interesting to see if she takes on the colts at some stage.
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