Nonchalance (6/4) was highlighted as a horse to follow in the Diary having finished fourth on her debut behind potentially smart Tempus at Wolverhampton earlier this month. The daughter of Dubawi confirmed the promise by winning the fillies' novice stakes over a mile at Haydock on Friday. Taking charge inside the final furlong, John Gosden's filly powered away to win by three lengths. She looks a useful sort and looks capable of defying a penalty in a similar event. I thought stablemate Whimbrel shaped with plenty of encouragement in third. A filly by Dark Angel, she too had made her racecourse bow at Wolverhampton (in November) finishing seventh. Partnered by Nicky Mackay, she wasn't unfancied being sent off 5/1 and finished with real purpose. She is out of a twelve furlongs winner and will appreciate an extra couple of furlongs.
Talking of fillies, Ralph Beckett looks to have an ideal candidate for the Sandringham Handicap at Royal Ascot next month in the shape of Desirous (9/4). The Hampshire based handler nominated the one mile event as a likely target in Ahead On The Flat and the daughter of Kingman was an impressive one and a quarter lengths winner on her handicap debut at Goodwood on Friday. Racing off a mark of 82, she quickened up well inside the final furlong to win going away. Expect her to be very competitive at the Royal meeting.
On Thursday evening, Top 40 entry Star of Bengal (Evens) scored on his handicap debut at Chelmsford. John Gosden's four year old was racing off a mark of 101 and he stayed on strongly to beat the racefit Exec Chef who had run well in competitive handicaps, including the Spring Mile, earlier in the season. It was a good performance by the winner who could head to Royal Ascot next month for the Wolferton Stakes over ten furlongs.
I thought Mekong shaped well on his reappearance in the Group 3 Henry II Stakes at Sandown. Sir Michael Stoute's four year old handles quick ground but has shown his best form on a slower surface. It was therefore a fair effort to finish within a length and three quarters of the racefit Sagaro Stakes winner Dee Ex Bee. There could be a big prize in the runner-up later this year, granted a softer terrain.
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