Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Horse Racing: A Flying Start for the Plate Meeting; Ghaidaa out to Fulfil Promise

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Horse Racing: A Flying Start for the Plate Meeting; Ghaidaa out to Fulfil Promise

Article excerpt

THE three-day Pitmen's Derby meeting gets off to a cracking start today with a good-quality card to get stuck in to.

Highlighting the first day is the European Breeders' Fund/National Express Hoppings Stakes for fillies and mares. It has attracted an interesting field of 11, with both consistent older horses and some unexposed younger ones lining up.

There is no doubt the most unexposed horse in the field is the most interesting horse on show all day, Michael Jarvis' Ghaidaa. She may have only been to the racetrack twice but on both occasions she has shown immense promise.

On her debut at Salisbury, despite looking as if she would improve greatly for the run, she ran a cracker to finish a half-length second to Geoff Wragg's Arthur's Girl. It looked a promising enough run at the time but as the winner has since gone on to run a storming race in the Group Two Ribblesdale at Royal Ascot, it looks even better now.

It was nearly a month before she was out again at Newbury in a fillies' maiden and she had no trouble in opening her account, beating a nice sort from the Godolphin yard in the process.

She is related to Oaks winners Midway Lady and Eswarah so in time she may need further than the 10 furlongs she encounters again here.

Jarvis had gone on record as saying he did not think she had the class of her two relatives but after her stylish victory last time, the trainer was reportedly reconsidering his early assessment as she appeared to have improved greatly.

There had been some talk of a crack at the Irish Oaks and while it seemed fanciful at the time, a victory here may reignite that plan.

She is unlikely to have it all her own way though. Whenever Sir Michael Stoute sends a runner this far north from his Newmarket base, it should always be given close consideration. The master trainer has a 50% strike-rate with his runners at Gosforth Park over the last five years and he sends Jamboretta on the long journey this time.

First time out this year she was a ready winner of a Sandown handicap but failed to build on that showing when she was turned over at odds-on next time. …

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