WHILE Noble Style was recording the marquee juvenile performance on the Knavesmire, Meditate was reaffirming the view she needs to be included in the conversation surrounding the season’s premier juveniles with victory at the Curragh.
Following in the hoofprints of Magical, Rhododendron and Ballydoyle in winning the 2 Alpha Centauri Debutante Stakes, Meditate clocked her fastest furlong-per-furlong rating by some margin as she improved markedly for encountering a seventh furlong for the first time.
Her blistering final three-furlong sectional of 34.2secs, achieved despite faltering close home when distracted by a course photographer, stamped her as a class act and not only was that figure the quickest on a competitive card, but she was quicker than minimum trip sprint winner Harry’s Hill (34.4) while also hammering six-furlong maiden winner Secret Magican (35.4) by approximately six lengths with her closing split.
Unsurprisingly, Meditate boasts a wealth of entries this autumn and the manner of this display moves her closer on the clock to the talented juvenile colts such as stablemates Little Big Bear and Blackbeard, the Appleby-trained duo Noble Style and Naval Power as well as fellow Godolphin incumbent Silver Knott who announced himself on the big stage in the Solario Stakes at Sandown last Saturday.
A promising debut in a Newbury novice won by subsequent Acomb winner Chaldean could barely have worked out any better and a subsequent Kempton win from the front taught connections plenty about their Lope De Vega colt who hung badly that day before completing his mission.
Change of gear
There was no sign of those tendencies at Sandown as Silver Knott relished getting a lead into his Group 3 assignment and put the race to bed with a ready change of gear under substitute rider Pat Dobbs, an 11th hour replacement for the sidelined James Doyle.
The overall speed figure was a marked improvement on Silver Knott’s previous two efforts and endorsed his trainer’s view that he is ‘to the fore in our team and we’ve a line on what we’ve got’.
His closing split of 37secs was on a par with Atalanta Stakes winner and 102-rated Potapova (37.1) and races like the Royal Lodge Stakes were mentioned as possible end of season targets for a horse which has flown under the radar a little to date.
Speaking of promising juveniles, there also looks plenty more to come from the Moore-ridden Aesop’s Fables now that he is over the setback that kept him off the track since his Navan debut win.
His winning time was virtually identical to that of Meditate as he gave Aidan O’Brien an incredible eighth success from the last 10 renewals of the Futurity and the third leg of a Curragh four-timer for the jockey/trainer combination.
While the closing sectional was around five lengths slower that Meditate, the opening fractions were brisker and the disputed early lead gave Aesop’s Fables a nice tow into the Group 2 event where his stamina came to the fore inside the final furlong.
A well-balanced colt with a hint of knee action, the son of No Nay Never looks a likely candidate to contest some of the premier end of season juvenile events and he looks a classy prospect going forward.
Charterhouse – Killarney, Thursday, 18th August: – track statistics now stand at 311 following this stylish win in a speed figure on a par with his career best
Frantastic – Newbury, Friday, 19th August: Produced an excellent overall figure and impressive sectional to land a strong three-year-old handicap which should produce future winners
Soulcombe – York, Saturday, 20th August: Made a mockery of his mark to turn a competitive handicap into a rout in a faster time than the Ebor