February 11 2019

GORGEOUS NOORA has emerged as another potential Good Friday star for Saxon Gate after building on her victory at Lingfield Park in January with a creditable second in Listed company at the Surrey track.

Winner of a 6f handicap on her second start for Archie on 18th January, she took her form to a new level in chasing home hot favourite Kachy, who lowered the track record in the six-furlong Cleves Stakes on Saturday 2nd February.

She was 9lb wrong with last season’s 112-rated Sprint Final runner-up, but secured valuable black type and will now bid to go one better in the Listed Hever Stakes over five furlongs at Lingfield at the end of February.

Gorgeous Noora, a five-year-old daughter of Raven’s Pass from the family of Group 2 winning sprinter Muthmir, only joined Archie at the turn of the year following the retirement of Luca Cumani and has now booked her place at part-owner David Redvers’ Tweenhills Stud for an appointment with star Australian stallion Zoustar.

Meanwhile, Saxon Gate’s productive link-up with Blandford Bloodstock was given yet another boost by the impressive performance of promising three-year-old Harvey Dent (pictured above) at Lingfield Park in late January – the stable’s seventh winner of the month.

His three and a half-length victory for Hollie Doyle in a 10-furlong novice stakes made it five winning breeze-up purchases out of five for Archie and the Blandford team. Harvey Dent, a son of Mayson, cost just 27,000 gns at Tattersalls last May.

Another third-time-out scorer was Probability at Lingfield Park on 19th January. Well backed, she made all under Eddy Greatrex in a six-furlong maiden and wasn’t disgraced on her handicap debut at Kempton a couple of weeks later, finishing third.

Sprinter Choice Encounter also enjoyed a productive January, with back-to-back six-furlong handicap wins around Kempton Park for amateur Brodie Hampson and then Hollie Doyle. A 16,000 gns buy from Michael Bell, the four-year-old is already looking a real bargain!

Another shrewdly bought Saxon Gate newcomer is the ex-Godolphin four-year-old Ulster, who won at the first time of asking in a mile and a half novice stakes at Kempton on 15th January for owners Jonny Allison and Stephen Barrow.

Snapped up for 25,000 gns at the Horses in Training Sales at Goffs in October, he had run only once for previous trainer Saeed Bin Suroor, finishing a respectable fourth over a shorter trip at Chelmsford. He’s a half-brother to Aidan O’Brien’s 2013 Jersey Stakes winner Gale Force Ten.

Kingi Compton had posted some promising performances around that track towards the end of last year but finally got off the mark in a Kempton handicap on 18th January, scoring over the minimum trip. Smartly away, he made all the running for Eddy Greatrex and his patient owners, the Wood Family.

Despite not winning this winter, stable stalwart Chevallier continues to run with credit and was beaten less than two lengths in a warm mile handicap at his favoured Lingfield late last month. He was bidding for a hat-trick of wins in that particular race but was resuming off a 5lb higher mark than last year.

Last season’s 3YO Champion Corinthia Knight is yet to get off the mark this year but may join Gorgeous Noora in that five-furlong Listed feature at Lingfield at the end of February. He endured a luckless run in the Cleves Stakes but has already proven his potency over the minimum distance.

By Simon Mapletoft