Newbury's red-hot novice form on trial at Group level as trio clash again

bet365 Superlative Stakes (Group 2) 2yo | 7f | ITV/RUK

Latching on to a race that is working out well can be a profitable exercise, and those following last month's 6½f Newbury novice won by Martyn Meade's Confiding have had plenty to cheer about.

Six subsequent winners have already come out of that 16-runner contest and three of them reoppose here: Forseti, Neverland Rock and Daafr.

Andrew Balding's Forseti fared best of the trio at Newbury, finishing fourth before scoring next time at Salisbury to earn a jump in class. 

Balding said: "It's a big step up on what he's done so far, but we can either go for the Superlative or a ten grand novice race somewhere where you don’t know what you’re going to run into." 

Neverland Rock was a place behind Forseti at Newbury and built on that to strike over this course and distance last month.

Trainer Richard Hannon, quoted in his Unibet blog, said: "He’s a horse we have an awful lot of time for and we really fancied him to get off the mark over course and distance last month after a very promising debut at Newbury.

"This is obviously a big step up, but he displays plenty of ability at home and I’d be very hopeful of a bold show."

Neverland Rock is owned by Phoenix Thoroughbreds, who have already claimed one of the premier juvenile races at the three-day festival with Advertise in the Group 2 July Stakes.

Daafr was seventh behind Confiding at Newbury and got off the mark over six furlongs at Newcastle. However, trainer John Gosden thinks the step up to seven should suit and said: "He ran in a novice that is working out well on his debut at Newbury and then progressed from that to win nicely on the all-weather last time. He's going the right way and should be suited by the extra furlong."

Another runner in the line-up expected to be suited by a step up in trip is Charlie Appleby's Quorto, who won at this track over six furlongs on debut.

Appleby said: "We feel that the step up to seven furlongs is going to be to his liking as he is by Dubawi and stoutly bred on his dam’s side.

"He is one of few of our two-year-old colts able to win over six furlongs at this stage of the season – a lot of our colts are more likely to be seen over seven furlongs or a mile later in the year. 

"Hopefully, it’s the sign that he is a nice horse and we are looking forward to seeing how he copes with the step up to Group level." 

Aidan O'Brien claimed the race last year with Gustav Klimt and this time relies on Tipperary maiden winner Cape Of Good Hope.

O'Brien said: "He's been slow to learn but he's been coming forward all the time and we've been very happy with him since his win at Tipperary. We think he has improved since and that he will improve again from this race."