Horses To Follow » Vita Nova

Vita Nova

The thrice-raced pair Ferdoos and Vita Nova, the two most unexposed fillies in the Listed Pinnacle Stakes at Haydock on Saturday, fought out the finish, pulling well clear of the rest, including some very good middle distance fillies and mares, and both look much better than Listed standard. Vita Nova did have the run of the race out in front and she was able to set what seemed only a moderate pace, but the final time was the fastest comparative time of the day, much the fastest of the four races on the round course. Ferdoos is patently a very good filly, but the performance of Vita Nova may have gone slightly under the radar.

Henry Cecil’s three-year-old is a tall and lengthy filly, and she was probably unlucky to come up against a filly of Ferdoos’s calibre. Being by Galileo out of a Darshaan mare, and having already proved she stayed 12 furlongs well last season, she may have been better suited to setting a slightly stronger pace. She galloped on well, and it took the winner a long time to get on top, only doing so close home. The pair were four and a half lengths ahead of Meeznah, a 111-rated filly who finished second in the Oaks last year before later being disqualified for a banned substance, with a further break to the 115-rated Crystal Capella, who was admittedly carrying a 7lb Group 2 penalty, but who was well backed.

Vita Nova showed a likeable attitude, as indeed she has in all her runs to date. A comfortable winner of a 10-furlong Newmarket handicap on her reappearance off a mark of 87, and raised to 108 following this run, she is clearly highly progressive and could be capable of much better than this. Given her pedigree and her racing style, she would probably benefit from stepping up in trip, and the Park Hill Stakes at Doncaster, a track that is not dissimilar to Haydock as a left-handed flat galloping track with a long home straight, is an obvious target.

28th May 2011