Nakheel should get room

One-time Classic contender Nakheel can finally come good on the Rowley Mile in the Listed Pall Mall Stakes at Newmarket today.

One-time Classic contender Nakheel can finally come good on the Rowley Mile in the Listed Pall Mall Stakes at Newmarket today.

Unbeaten as a two-year-old, connections were talking about Nakheel as a possible 2000 Guineas candidate, but injury put paid to those plans and a trip to Newmarket was firmly on the back-burner.

Mark Johnston's promising colt was not seen at the track again until September this year where he finished fifth behind some useful performers in a Group Three event at York. With that run under his belt, better things were expected over a mile at Goodwood last time.

And he did not disappoint when finishing only half a length behind Group Two winner Imperial Stride.

The bare result does not tell the whole story, however, as the son of Sadler's Wells found his way blocked when about to make his move and did remarkably well to finish as close as he did considering he was forced five horses wide in the closing stages.

Open to lots of improvement and likely to appreciate the step up in distance, a return to winning ways is expected.

La Presse can bounce back to her best in the Highclere EBF Fillies' Stakes. Barry Hills' filly has improved with every run so far, winning her maiden at York in August before finishing a highly-credible third behind Group Three winner Princess Iris at Ayr.

But it was her latest effort that really took the eye as she helped set the pace in the Group One Cheveley Park Stakes over this course and distance - only to tire inside the final furlong and finish fourth behind Indian Ink.

The Gone West filly is facing a much easier task here and, if she retains her progressive profile, looks capable of taking care of this field with the minimum of fuss.

The Canisbay Apprentice Stakes over a mile closes the card and capable apprentice Ashley Hamblett takes over the reins on Pleasing.

John Dunlop's filly scored on her seasonal reappearance over a mile at Leicester where she defeated one of her rivals in this - Wooly Bully - by a short head in receipt of 5lb and is much better off at the weights here.

She can get back to winning ways on what looks a suitable track.

A new club is required for the Journal's Clubman's Nap competition covering the 2006-07 National Hunt season, which begins on Saturday, November 11. Please contact Phil Penny on (0191) 2016314 for further details.

Today's saraband selections

newmarket: 1.00 Princess Valerina, 1.30 Miss Lucifer, 2.05 La Presse, 2.40 Heart Of Svetlana, 3.15 Nakheel (nap), 3.50 Ebn Reem, 4.25 Particle, 5.00 Pleasing.

UTTOXETER: 1.40 Faucon Bleu, 2.15 Pass It On, 2.50 Herecomestanley, 3.25 Chickapeakray, 4.00 Young Lorcan, 4.35 Milton Star, 5.10 Cromwell Court.

WETHERBY: 1.20 Lawyer des Ormeaux, 1.50 Double Ells, 2.25 Altay, 3.00 Turbo, 3.35 Show Me The River, 4.10 Irish Raptor, 4.45 Forest Green.

Double: Nakheel and La Presse.

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