One To Watch at the Leger meeting


1.40 CAZOO Flying Scotsman Stakes (Listed)


The Flying Scotsman looks a wide open event this year with some really intriguing juveniles appearing, with the likes of Eldrickjones and Mr McCann arriving with some very good form to their names, and some really exciting types looking to prove they’re the real deal but I think I like one at a bit more of a price, Owen Burrows’ ALFLAILA. The son of Dark Angel opened his account on debut when scoring by ½ a length, getting on top late from the Richard Hannon-trained filly, System, who subsequently broek her maiden in Listed company just under a fortnight later.

Next time up, Alflaila had to carry a penalty in Novice company at Yarmouth and finished a rather disappointing 4th, however, he was blocked in the run on the day and the form couldn’t have worked out much better, with Maglev and Manaccan both hitting RPRs in the 90s, and Home City finishing first past the post in two starts since.

Again, giving weight away in another Novice event, Alfaila chased home Majestic Glory on the Newmarket July course at the end of July. The Shadwell colt tracked the winner throughout and was caught out by her impressive turn of foot about a furlong from home. Despite carrying 11 pounds more than the filly, Alflaila really ate up the ground to finish within a length and a quarter of her, for all she’d hit the line with plenty in hand. She followed up in Group 3 company at the same track next time out, making Alflaila’s run in defeat looking much better than the bare form may have suggested.

And most recently, arguably his best performance, the Shadwell colt ran a belter when upped to 7 furlongs for the first time in an ultra-competitive Nursery at York, won by yesterday’s smart Weatherby’s £200,000 2-Y-O Stakes winner, Harrow. This lad was drawn in the car park though and was forced to race widest of all of the 16-strong field throughout, not helped by the fact he ducked out to his right on leaving the stalls. By contrast, Harrow and the re-opposing Maglev were drawn in stalls 1 and 4 respectively, and enjoyed much easier trips, much closer to the rail with plenty of cover. The pair sprinted clear in the straight and only Alflaila was able to eat into the deficit, finishing like a train to get up and dead heat with the tying-up Maglev for a share of second. Alflaila was giving the winner 3lb on the day and with a better trip, who knows how much closer he could have gone.

With four starts to his name already, you could argue he has less potential than the likes of Hoo Ya Mal, Ribh and Razzle Dazzle but having only had the one start over this trip, he could be a much better proposition with that last run under his belt and they still need to confirm their early promise. Crowley also seems to have opted for Ribh over this fella but Dane O’Neill has racked up three winners from his last five rides, he’s already ridden Alflaila twice before and has had plenty of success in these colours with supposed second strings in the past, so for me there is little to fret.

11/1 offers plenty of each-way value and I’d be disappointed if he couldn’t get involved. Here’s to hoping he can give some people a run for their money!

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