Noon Star takes centre stage at Wetherby

Noon Star emerged as a potential Oaks contender after making an impressive start to her campaign at Wetherby.

Sir Michael Stoute’s filly is a daughter of Galileo out of the top-class racemare Midday, who won six Group Ones in the colours of the late owner-breeder Khalid Abdullah, but was narrowly denied in the Oaks at Epsom by Sariska in 2009.

Having made a promising start to her career when third at Salisbury in September, Noon Star opened her account with a clear-cut win at Nottingham the following month and was a 4-5 favourite for her reappearance in the racingtv.com Fillies’ Novice Stakes.

Ridden by Richard Kingscote, the three-year-old displayed a willing attitude to pull two and a half lengths clear of Loving Dream, with Franklet a further six lengths away in third.

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Paddy Power cut Noon Star to 12-1 from 20-1 for the Cazoo Oaks on June 4.

Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager for Abdullah’s Juddmonte operation, said: “I think it was pleasing the way she did it. She jumped well, settled in a good position and the first and second drew clear, which is encouraging for the future.

“We’ll discuss with the (Abdullah) family what they want to do, but there will be options like that (Oaks).”

Ametist (second right) in action at Wetherby
Ametist (second right) in action at Wetherby (Tim Goode/PA)

Ametist looks a similarly exciting prospect for William Haggas and Cheveley Park Stud judged on a facile success in the Watch Racing TV In Stunning HD Novice Stakes.

Making his first competitive appearance since scoring at Chepstow last summer, the Dutch Art gelding was a prohibitively priced 4-9 favourite in the hands of Tom Marquand.

Those who took the cramped odds will have had few concerns, however, with Ametist readily stretching four and a quarter lengths clear of second-favourite Miquelon.

“It wasn’t a great race, but he did it well,” said Haggas.

“This is his third run over seven furlongs, but I think he’ll get a mile in time.

“He looks to have plenty of speed. He just lacks experience that’s all.

“We’ll see what sort of mark he gets and plan his campaign accordingly.”

Cosmos Raj (15-8) was another winning favourite, landing the Royal Pigeon Racing Association Handicap for David O’Meara and Danny Tudhope.

The Keith Dalgleish-trained Chookie Dunedin (8-1) was a half-length winner of the Every Race Live On Racing TV Handicap, with Callum Rodriguez the winning rider.

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