Luca Cumani's ABILENE made a winning start for her yard's new owners when scoring easily at Kempton on her debut. She'll have come on for that experience and should have too much for another unexposed filly in Star Lahib. The latter was beaten only a head on her handicap bow at Doncaster in a faster time than Eastern Destiny recorded when landing the second division of the same contest. Both are 5lb higher today while Ssafa has a penalty to carry for winning a lesser event at Wolverhampton last week. Recent Newmarket third, Heading North, should be thereabouts again but the returning Centred will need to improve on last year's form to figure.
Eastern Destiny 11-2 (9-3) Keen led early, tracked leaders, led over 2f out, soon headed, ridden and every chance until led again towards finish, won at Doncaster 1m 2f hcp 0-85 (4) sft in Mar beating Snow Trooper (8-12) by hd, 11 ran.
Star Lahib (IRE) 11-4fav (8-13) Dwelt held up, good headway 3f out, led 2f out, soon edged right and pressed, ridden and ran on, headed final strides, 2nd of 10, hd behind Docs Legacy (8-11) at Doncaster 1m 2f hcp 0-85 (4) sft in Mar.
Abilene 2-1 (8-9) Led 1f, tracked leader, led going well 2f out, pushed clear final furlong, easily, won at Kempton 1m 3f Fillies Maiden Auction Stakes (3-5yo) (6) pol in Apr beating Permeate (8-9) by 5l, 10 ran.
Ssafa 5-2fav (9-7) Tracked leader over 1f, in touch, slightly outpaced over 3f out, rallied over 1f out, edged left and led inside final furlong, held on, won at Wolverhampton 1m 1f hcp 0-70 (5) pol in Apr beating Waveguide (9-4) by shd, 7 ran.
Heading North 12-1 (9-2) Tracked leaders in 3rd, chased winner over 3f out until ridden 1f out, no extra towards finish, 3rd of 7, 2 3/4l behind Soviet Rock (8-13) at Newmarket 1m 2f 3yo hcp 0-95 (3) gf in Apr.
Centred (IRE) 3-1 (9-0) Chased leaders, headway over 1f out, ridden inside final furlong, kept on to take 2nd place towards finish, 2nd of 13, 2 1/2l behind Ribbons (9-0) at Kempton 1m 2yo mdn fll (5) pol in Nov.