Owner Jaber Abdullah has seen his famous blue silks in the winners enclosure all around the world at the biggest meetings with some world class horses. Although he has owned many high class individuals, he has also produced many through his own breeding. Quality racing fillies have been the bedrock of his breeding and it was his dam Queen’s Logic who provided an impressive debut winner. Baby Alya stormed home to make a winning debut in the 7f Follow Attheraces On Twitter EBF Maiden Fillies’ Stakes at Newcastle.
Baby Alya arrived at the yard with pedigree that would make you sit up and take notice. Sire Rio De La Plata was a Group 1 winning 2yo, Queens Logic was an unbeaten Group 1 winning 2yo and their daughter was strapping chestnut filly as she strode in. It was clear early on that she wouldn’t want anything too sharp so Kevin took his time with the filly until the point where she said she was ready.
That point began to creep closer and her homework suggested that she was ready for the track. It is quite a tricky time of year for juveniles making their debuts as the weather can cause havoc. Recent rain has turned a lot of turf tracks soft and a nice introduction is so important which meant that Kevin looked to the artificial surface. Newcastle is a lovely galloping track and this was the starting point for Baby Alya. She would be lining up against 9 rivals and Tom Eaves travelled up for the ride.
The start always dictates how 2yo’s are to be ridden and Baby Alya wasn’t really slow away but did just give a little advantage to the rest. Tom settled the filly towards the rear of the field in order to get her to race the right way round. She got into stride and a nice rhythm but the leader was not waiting around. After the first furlong the pace increased and this immediately stretched the field out. Baby Alya found herself in front of just one rival but wasn’t too far away from the front end. They quickly raced down through the first couple of furlongs and the race settled down into a nice tempo.
Racing towards the far side of the track they moved towards halfway where the round track joins the straight. Baby Alya showed a few signs of greeness as she just tried to find her feet and rolled around a little. Tom didn’t panic and allowed the filly time to gather herself and reorganise her stride. This did mean that she lost a little bit more ground and passing the 3f pole she sat was sat last. The leaders increased the pace and suddenly the contest heated up. Having been allowed time, Baby Alya started to find her feet and moved forward with the rest.
Although Baby Alya was starting to lengthen she hadn’t really improved her position by much and the leading trio had moved clear passing the 2f marker. She was trying hard but not really going forward. Tom wasn’t forcing the issue and was niggling away trying to educate the filly. The leading trio were neck and neck but the favourite First Smile was the one who started to get on top. Galloping down towards the final furlong the favourite gained the advantage and began to pull away. Baby Alya edged in between a couple of rivals and this move sparked something inside of her. Suddenly the penny dropped and Baby Alya quickened up.
Still left with around 4 lengths to make up heading into the final furlong, Baby Alya really picked up. The leader had kicked clear and nothing else had been able to match her so the only danger could be someone finishing off well. Baby Alya was that rival and Tom was getting the filly to stretch, lengthen and continue quickening up. Within a few strides of passing the 1f pole it looked as though Baby Alya might have a chance of catching the leader. It was all hands and heels from Tom but it was working and Baby Alya was eating up the ground. The momentum shifted from the favourite to Baby Alya and she stormed home. Reeling in the leader with around 30 yards to run, the chestnut flew past in a heartbeat. Grabbing the lead, Tom was able to ease down his filly who impressively took the contest by 1 1/4 lengths.
There aren’t many better ways to start your career like coming from last to first and doing so with ease. Tom gave the filly a lovely, educational ride and never had to get serious. Baby Alya quickened up well and saw every inch of the trip out. Overcoming inexperience once the penny dropped she was very impressive. Baby Alya will improve for the run and certainly looks a promising filly going forward.