To make your debut in Listed company is a bold statement in itself and it is not something that Kevin takes lightly. With an eye catching fourth, Galadriel went into many people’s notebooks. The first win took a little longer than expected but a combination of tough tasks and variety of trips just didn’t allow Galadriel to get off the mark. Dropping back to 5f she showed all her class when taking the EBF Fillies’ Novice Stakes.
This season has been the first that Kevin has trained for Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum and it has produced some good 2yo winners so far. Galadriel was one of the home bred juveniles that was sent and immediately she took the eye on the gallops. Impressing and coming to hand early on, Kevin was keen to get her on the track early and when he did so the entry told people quite a bit about the filly. York is one track where Kevin likes to introduce his nicer juveniles, so when he did so with Galadriel that spoke volumes but to do so in the Listed Marygate Stakes just emphasised that. After showing so much inexperience early and being detached at the rear of the field, Galadriel stormed home in the final furlong to finish an impressive fourth, catching the eye of everyone who saw the race.
It was clear that Galadriel was above average so Kevin decided to let her take her chance in the Albany at Royal Ascot. Unfortunately tough conditions and a bad draw meant she could never land a blow but she had shown up for a long way. Stepping up in trip next time out didn’t prove to be suitable for her either, with the extra furlong just being too far. Despite not being able to gain the first win it was clear that Galadriel was a winner waiting to happen and a drop in trip would surely enable that.
Kevin had a few options open to him and now Galadriel had gained a handicap mark there were a number of races in the calendar. Beverley was the chosen track with the 5f trip there looking ideal for the filly. The novice event attracted 10 declarations and it was a tricky race to weigh up. Galadriel brought the best form to the table and looked the one to beat. The best form against her was quite hard to figure out with one rival being off the track for 122 days and another only having run in a match race. Their debut runs had worked out well and the Richard Fahey newcomer had to be respected but it was Galadriel who would be sent off favourite.
Tom Eaves had yet to enjoy a winner in the famous yellow silks but had come close on a few occasions. Unfortunately the draw had not been kind to Galadriel but Tom was set to be positive, feeling he was on the best horse and also needing to overcome the wide berth. Galadriel proved that she had not lost any of her speed, despite stepping up in trip the last couple of runs, and was smartly sway. The angle of the stalls does throw the wider horse away from the rail but as they converged together it was clear to see Galadriel was towards the fore. Prisma, who had the plum draw, was the only rival that could keep Galadriel from the lead and set a strong pace as they completed the first furlong and began to head to the right handed turn.
There was a fair distance from first to last as the strong gallop was proving too much for some. Galadriel sat just over a length in second spot and travelled smoothly through the first half of the race. Turning right handed Tom allowed his filly to stretch out and she cruised in the slipstream of the leader. Beverley has the stiff finish in the final furlong so the strong gallop meant that it would be a test. The main market rivals to Galadriel were struggling to get into the contest through the first half of the race and would need to make up a lot of ground to do any damage.
Galadriel was hard on the bridle moving into the final couple of furlongs and it was her that she took the lead as the pace setter capitulated. Second favourite Band Practise was making a lone furrow towards the centre of the track but would soon be joined as the field fanned out to make their challenges. Having grabbed the lead Tom just squeezed Galadriel on to make the most of it. The filly quickened up and moved over towards the rail as her rivals were working hard to close the gap. It was the newcomer Say It Simple who was the biggest threat but Galadriel had moved into a couple of lengths lead.
Tom was now driving along, hands and heels, as they headed into the final furlong and began the uphill run. Holding a comfortable lead there was a gap to the rest and Galadriel still looked full of running. Tom was yet to get serious and unless there was a big challenge then he wouldn’t need to. Her rivals were beginning to stay on up the hill but nowhere near quick enough as Galadriel was doing the same. Tom afforded himself a little check over the shoulder and realised the race was more or less sewn up. Just a quick back hander and Galadriel ensured the race was over as she stuck to her task in front and ran out a ready winner, taking the race by 1 1/2 lengths.
After a couple of tough races and then a trip that didn’t suit it is great to see Galadriel off the mark. She had the best form in the race and won with a bit in hand. Having travelled well, showing good speed, she then stayed on well up the hill. The way she won the race was the hard way, being out in front on her own for two furlongs. Stepping back into pattern company will again happen and this performance shows that she could be quite flexible regarding 5f and 6f. Galadriel is the first home bred winner trained by Kevin for Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum so that is the icing on top of the cake.