Debut winners are always something that get connections pulses racing. It means that the dreams are still big and alive, the scoresheet reads 100% and all importantly the first career win is already on the board. When Nearest Green made his belated debut he did so with aplomb, cosily winning a 5f Newcastle Novice race by 2 lengths. That win was followed by high class runs and now he has added to that on just his fourth start, making all to take the 5f D&P Palletways Delivery Confined Novice Stakes at Beverley.
Having produced a decisive win at the first time of asking, Nearest Green immediately stated he was a 3yo to keep an eye on. He cruised through the race before sprinting clear to win by a comfortable 2 lengths. That win came back in January which meant that Kevin was a little restricted with what to do following his win. Knowing he had a nice prospect on his hands he decided that wanted to give him a test straight away, therefore stuck to the AW and stepped Green into conditions level. It was a fine performance to finish third to future AW champion Corinthia Knight (Won) and Commonwealth Cup 4th Stone Of Destiny (2nd).
Waiting for the turf seemed the best option and a gelding procedure meant that Green wouldn’t be seen again until May. Trying 6f for the first time he travelled down to Yarmouth for another novice race. Travelling powerfully throughout he couldn’t match the eventual winner towards the end of the race and was robbed of 2nd place on the line. Although he had gone down the winner looked smart and just a month later the form looked very good. Emblazoned went on to finish 3rd in the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot. It was another string to his bow and it seemed that next time out Nearest Green would take all the beating.
Kevin waited for a little bit before sending the 3yo out again and when the race at Beverley came along it looked the obvious race. When the declarations came out the small field of 5 runners looked to be quite strong considering the field size. Nearest Green had an official mark of 87 and the best form but he would be taking on a couple of previous winners as well as a southern raider making their debut. He was rightfully seen as the favourite but Green would need to bring his “A” game if he were to return to winning ways.
Kevin Stott was booked for the ride and his gameplay was simple, keep it simple!! Having shown good speed last time out, Nearest Green once again bounced out quickly and took the early lead. With a couple slowly away it allowed Kevin to immediately cross over to the rail and set a strong gallop. He was closely pursued by the other previous winners and Queens Gift was keeping him honest sat on the leader’s tail. Downhill they soon blasted through the first furlong and started to swing right handed.
The race completely split up before halfway as the speed Nearest Green was showing was proving too much for some of his rivals. Queens Gift was managing to keep tabs on the leader and it started to look like it may just become a match up between the pair. Kevin was holding no prisoners and just allowed his mount to power on. The finish would prove a stiff test as the ground raised up but at the moment there was no stopping Green.
Moving past the 2f marker and now the race really did set up as a match between the leading pair. Nearest Green was still on the bridle and going great guns but he had not shrugged off the attentions of Queens Gift. The latter now started to come under pressure to try and close the gap but she was responding, shifting through the gears. It was still a length lead and Kevin was looking to quicken off the front.
Now just a match race Nearest Green passed the final furlong marker still with a length advantage. It was here that Kevin kicked for home and Green now quickened up. he opened up a little bigger margin and set sail for home. Unfortunately for him the race was far from over and his nearest pursuer was still finding for pressure. Kevin had to keep his mount up to his work but he was well up to the task. Nearest Green continued to battle in front and continued to find. The gap did close marginally but there was never any real danger. Up the hill he ran out a good 3/4 length winner, with the pair pulling well clear of the rest.
It was a race that looked to revolve around Nearest Green on the form book and he duly obliged to all of his backers. The pace was very strong throughout and he showed that not only could he travel at that speed but he also found when asked to quicken off it. His form was very classy with two horses placed in the Group 1 Commonwealth Cup. It was great for all the partners of Nearest Green who have been a little unfortunate to bump into a few art prospects. He is still on the upgrade and depending on what the handicapper does he has a bright future ahead of him.