Exciting colts Al Aakif and Repartee headline Rose Bowl contenders

Unbeaten pair set the standard in Newbury feature

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William Haggas’ Al Aakif aims to maintain the perfect start to his career in the Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Rose Bowl Stakes at Newbury on Friday.

Impressive in winning his first two races at Nottingham and York, the Acclamation colt now steps into Listed company.

Haggas could not have his string in better form and having had 33 winners in June, he has enjoyed 17 already this month.

“He was a bit better at York. His first run was OK, but he didn’t beat much,” said Haggas. “The opposition was a bit better at York and he did better.

He’s still not the finished article, so it will be interesting. It should tell us where we are, whether we’re going up to nicer races or whether we are just a horse.

“He’s a nice, genuine, uncomplicated horse who may want a a bit further in time, but I think he’ should be OK at this trip (six furlongs) for now.

“It will be interesting, as it’s competitive with no real superstar from what I can see.”

Like Al Aakif, a potential top-notcher could be Kevin Ryan’s Repartee, who won his debut on Dante day at York by five lengths.

Ryan resisted the urge to take the son of Invincible Spirit to Ascot, with his eye always on this race, but the form of his York win has yet to receive a boost.

Ryan said: “He was impressive at York and we’ve given him plenty of time.

“This was always the plan to come here afterwards.

“He’s in good form and we’re all looking forward to seeing him run again.”

James Tate’s Dream Shot finished second to John Quinn’s smart filly Liberty Beach at Sandown last time out and now steps up a furlong in trip.

“It looks like the Queen Mary form is holding up really well, that filly (Liberty Beach) was fourth and won and the winner (Raffle Prize) won again at Newmarket,” said Tate.

“He is improving and it looked like he was staying on and wanted another furlong (at Sandown), so we’ll find that out.

“I do find it difficult in the two-year-old black-type races at this time of year knowing what you are taking on. Obviously Mr Haggas’ and Mr Ryan’s horses are unknown, we don’t know if they will go on to be champions or handicappers.

“You can’t be confident in a race like this, but we’re hopeful of a good show and that he’ll improve for the six.”

Richard Hughes runs Old News, winner of his only start, with Misty Grey, Lord Of The Lodge and Shadn completing the field.

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