An EBF Novice Stakes (Class 5) (2yo).
Twelve two-year-olds take part: Nine with race experience and three debutantes.
A number of leading trainers. Let's take a look at the major protagonists.
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Richard Hughes hasn't achieved the dizzy heights of some rookie trainers but a capable handler. It's interesting to see Jamie Spencer takes the ride on Glendevon. This chestnut son of Scat Daddy could have been an expensive foal when not sold for $220,000. This fact was compounded when he wasn't sold at the yearling sales for just $80,000. Whatever the cost, this horse was relatively fancied on debut in the hands of Spencer priced 10/1. He had no chance of beating the odds-on favourite but it was a great first effort. I wouldn't be in any rush to bet at short odds as this could be a stiff task with a few dark horses.
Keith Dalgleish has been waiting a long time for Cheeseandpickle to make her second start after a stylish win back in April. This daughter of Helmet must have suffered an injury to be off course for over 180 days. She has to shoulder a winner's penalty which makes life difficult. She will need to be primed to win today but deserves respect.
A class trainer, Sir Michael Stoute. Moqarrar races in the second colours of owner Hamdan Al Maktoum. It never pays to be too dogmatic about which is better. In fact, I think the second string is often better. This son of Exchange Rate cost 120,000G at the yearling sales. To be fair, he ran an encouraging debut at Newmarket when third behind the talented Betty F. I would keep note of the betting here. If starting 13/2 & less SP it would bring more confidence.
Exprompt has raced three times and gradually getting his act together. Probably needs to do a little more and a wide draw isn't good news on this turning course. Not without hope.
Dagain made his debut at Newmarket when starting 50/1. This Irish-bred son of Dawn Approach finished seventh. Connections, John Connolly & Odile Griffith, have owned a number of decent horses in their time and this gelding cost 200,000G at the yearling sales, which speaks well. Would make more interest if backed.
A couple of fancied debutantes worthy of respect.
Saeed bin Suroor has had a forgettable reason which has basically arisen to a lack of juveniles compared with Charlie Appleby. I think this matter will be resolved next season. This lack of numbers has impacted on the general level within the two-year-old ranks. Laieth has been noted as a juvenile of interest. This son of Dubawi cost 550,000G at the yearling sales. Suroor has a good strike rate at this course. If strong in the betting it would give greater hope. If very weak, I would be more prudent with your bets.
Roger Varian fields Kawasir who adorns the first colours for Hamdan Al Maktoum. A $400,000 foal. This chestnut colt is a son of Speightstown. One to note if strongly fancied in the betting.
Conclusion: A tricky race. Glendevon is a short price. I wouldn't knock the horse's chance but Hughes doesn't seem to have much luck at winning and even money seems rather short for my liking. Moqarrar has a wide draw but experience. The betting is key. If priced 13/2 & less SP it would bring more confidence. Cheeseandpickle needs to beat a few fair opponents and shoulder a winning penalty, absence and being a filly it would be a very smart return. Laieth and Kawasire are worthy of respect but need to be fit and primed. Turning courses are not the best starting place for debutantes but still could go well. Dagain wasn't beaten a million miles on debut and costly purchase. He is likely to show much more today. I would let the betting settle before jumping in with both feet if you fancy a bet. On balance, a watching brief.