3:40 Bath (28th April) - Result

An EBF Median Auction over 5f 11y on firm ground.

If past fortunes are to be heeded there is only one horse to note in this race - Verbeeck. Ed McMahon has a 63% (5/8) strike rate at Bath in the last five years and the majority of these runners have been owned by John Fretwell. This trainer/owner partnership have always been a force to be reckoned with and last year was no exception with the likes of Temple Meads & Electric Waves. Their better juveniles usually appear early in the season and Verbeeck a son of Dutch Art -  £34,000 yearling - will have his share of supporters. At restrictive odds it may be best to tread careful simply because debutantes often make up their own rules of racing. However, there is much to point to a big run from this youngster.

*Miss Astragal hails from Richard Hannon's stable and one of a couple of entrants/rides for Hannon & Hughes at the course. The betting will give the best indicator to this ones chances and if priced 11/4 & less is likely to run a big race. It is often difficult to assess the Hannon youngsters because they are the focus of the media and punters alike, which means they can often be under priced. I would prefer to watch and learn more about this filly today. (*NR)

Roger Charlton has a good record at Bath. At present, Excavator is quite fancied in the betting. In general, Charlton's juveniles improve for racing. Surprisingly, he has only had 13 or so juveniles which have started at odds of 13/2 & less when making their debut in at least five years. Those attained a fair win and place rate. However, such a small number of fancied juveniles on debut strongly suggests his two-year-olds are more likely to need the run. If priced 13/2 & less this gelding may have claims. However, a weakness in the betting would not bring about confidence. He has a much better win and place rate with juveniles on their second start and such infrequent debutant winners tempers enthusiasm.

David Evans has training early season two-year-olds down to a fine art and he is an intelligent  trainer. Choisirez was second string on debut - a stakes race at Nottingham. His first string - Choice Of Remark - failed to win by a narrow margin. It is a sign of encouragement that this filly ran at such a level; it often indicates a juvenile with winning potential. This is quite an attractive filly. After being outpaced, she ran on quite well suggesting there was more to come. Although Evans doesn't have the best win rate at the course, his fancied juveniles have respectable win and place statistics on their second start. The form of that debut is ordinary but I can see this daughter of Choisir making the most of her experience and improving a good deal.

HCE: ''Disappointing to see Miss Astragal a non runner. Difficult to assess the merit of this race although it could be decent. John Hills' B Fifty Two was very well supported and travelled well before being pushed out by Seb Sanders. Hills can be rather hit and miss with his fancied runners but this was a performance full of promise. Excavator showed good speed and may benefit from the run. Charlton does well with his juveniles on their second start and will be primed next time. Verbeeck was send off favourite but was weak in the betting just before the start. He is a good-looking colt  but wasn't helped by a tardy start. In the latter stages he wandered in behind the eventual winner which cost him any chance of getting competitive. I certainly wouldn't give up on this youngster and can see him improving a good deal. McMahon knows his horses and this juvenile will be winning soon.''

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