6:15 Haydock (18th June) - Result

A maiden over 5f on good to firm ground.

A selection of colts and fillies, debutantes and raced.

Split Second is presently favourite. Mick Channon's filly is quite an attractive bay who has shown promise on both starts. It is a surprise to see this daughter of Moss Vale persisting with this 5f trip because she is almost certain to be outpaced. If betting, you would be wise to back in running as I would be amazed if she wasn't a much bigger price than her offering of 5/2 at the moment. The form of her second start at Lingfield doesn't inspire with the winner the only horse to look competitive and the rest always fighting for minor honours. She may run on in the closing stages. However, this filly is the sort to make everything look hard work and even in a limited heat others make more appeal.

Bryan Smart's two-year-old have been out of form but there are signs things are starting to fall into place. Excelette was fancied on debut at Ripon but always on the back foot and beaten by a few lengths by a capable juvenile in Chevanah. The first three are fair juveniles, so it wasn't the worst defeat against experienced opposition. Smart commented on this daughter of Exceed And Excel and noted she would improve a good deal for that initial performance. There is little doubt she needs to progress to win. With over a month off course, Smart will have her primed for a big run today. The stable have a very good win and place rate with their fancied runners on their second start and it is encouraging to see the two-year-olds showing form of late. A fair bet.

Barry Hills has a superb 39% strike rate with his two-year-olds at this course over the last five years. West Leake Damin cost  £20,000 at the sales and a full brother to Squires Gates who was a fair juvenile, winning for the stable last year. Hills youngsters have been in good form and even though he doesn't feature the best win rate with his debutantes the course statistics alone indicate this colt should be respected. If pricd 13/2 & less has fair place claims.

One of the most interesting horses in this race is Ed McMahon's The Rising. This bay colt cost 50,000gns and the dam was the talented Jewel In The Sand who won the Cherry Hinton (Group 2) in her two-year-old campaign, trained by Richard Hannon. McMahon has a good strike rate at the course and his debutantes feature decent place claims. The stable are in cracking form which adds to the interest, especially in a race which doesn't look particularly strong. The dilemma is trying to assess this youngster on his debut - will he be fit and ready? Graham Gibbons was originally booked to ride but goes to Ayr instead for a number of mounts. This is McMahon's only runner of the day and Martin Lane takes the ride, the first time this jockey has respresented the stable. As the mare was such a precocious type - winning her first three starts - I would give this juvenile the benefit of the doubt and he could be a lively contender. 

Of the others, Gin Twist looks limited and Rhianna Brianna has an element of ability but may find a couple too good.

Conclusion: I'm not keen on Split Second, who is likely to be outpaced and could touch much bigger odds in running. She may run on at the finish but isn't my idea of a good bet. Barry Hills has outstanding statistics at the course and West Leake Damin should be respected. The betting will be the best indicator and if priced outside 13/2 I would consider it a negative. The two most likely candidates are Excelette & The Rising. The former trained by Bryan Smart is likely to be primed for a big run today. If fancied in the betting, this filly has good win and place claims. The class act could be The Rising. Difficult to get a handle on this juvenile making his debut but a very well bred colt. With the stable in cracking form, a good strike rate at the course, and noteworthy breeding, this runner makes appeal.


HCE: ''Barry Hills upheld his fantastic statistics at Haydock with another winner in the shape of West Leake Damin. Excelette ran much better and travelled well for most but couldn't muster the finishing effort to withhold the challenge. The Rising ran on with purpose and has ability.''   

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