7:25 Lingfield (16th July) - Result

An EBF Maiden Stakes for colts and fillies over 7f on good to firm ground.

Abhaath - and American bred who cost $400,000 as a yearling - will start a short price to win this maiden. A half-brother to US Grade 1 winning two-year-old Hot Dixie Chick, this youngster must have been going well on the gallops. From a good draw, this son of Hard Spun will have his followers but it is never easy to win on debut especially against experienced/talented opposition. A horse I would rather watch and learn a little more about.

Minal has set a decent level of form. In fact he has progressed quite nicely after his debut, going close at Goodwood and Salisbury. This son of Compton Place is a good looking juvenile but he does seem a little quirky in ways. To some extent he is a lazy character who needs to be kept busy and bustled along as he is prone to idle and lose his position. This extra furlong may be the key to finding his optimal pace and sitting handy to muster a decent finish. There is always a slight concern after a number of races that Hannon's representative will start to regress. The booking of O'Neill could be taken as a positive or negative. One thing is certain, that he needs to be ridden quite strongly at the finish because he hasn't looked the most enthusiastic under his own steam. A horse I quite like in many ways but he needs to be ridden with some vigour and whether an apprentice is the answer to that question is a matter of opinion.

It is interesting to note that Michael Hills has just one ride on the card and that is Emperor's Pearl. Hills doesn't waste his time, and this sole ventures across country is a significant pointer. Even though a filly against a field of mostly colts, this daughter of Holy Roman Emperor may try to dictate matters with another front-running performance. As long as the ground doesn't turn this 7f will be much easier to get than last time at Warwick where conditions perhaps didn't help her cause. She showed very good pace that day and it could well be the case the first and second are talented juveniles. Certainly the winner, Cruis, is a good looking colt. She beat Alabanda by a good few lengths and while filly is nothing special the form of her Musselburgh race is working out pretty well. Pearl Bloodstock has been hitting the headlines of late and although this filly may be vulnerable to a classy juvenile she is the type to set a fair level and may steal a lead. A fair each way selection.

Conclusion: Abhaath is bred in the purple and could be a talented horse in the making. However, like all debuatntes, they can be at the mercy of inexperience and have to prove they have a ability to start with, which is far from guaranteed. Saeed Bin Suroor has been quiet on the two-year-old front but this could well be something of a talking horse. Being such a short priced favourite makes one of two of these more attractive each way possibilities. Minal should have strong place claims but does seem to be making hard work of winning. He is a good looking colt but a little lazy and needs a positive ride. He may scoot up but I do have slight concerns about the jockey booking. Emperor's Pearl has fair win and place claims and probably the most likely of these to run a race. It is never ideal racing against the colts but she is a speedy type who is likely to make a bold bid from the front. With experience and a touch of ability, she could go well.

HCE: ''Abhaath disappointed and this made for some fancy prizes. Minal seemed to enjoy himself today and it was good to see him win. Hannon had the first two with Freddy Q, with 50/1 shot Sunley Valentine taking third. Emperor's Pearl was eased down with Michael Hills looking down, so hopefully the filly wasn't injured.''

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