At this stage of the season, experience can be a big advantage and I would focus on those with a run under their belts.
Ceiling Kitty, a daughter of Red Clubs, ran at Kempton in the first two-year-old race of the season. Trained by Tom Dascombe, this bay filly was backed to favouritism but ruined her chance with a tardy start. That was a respectable performance for this grade and she showed a willing attitude, running on with purpose at the finish to take second on the line. The form of that race has been franked with the seventh and tenth winning. The victor looked a fair juvenile and there could be more to come. In the context of this race, Ceiling Kitty should be respected, especially with experience onside. From a low draw Kingscote could when steal a march and although she was a little ring rusty on her race course bow I would expect a professional performance. The stable feature a pretty good strike rate with their fancied runners on their second start and one for the short list.
Mel Brittain is talented trainer and his juveniles often slip under the radar, running well at fancy prices. That was certainly the case with Mayfield Girl who ran a superb race on debut in the Brocklesby at odds of 33/1. This brown daughter of One Cool Cat has some size and scope, probably taking after her mother who won on debut. She wasn't best away from the stalls at Doncaster but travelled well and looked to hold every chance leading in the final furlong only to be passed in the final dash to the line. By all accounts that was a sterling effort although she was probably fit and ready to show her worth. In a weak race she holds claims and to all purposes this should be a drop in class. The only concern is that the Brocklesby form has taken a few knocked which slightly tempers enthusiasm. However, with vital experience, in a race where the majority will be limited, she is deserving of her chance and one to fear if not being a touch cautious.
If you simply looked at the form Hillbilly Boy could quite easily be crossed off the list after showing little on debut at Southwell. However, that could well be a mistake as this son of Haafhd is something of a talking horse. This bay colt cost £15,000 as a yearling and quite a powerful type, with a pronounced running action, which suggests he wouldn't want lightning-quick ground. I am pretty convinced Turner rates this two-year-old. It wouldn't be a surprise to learn it is one of the best juveniles in the stable. My reasoning being that Bill Turner has made a number of comment stating he likes this horse. He mentioned before his debut that it had shown promise. Intriguingly this was said to be his Brocklesby runner but missed that contest because of sore shins. I feel this was their number one pick over Just Past Andover (who finished 4th). That gives confidence as Turner usually sends his best juvenile to race at Doncaster. He was very well backed on debut in a pretty average contest but ruined his chance with a slow start. The fibresand surface may not have suited but it could well have been Egan's downfall for trying doggedly to get this big horse back into contention. He finished fourth. It is probably best to consider this was a bad day at the races. It was interesting to note that the stable sent out Caught Napping to win a juvenile contest the following day and once again Turner quoted: ''Hillbilly Boy would murder this one at home.'' Considering the stable have been in flying form, with a number of juvenile winners, this speaks well. Many a good horse has disappointed on debut but most show their worth second time out. It is true that a poor debut run has to be forgiven but I expect Hillbilly Boy to run well and most likely backed. It is a slight negative that Charles Bishop was booked to ride but now partners Kryena's Rose. However, being a regular rider for Mick Channon's stable, he may be retained.
Kryena's Rose is an attractive grey filly by Royal Applause, a cheap buy at 5,500gns. It is interesting that Jaber Abdullah buys many a cheap two-year-old and they often prove to be wise purchases. She competed in a restricted race at Redcar on debut which may limit the form. However, the fifth (Caught Napping, trained by Bill Turner) won next start and the third (Out Of The Blocks) wasn't disgraced when runner-up at Great Yarmouth. Kryena's Rose showed good pace on debut, travelling as well as any horse, before fading in the closing stages. Although quite fancied in the betting at 7/2, Channon's juveniles can improve for racing and she may well be fitter and wiser today. This stable feature respectable win and place claims with fancied juveniles on their second start.
The last of the form horses is Linda Stubb's *Midnight Dream. This brown gelding cost 9,000euros (purchased by the trainer in France). He finished a good few lengths behind Kryena's Rose on debut although very well backed at the off. This March foal is a good-looking juvenile with plenty of size and scope to progress with racing. He was clueless on his racecourse bow, pulling, zigzagging across the course, and virtually impossible to ride. He could be a much brighter prospect today from a stable who do well at Beverley and feature a good strike rate with Tony Hamilton. Tom Eaves was originally booked to ride but goes to Newmarket for a more valuable race. Linda Stubbs is a canny trainer and at speculative odds this two-year-old (although a handful) could go well. The stable hold a fair win rate with juveniles on their second start and being fancied on debut could imply more was expected.
Of the debutantes, Tony Hamilton was originally booked to ride Ingleby Royale, which suggests Stubbs' is more favoured.
*Proventi - trained by Alan McCabe - would have claimed if substantially backed although a wide draw is a negative.
*Madam Mojito is another with claims for John Quinn if strongly fancied in the betting.
Conclusion: Quite a competitive race for its restrictive nature. Unless one of the debutantes is heavily backed it may pay to focus on those with race experience. Mayfield Girl's third in the Brocklesby reads well on paper - to all purposes this is a drop in class - but I have slight reservations about the form of that race. However, even with that in mind it could well be a mistake to not fear this speedy filly. Definitely one for the short list but perhaps treading careful at short odds. I can see Ceiling Kitty making a bold attempt here and perhaps of all the horses has the most proven form. She should be wiser for her Kempton debut. With the form being franked, she has sound each way claims. The form of Kryena's Rose is holding up although a little hard to assess. If priced 13/2 & less she has fair win and place claims. Midnight Dream should be respected and could be a surprise package at speculative odds. He is an attractive gelding if not a difficult ride. If learning from the experience, he could be worth a punt at big odds to hit the frame. Hillbilly Boy is the most interesting horse in this field if not difficult to assess. Bill Turner knows his two-year-olds and the stable have been firing home juvenile winners. He must know where he stands with most of these. His comments spoke volumes to me. In fact, he almost oozed confidence that this colt has a fair level of ability: ''better than winners seen from his stable''. You have to forgive a terrible debut but even the best horses fluff their lines. It is never ideal making excuses for disappointing performances. However, if attaining respectable odds this juvenile is worth a second chance and likely to be backed.