2:20 Leicester (13th April) Free Horse Racing Tips

A Median Auction Maiden Stakes over 5f2y on soft ground featuring five colts and one filly.

Quite a restricted race where juveniles must have a median sales price of no more than £17,000. Three juveniles - with one race apiece - set a fair standard for the debutantes to attain. It would be a surprise if they didn't prove the stronger.

Well Acquainted made an early start for trainer Clive Cox, making his debut on the first flat turf meeting of the season, when narrowly deprived of a win in the Brocklesby Conditions Stakes. A son of American sire Orientate, he is one of the oldest in the field, a January foal. This bay colt cost £30,000 as a yearling and looked very good in his skin & strong through the neck on debut. He is a professional sort with size and scope to progress with racing. He was quite fancied in the betting but drifted markedly just before the off. That may have had much to do with his extreme draw which often proves a disadvantage with juveniles making their racecourse bow. It done him no favours, and at half way was a few lengths off the pace. The first few furlongs of the Brocklesby were run at a frantic pace but it was noticeable Fahey rode with composure. In the later stages, Well Acquainted moved with fluidity, travelling as good as any horse in the field. His jockey gave a considerate race and - in truth - he must have been surprised to be caught in the dying strides by My Boy Bill who looked  a forlorn hope at the two pole. The Brocklesby may not be a vintage year (beyond the winner) but there was much to like about this colt. He is a straight forward horse who wasn't best suited by a wide draw and has enough ability to win a race or two. A form line with Marvelino would suggest he has the beating on the other raced pair, but that shouldn't be taken literally as Pat Eddery's juvenile disappointed that day. 

In most contests of this nature, Well Acquainted would be a confidence selection. However, the presence of Mosstang and Lyric Ace make this a complicated affair.

Mosstang shares a birthday with Well Acquainted (30th Jan) and looked similarly well developed on his debut at Kempton. This bay colt - a son of Moss Vale - is a chunky sort with a slightly pronounced running action, which suggests he may be suited by these testing conditions. A relatively cheap purchase, he cost just 6,000euros as a yearling, and could well prove a bargain buy. This juvenile has plenty of strength and could progress with his racing. Mills - just like his late father, Terry - is a gifted trainer and part owners, Pinehurst Racing, must have been encouraged by the manner he belied his odds at 25/1. This stable have a poor win rate on debut but juveniles often run a big race when fancied on their second start. Definitely one for the short list.

What makes this contest even more appealing is the return of Lyric Ace who could also be the joker in the pack. He finished just over a length behind Mosstang, rallying in the closing stages. Richard Hannon's colt, by Thousand Words, was all the rage that day. To start odds-on favourite suggests a juvenile held in some regard. This bay isn't the biggest of two-year-olds but a good-looking colt who probably paid for his inexperience. In many ways he made a satisfactory debut. However, a combination of factors may have taken the shine off his performance. After losing position in the early stages, he looked a little at sea encountering the long bend into the home straight, but finished with gusto. There is little doubt he will improve a good deal from that initial start and could well reverse form with his old adversary although it never pays to be too dogmatic about these things. Mills' youngster wasn't hard pressed. It is encouraging to note Lyric Ace has been entered for two stakes race, which suggests the stable are thinking a maiden is simply a stepping stone to more ambitious targets. 

The betting is the best guide to the debutantes who would need to be talented and forward to press the major protagonists. 

Of the three, Lord Ashley hails from a stable that deserves respect on debut. This chestnut colt being the most expensive in the field cost 36,000euros as a yearling. It would seem a tall order to beat the proven opposition although, if substantially backed, it would bring more confidence. 

Letstalkaboumoney was a cheap purchase who may need a stiffer test of stamina. The stable have a fair win rate with strongly fancied debutantes although this representative looks weak on the exchanges. [Quite well backed]

Effie B  is best watched.



Conclusion: This looks a three-horse race and something of a quandary. There was much to like about Well Acquainted in both physique and performance. To be fair, he was a fraction away from winning the Brocklesby, which indicates a decent juvenile. The betting suggests Lyric Ace is fancied to reverse the form with Mosstang. It isn't beyond the realms as he finished with vigour and starting odds-on, plus the significant stakes race entries, give the impression this colt is held in fair regard. He is not the biggest horse with quite a fluent action so it will be intriguing to see how he copes with the ground.  Mosstang is a burly type who is likely to improve from his debut. He looked determined with plenty of scope and a pronounced knee action which could be suited by testing conditions. Perhaps of all the horses he is bred to enjoy softer condition being by Moss Vale. The pair were beaten with ease by Mark Johnston's filly Bailey's Jubilee. As yet, the form has not been franked.  At the prices, I would have to take a watching brief and simply enjoy the race. The horse who best copes with these testing conditions is most likely to prevail. 

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