4:00 Ascot (12th May) Free Horse Racing Tips

The McGee Group Maiden Stakes over 5f on soft ground.

Respectable prize money and eleven take part, six raced, in a race which often sees a talented horse or two. 

Marvelino  is trained by Pat Eddery. He made his appearance in the Brocklesby on the first day of the season. A well backed favourite, he showed good pace but lost his place at halfway, finishing second from last. This son of Captain Marvellous is an attractive bay colt and certainly showed that initial support was justified by running well on his second at Kempton behind the talented Bailey's Jubilee. The form of that race has been franked with the third, fourth, fifth & seventh going on to win. Marvelino's second suggests he will win this season and a bold show should be seen today. It is worth noting he has been off course for just over one month which brings slight question marks. A fluent-striding juvenile, it is a matter of opinion whether this ground will suit. 

Top Boy is an interesting horse. Derek Shaw is a talented trainer and HCE have had this son of Exceed And Excel in our sights. What appeals most, is that this February foal is a handsome colt with plenty of size and scope to progress with racing. A 42,000gns purchase, he was relatively fancied on debut but clueless. However, he was quite well backed at Doncaster but still went off at speculative odds. It wasn't a surprise this youngster ran a great race and if he hadn't shown inexperience there is little doubt he would have won. With the likes of Dust Whirl & Regal Dan having shown a level of form that looked a fair race. What captured my attention is that Top Boy looks the type of juvenile to improve a great deal for that last effort. In many ways it was like his first run and if those two races have taught him something about racing, he could be a tough nut to crack. It isn't beyond the realms this colt could be heading to Royal Ascot.

Cay Verde has a form line relating to Top Boy through Dust Whirl. They competed in a decent juvenile contest at Newbury. The fourth & seventh have since won. Cay Verde is owned by Box 41, a canny outfit who generally do well with their two-year-old horses. This son of Bahamian Bounty was a fairly expensive yearling purchase at £27,000. Mick Channon's juveniles are always worthy of respect on their second start as they are often primed for a big run. Considering this February foal was unfancied on debut it could well be the case he could improve although he was given a couple of hard cracks of the whip that day. On a basic form line though Dust Whirl, it could be considered Top Boy has the beating of this youngster. However, the form of that race looks to acheive winning level of ability and if substantially backed more encouragement could be gleaned. It is worth noting a few of this stable's juveniles have run poorly of late.

Hototo & Limit Up make a quick re-appearance after making their debut in a messy race at Musselburgh. The form of that race is open to much interpretation because many horses suffered interference, others short of room, while a couple had a bumping match. 

Hototo ran a storming race after the eventual winner crossed another horse which in turned hampered this chestnut colt by Sleeping Indian. He was lucky not to have come down. Trained by Kevin Ryan, he lost so much ground that thought of being competitive looked a forlorn hope. However, Makin didn't lose heart and this £22,000 yearling purchase finish with great gusto, losing by less than a length. If not for being hampered, you would have to consider he may well have won. This chestnut colt was relatively unfancied for one from this yard, which may imply he would improve for the run. As yet the form of that race has not been tested. 

Limit Up was made favourite for that race. This son of Shamardal cost 78,000gns and was recently entered for the Lily Agnes. Mark Johnston has a couple of talented juveniles in his care and perhaps this colt had been showing a level of ability on the gallops. He was very well backed and any horse can be forgiven a poor debut run. After showing speed he faded out of contention in the last hundred yards. He may have just fallen short with regard to fitness. The betting is probably the best indicator to his chances although he would seem to have a tall order to beat Hototo. If substantially backed better should be expected.

Ocean Applause showed little ability on debut but may be capable of better. He cost 48,000gns and John Ryan has trained some talented juveniles over the years. A wide draw put pay to any chance at Newmarket when veering to his right. In fairness, this half-brother to Free Zone needs to switch on his brain, let alone find ample improvement.

The debutantes will need to be pretty straight and smart to challenge those with experience. 

Michael Bell fields Manx Missile a 25,000gns purchase. This son of Sakhee's Secret is the oldest in the field (25th January) although a number were born in February. Bell can train winning debutantes although they are generally strongly fancied in the betting. The stable's two-year-olds feature a much higher strike rate on their second start.

Richard Hannon is represented by Janoub Nibras. This son of Acclamation is an expensive yearling at 105,000gns.  Drawn one may not be ideal as debuatnte often run into space, which can be very costly over 5f. The betting is the best guide although he will need to be a talented horse to win this at the first time of asking.

Another runner making its racecourse bow is Forbidden Fruit. Brian Meehan has run a number of talented juveniles in this race over the years and this youngster is likely to win this term. This son of Acclamation cost 50,000euros as a yearling. His breeding suggests a greater test of stamina may be needed in time but the stable can run well on debut. It is particularly interesting that this bay colt has been entered for a Stakes race. Meehan quoted: ''He has been going nicely on the home gallops, but as usual with a Manton newcomer, will benefit greatly from the experience, while running a nice race.''

Classic Art & Melodee Princess are best watched unless substantially backed.

Conclusion: A competitive race which often features a talent or two. The debutantes will need to be smart to win this at the first time of asking and I would favour those with experience, of which some have proven form. Marvelino ran well last time at Kempton and the form has been franked to suggest he is capable of winning an average maiden. It will be interesting to see how Eddery's colt handles these soft conditions. A fair each way selection. I must admit I like the physical stature of Top Boy. He is a handsome juvenile who will put most of these to shame. If things had gone his way at Doncaster, he could have won with ease. Considering that looked a fair race it is worth taking note of Shaw's two-year-old. This son of Exceed And Excel should be wiser for those starts and it could take a decent horse to beat him. Being trained by a slightly less fashionable stable could make a tempting bet especially at speculative odds. Cay Verde ran well on debut, a race which has a history for finding future winners and the form has already been franked by a couple. That form is good enough to win a race and if improving a length or two could be a sound each way bet. On form through Dust Whirl, Top Boy could hold the aces. Hototo was an eye catcher for many a pundit after having not luck at Musselburgh, then just failing to win. The form of that race is still untested which means it pays to tread careful. Paul Hanagan said of the winner that day that it rode like a good race, but it could be wise to let the form settle first, especially against a few proven types here. Limit Up disappointed when favourite and although looking to be outpaced by Hototo, Johnston's youngster was up with the pace until the final hundred yards when he tired. He was considered for the Lily Agnes, which may be a significant pointer. If substantially backed, he may improve for that initial start, especially if he was slightly unfit. An intriguing race. 


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