The Coventry Stakes Group 2 over 6f on good ground. Sixteen colts: all raced, victors bar one horse, three being multiple winners. A difficult race to assess. How do you limit a winning two-year-old juvenile? Three colts look the part in what should be a tantalizing renewal and a class field.
Adaay is a good-looking son of Kodiac, who has been handled well by William Haggas, racing in the familiar blue and white silks of Hamdam Al Maktoun. This bay colt was purchased at the breeze-up sales for 240,000gns. He was fancied to go well on
debut at Newbury but wasn't seen until the closing stages when he cut through a large field, to win by a very comfortable three-quarters of a length. With another half furlong it would have been a decisive victory. Haggas detailed he wanted this talent to have another run before the Coventry and gain further experience in what made a superb return against a leading Royal Ascot player, Mind Of Madness, trained by David Brown for Qatar Racing Ltd. Adaay disposed of that youngster without much fuss, and while the runner-up is probably more suited to the minimum trip you couldn't help but be impressed by the winner. This March foal can be ridden as pleased and it is often a strength to finish with verve at this meeting, where many horses press for the lead and struggle to hit the line. It will take a fair horse to lower his colours and a sound each way bet.
Portamento was pretty fancied on debut when racing at Stakes class for Charlie Appleby and the Godolphin team. This grey colt, a home bred son of Shamardal out of a fantastic Grade 1 winning mare, was clueless against more savvy, experienced opposition, although showed a glimmer of hope in the closing stages. This grey colt was well backed over 6f at Goodwood on his second start and his rivals didn't see which way he went, shooting clear to win with ease. The second has won well since but clearly improved a good deal for that initial start. On balance that was probably no more than an average race at Goodwood but you couldn't help but be impressed by such a tidy win. At odds of 14/1 many will be hoping this American bred can show similar style.
If you want a horse to wow you then John Quinn's The Wow Signal done just that when trouncing the field on debut at Ayr over 6f on good to soft ground. This son of Starspangledbanner cost £50,000 at the breeze-up sales but his price tag rose markedly when going clear to win by nine lengths. He was subsequently purchased by Al Shaqab Racing, who probably paid around £1,000,000 for this youngster. The second and third have both won on their next start which if taken as a true form line would make this horse exceptional. In reality you have to consider that Mark Johnston's Jungle Cat - who won well at Goodwood next start - improved for that debut or disappointed on testing ground. The Wow Signal is an exciting individual who could potentially be a star in the making although time may tell he has something still to prove.
Conclusion: This race is usually won by a leading fancy in the betting and Aidan O'Brien has done particularly well. War Envoy has been beaten by another of today's runners, Kool Company. It will be interesting to see if the Irish horse can reverse that form. Adaay has proven a high level of form and winning in style both starts. There could be more to come and a horse which is likely to be held up and finish powerfully. A decent each way selection. Portamento looked stylish on his last win but more will be needed here and although a horse I would respect I would take a watching brief. The Wow Signal could be a star. However, few horses achieve such standing and it is most probable that first victory, although impressive on form lines, needs to be proven. An exciting individual but at the prices a horse I would watch. Adaay looks to hold decent each way claims. A great race to enjoy.