An EBF maiden over 7f on soft ground. Division one of this two-year-old contest with eleven runners: fours colts, two geldings and five fillies. A trio of debutantes against a field of lightly-race juveniles from a mix of trainers. The betting could be particularly important so keep an eye on the market with Paddy Power.
Weiner Valkyrie sets the standard after two runs. Unlike many home breds this bay filly was ready for action when making her debut over 7f at Salisbury. Ed Walker's charge is sired by Shamardal from a family which has sold well at public auction [Vienna Affair $380,000 4-y-o]. This American bred was fancied in the betting when starting at odds of 8/1 when a narrow loser to Jelly Monger who wasn't disgraced when competing in the Oh So Sharp Stakes (Group 3). Weiner Valkyrie wasn't disgraced when second behind Luca Cumani's Lady Of Dubai, although never posing a threat. Connections will be heading north for what should be a big run. Definitely the horse to beat if coping with the soft ground.
Bryan Smart is always a trainer to take seriously with his two-year-olds on their second start - they often go well. Lewis Valentine is an Irish bred son of Rip Van Winkle out of a dual-winning mare. This bay colt ran over 7f on debut when relatively weak in the market on good to firm ground. This step up in distance should be a positive. The ground is a slight unknown. The most important factor for this horse's chance is the betting. If priced 13/2 & less I would be confident this February foal would be placed.
Of the debutantes one horse catches the eye - Brotherly Company. This Irish bred son of Fast Company out of an unraced mare is owned by Jaber Abdullah and trained by Richard Fahey. Few handlers feature a better strike rate with their debutantes. plus course and jockey statistics are decent. In fairness, this bay will need to be quite smart to beat the potential favourite who is likely to have an official rating in the 80s. I wouldn't bet on this horse unless decent odds.
Spinaminnie has been relatively fancied on both starts to date for Mark Johnston. This daughter of Moss Vale is stepping up in distance but needs to improve after being beaten by Pastoral Girl at Leicester, who was far from her best.
Debutantes Bridget Gem & Dazzling Display are best watched.
Beatabout, Racing Spirit & Toboggan's Gift need to have a transformation and better suited at nursery class.
Ingleby Hollow was half fancied on debut and then ruined his chance at Newcastle by pulling when a distant third. Unless seriously backed - a watching brief.
David Simcock is represented by Intrude who wasn't fancied in the betting on debut at Windsor, beaten a good few lengths. This son of Intikhab is out of Richard Hannon's Don't Tell Mum who wasn't disgraced at Group class. This drop back in distance may be more suiting. Intrude cost 160,000GNS at the yearling sales when purchased by Happy Valley Racing. You can imagine connections will be expecting more. If substantially backed or priced 13/2 & less has fair win and place claims.
Conclusion: An intriguing race where a few trainers may have considered this a prime opportunity to win. Testing ground could be the biggest opposition to a few of these who will need to handle the conditions. Weiner Valkyrie sets the standard with two sterling efforts. It will take a decent juvenile to beat her although the soft ground brings concerns. Richard Fahey's Brotherly Company should be respected but will need to be fit, well and talented to lower the colours of the favourite. I wouldn't bet on this horse unless it was priced 8/1+ [unlikely]. The betting is key for Lewis Valentine. Bryan Smart's juvenile has strong place claims if priced 13/2 & less. Intrude has something to prove after a routine debut. If well backed there may be more to come. I'd bet on Lewis Valentine to get a place if in best betting guide.