A maiden auction stakes over 1m 141y on standard going. Nine two-year-olds take part in this restricted race type comprising: one colt, a solitary gelding and seven fillies. All juveniles are lightly race with a debutante from James Tate.
Burma Bridge, trained by Richard Hannon, has progressed with racing after clearly needing his debut run at Newbury when finishing last at odds of 66/1. This home bred son of Avonbridge showed marked improvement when placed on his second start, then suffered narrow head-bob loser at Brighton when slugging it out in the mud. This gelding is likely to set the pace and could well take some pegging back against what is predominantly a field of fillies.
Twice Certain showed promise on debut then disappointing second start at Leicester when relatively fancied in the betting. Ed Walker's daughter of Lawman finished second last time out at Lingfield when 20/1. In truth that was a poor race where the winner had something in hand.
Quest For Wonder, the debutante of the field, wouldn't need to be anything out of the ordinary to prevail against form horses which have official ratings in the low 70s at best. This bay filly by Makfi out of a winning mare cost 20,000gns at the yearling sales. It is never easy for a juvenile to win on debut but Tate is one of a few handlers who can hit the mark at the first time of asking.
The most experienced horse in the field sees Edge Of Heaven trying to make it sixth time lucky. In truth this daughter of Pastoral Pursuits has been consistently hitting the frame but never quite mastering the opposition. Johnny Portman has done well with his two-year-olds this season but with an official rating of just 65 (plating class) she may place once more but for victory others may need to fail.
Of the others Resolve was fancied on debut but showed little and less so next start. Unless substantially backed, best watched.
A number of horses are making their second start after showing little ability on debut: Space Sheriff, Missandei, Callendula & Rum Swizzel. The betting is the best guide. If priced 13/2 & less all fair win and place claims. However, the tissue betting suggests this is very unlikely.
Conclusion: A difficult race to assess. The form horses are limited although this race type doesn't set a high bar for success. Burma Bridge will most likely set the pace and say: ''Catch me if you can...'' The horse to beat. Twice Certain and Edge Of Heaven look to have their limitations but hold place claims. Quest For Wonder heralds from a stable which send out debut winners. If available at each way price may be worth a small bet but betting first time out can make a fool of the best trainers at times. I'd be tempted to have a small bet on Burma Bridge with a view to laying at shorter odds in-running. Hannon's gelding should set the pace and hope to hold that lead.