A Maiden Auction Stakes over 5f on good ground. Eight two year olds take part including seven colts and one filly. Three colts have race experience. The restricted nature of this race type indicates that those horses with form hold advantage.
Last year this race was won by Sarista, trained by David Barron. This filly proved victorious on her second start and far from disgraced when racing twice at Listed class.
First Bombardment, trained by David O'Meara, has raced twice and finished runner-up on both starts. This bay colt has been unlucky not to win but equally frustrating to backers who probably feel they should have collected by now. Make no mistake this son of Pastoral Pursuits has plenty of pace - enough to have most horses on the back foot.
He ran a sterling race on debut when competing in the Brocklesby Stakes at Doncaster, losing in a photo finish with Ravenhoe, who didn't have much luck second start when fourth behind the talented Gifted Master. The form of that first race is nothing out of the ordinary but it has been held up in some respects - the first five horses are likely to win this season.
Northern Hart Racing & Partner must have been optimistic when making his second start in the Scottish Brocklesby Stakes. Starting even-money favourite, with valuable race experience and seven-pound apprentice it would take a fair juvenile to beat this youngster. By all accounts, the winner, Tribesman, is reputed held in high regard by David Brown and owner John Fretwell. They have this colt penciled in for the Coventry Stakes (Group 2) at Royal Ascot. The third, Sixth Sense, has run well since, while the fifth, Smart Mover, has disappointed although may have been slightly flattered that first race.
First Bombardment's Achilles's heel is his enthusiasm to pull. He showed good pace at Musselburgh and probably done too much on the soft ground with a time almost eight seconds slow.
This April foal, who is still one day shy of his second birthday, was far too keen and pressed for the lead, then tired markedly in the final furlong. Doyle [jockey] had the sense to simply push hands and heels realising this colt had run his race and done well to hang on to second place. In truth, things didn't go his way that day and although unlikely to beat the comfortable winner that performance didn't show him to his best.
Daniel Tudhope takes the ride today and this race type and faster ground will help. He has a relatively wide draw which isn't ideal but the pace to gain a prominent position if wanted. After pulling too hard on both starts, especially the latter, it will be interesting to see what tactics connections employ. Will they try to gain an easy lead or sit in behind and hope to finish with purpose?
First Bombardment has been priced the tissue favourite on Sporting Life (11/8). Unless drifting in the betting, there is little meat on the bone. This colt sets the standard and if settling I would be surprised if he is beaten. The concern is that if he is too keen will he not finish the race? If struggling to do that you can almost guarantee that glint will shine in the chasing field and one will fancy their chance. At short odds you cannot afford to be overly generous with your money. This is a fascinating horse but at the odds I'd have to take a watching brief. If betting, lay your stake in running at short odds because if going clear you will not have to worry about the wheels falling off in the final furlong. I suspect this horse will take all the beating but others feature, too.
Ann Duffield has increased her string year on year and this season has thirty two-year-olds. Sun Hill Stables know the score with their juveniles and Risk Adjusted showed real promise on debut when finishing strongly. This Irish son of Bushranger out of a multiple-winning mare who ran once at Group 3 level.
This bay colt was purchased by Ann Duffiled at the yearling sales for 15,000 and looks a bargain buy. Often races at Redcar are pretty limited, however, the first three horses that day all seemed fancied and although that form is yet to be tested it could be fair. This horse ran well on his racecourse bow and was ridden, and whipped, in the closing stages, finishing with verve. That was encouraging.
While experience can transform a horse it is worth noting Risk Adjusted was outpaced mid race before running on. These characteristics could reappear today and it doesn't pay to think with that first race run it will not be a problem. It may not be the case but that is the gamble which must be factored. If Duffield's charge is outpaced while First Bombardment forges clear it may well be mission impossible to claw back the ground. The stable have fair win and place claims with fancied juveniles on their second start. I like this colt but wonder if a stiff five furlongs or six furlong would be better. If betting, I'd be tempted to bet in running at bigger odds because if struggling for pace then cross your fingers for a strong finish. He will finish well but you can't afford to give too much ground. Duffield's prospect holds each-way claims but I would have concerns about being outpaced mid race.
Association finished behind Risk Adjustment on debut and needs to find improvement. Best watched.
The nature of this race type affords prominence to form horses although a few debutantes are worthy of note.
Richard Fahey has a couple of debutantes, a course he holds a fair strike rate.
Imshi' Little Bro is an Irish bred son of first-season sire Lilbourne Lad out of a twice-winning mare who raced to Listed class and liked a trip. This bay colt cost 18,000 at the yearling sales.
The stable field Lady Argentum the only filly. This daughter of Kodiac out of a multiple-winning mare who was a fair horse. A February foal, she was sold at the yearling sales for 16,000 racing in the familiar silks of Middleham Park Racing. An extreme draw in stall one is not ideal as debutantes often run into space.
The betting is the best guide to their respective chances and if priced 8/1 and less hold fair win and place claims.
David Brown and John Fret field the Irish bred Sing Something. This grey colt is a February foal costing just £14,000 at the yearling sales purchased by the owner. The connections have a line with the favourite via Tribesman. The stable/owner combination have fair win and place claims if priced 13/2 & less. If the money comes for this horse it could be significant sign.
The oldest two year old in this field [26th Jan] is Excessable trained by Tim Easterby. This chestnut colt is sired by Sakhee's out of a twice-winning mare who liked to sprint. He cost £6,000 at the yearling sales when bought by the trainer. The stable have often used the garden racecourse as a starting point for a number of talented debutantes. It isn't beyond the realms this colt could be one of them although the general win rate of their horses making their debut is poor. Claims if priced 13/2 & less but unless fancied best watched.
Mr Lucas is sired by Le Cadre Noir out of a poor mare and cost £5,500 at the yearling sales.Peter Nivan isn't known as a two year old trainer and best watched.
Conclusion: First Bombardment is the most interesting horse. His pace could have most of these in trouble. This faster ground will help but his pulling is a concern. It is intriguing to consider what tactics will be employed. If settling, this twice-race juvenile has good claims. If priced about 2/1+ there is some meat on the bone but without question I would try to lay the stake in-running at big odds-on if possible. The horse to beat. Risk Adjustment looks a fair horse although the form has yet to be tested. I would have slight concerns this youngster may be outpaced mid race which would make life more difficult especially if the favourite gains an easy lead. He run well on debut but may be much bigger odds in running if tapped for toe. Definitely has each-way claims if prices allow. The Fahey pair are difficult to assess but worthy of respect if priced 8/1 & less. Sing Something is another debutante who has each-way claims if priced 13/2 & less. If seriously backed it would make more appeal. On balance, First Bombardment will take some beating and if settling could have these on the ropes.