An EBF Novice Stakes over 5f on good to firm going. Fair win prize money. Just four two year olds: two colts & two fillies, all with race experience bar one juvenile trained by Richard Fahey.
Last year this race was won by Ko Cache, trained by Keith Dalgleish. This filly was successful on her second start, not disgraced when unplaced in the Queen Mary Stakes (Group 2) at Royal Ascot.
Gin In The Inn is unbeaten after a comfortable win at Leicester almost three weeks ago. This son of Alfred Nobel is a good-looking colt with some size and scope. There was a lot to like about that first effort where he traveled with ease and ran purposely to the line to win by two-and-a-half lengths. The form of that race has been franked to a point and this horse should take some beating. Interesting to see apprentice jockey Jack Garritty taking the ride from Hamilton who partners the stablemate. This is most likely to reduce the 5lb penalty for his first victory.
It's intriguing to see Richard Fahey has debutante filly Island Flame taking her chance at this grade. This daughter of Kodiac was purchased by the trainer at the yearling sales for just 6,000. It is interesting to note that Tony Hamilton takes the ride after winning on Gin In The Inn last start. It is most likely Fahey is racing this bay to pick up some easy prize money. The stable can ready a two year old for debut but this looks a tall order and best watched. Unless seriously backed, this filly is most likely second string.
Ravenhoe [pictured] is trained by Mark Johnston and won the Brocklesby Stakes at Doncaster on the first day of the Flat turf season. This chestnut son of Bahmian Bounty was sent off 5/4f next start when competing at Newmarket in a Conditions Stakes race. Little went right that day when a slow start led to a myriad of problems. He done well to get as close as he did in receipt of a penalty and would have been second but wouldn't have hounded the easy winner Gifted Master trained by Hugo Palmer. This colt is a professional type who battles when asked. May have to play second fiddle to Gin In The Inn although he could well have the best form on offer to date.
Kystallite was noted before debut as she held a Scottish Brocklesby Stakes entry and backed for her first start at Wolverhampton. This daughter of Kheleyf looked primed to run a good race - knowing her job - but didn't help her cause pulling quite hard for a couple of furlongs. She held a lead out of the final bend but couldn't repel the stronger finish of Delizia. The Johnston stable could have a line with that form. This chestnut filly will need to have a touch of class to beat the colts and definitely need to settle. If pulling as seen on her debut it will make life hard work.
Conclusion: Island Flame will need to be smart to win this on her debut and best viewed as the Fahey second string. Unless very short in the betting, best watched. Krystallite is an attractive filly. She has ability but needs to settle. Even if more composed I would still favour the two - winning - colts. Ravenhoe is a battling type who isn't likely to roll over. He had no luck at Newmarket and he sets the standard on form. Gin In The Inn gets the vote although at the odds I would just watch and enjoy the race. He is a good-looking colt with size and scope. He traveled like a talented horse at Leicester and won just out of a canter. The form has been franked to a point and he could have destroyed that field if pressed. Gin In The Inn could be heading to Royal Ascot from here.