An EBF Maiden Stakes over 5f 10y on good to firm going. An intriguing race with a few well-touted two-year-olds. Alkhor is a good-looking son of Exceed And Excell costing 230,000GNS at the yearling sales. He was very weak in the betting when making his debut at Goodwood, when second string to Hannon's favourite, which went on to win in good style. Al Shaqab Racing will be expecting more today and this horse will take all the beating. A recent Listed race entry indicates the regard this juvenile is held.
A few of those with race experience are worthy of consideration and could be interesting each way bets. If the favourite fluffs his lines you may get more than a place. Ron Harris doesn't train many talented two-year-olds but he does know how to win and connections clearly expected a bold show from Just Glamorous (NR) when making his debut at Chepstow. There was good money for this son of Arcano, who is a fair-looking juvenile. At 55,000eur he is no bargain buy and related to a horse the stable done well with in Glamorous Air. He showed good pace then tired in the closing stages beaten by Sahreej, who is a capable sort. Harris has this chestnut colt entered for the Windsor Castle (Listed) & Norfolk Stakes (Group 2) at Royal Ascot. They may be lofty entries but this horse doesn't lack for pace and if slightly in need of the race on debut could well blaze a trail.
Another colt who is all speed is Raj To Riches. David Evans' chestnut has been unlucky not to have tasted victory with a two narrow defeats in his first starts and performing to a standard in all his five runs to date. This drop back to the minimum trip should help but there is a concern that after so may hard races he may regress at some point. In addition, he is quite a small, lean, juvenile who will look the poor relation to some of these. An admirable horse - but one I would watch.
James Given has done well with his two-year-olds this season - in fact it must be his best string in many many years. He has a number of talented juveniles heading to Royal Ascot and must have a good line to Girls In A Bentley. This daughter of Acclamation cost £60,000 at the yearling sales and a decent-looking filly. The Cool Silk Partnership have done remarkably well with Givens this season and this horse showed exceptional pace on debut at Catterick before tiring out of contention. She actually touched short odds in running, travelling well. The finishing position makes this February foal look much worse than she is and priced at 25/1+ could well be backed. If in need of the run on debut she would have good each way claims at those odds.
Stormflower has been something of a thorn in my side this season but John Bridger's filly has a lot of pace if they endeavour to lead. It is difficult to second guess race tactics because they have the knack of doing opposite. However, from a low draw it may be the day they go to the front and try to hang on to an easy lead. I can't see her winning, but this filly is likely to huge odds on the exchanges and may touch short odds in-running.
Conclusion: An interesting race. Alkhor will take the beating but a the odds represents little value. Just Glamorous will make a bold show and must have fair each way claims. Girls In A Bentley could go well at big odds and may well be backed. She has a hell of a lot of speed and likely to travel well in this race so should trade shorter in-running.
Couple of non runners have taken away from this race.