An EBF Maiden Stakes over 6f on good to soft going. Legible for colts and fillies but the girls have been scared off by a ten-strong team of snips and snails and puppy dog tails... [colts & geldings for those not akin to the popular nursery rhyme]. My blogs do veer off into the unknown at times but what is life without prose? An intriguing race with a few potentially class two-year-olds hoping to make it second time lucky.
I've been mentioning Fatherly Friend in dispatches. Karl Burke is a superb trainer and I happen to know he likes this son of Scat Daddy. Hubert Strecher's American-bred colt was fancied to go well on debut but the combination of inexperience and a tough race saw a respectable fourth with the hope of much more to come. This January foal was entered to run at Carlisle but a wide draw and sticky ground gave connections good reason to take him out of that race. Connections will be expecting a big run and this is one of the best two-year-olds at Spigot Lodge. The team will be ready for action but I'm sure they will have slight concerns there are a couple [if not more] talents in opposition. Fair each way claims if the odds are available.
Another talking horse is Taneen. This son of Speightstown cost $350,000 at the yearling sales and races in the silks of Hamdan Al Maktoum. Roger Varian has given this American bred colt a string of Group entries which suggest big things are expected. In truth, their string of juveniles hasn't lived up to early-season hopes and I'm pretty sure they have re-adjusted their aims for many of their two-year-olds. I wasn't overly impressed by Taneen's debut run and if he didn't need the race on debut this might be a similarly tough contest. The betting with the bookmakers made this horse look like it had been backed from 11/4 - 13/8f. However, it is worth remembering that is was priced at odds-on the evening before. That drift suggested concerns and they were played out when beaten comprehensively into third place. The betting [11/4 at this time, Friday, evening] suggests that he will be one of the major fancies. I would keep an eye on the market and if particularly weak it would suggest he ran his race on debut. If strongly fancied I would expect to see marked improvement. A difficult horse to assess in ways and I would be careful that the flashy entries do not blind followers. The betting will tell the story.
On statistics Wimpole Hall and Clock Watcher have fair win and place claims if priced 8/1 & less.
Conclusion: I'm not going to write about all and sundry as I have my eye on Fatherly Friend and Taneen as the major hopes. Both colts are held in high regard by connections. I'd be more interested in the former especially if Varian's charge is particularly weak in the betting. Taneen is a funny horse to judge at the moment with the entries suggesting a high-class juvenile but the form kind of lukewarm. If he didn't show his running on debut there could be a good horse waiting to appear. The betting that day detailed that all was not well. At it's most extreme the drift in the betting was startling. The question is whether that was his true running. Fatherly Friend has ability and I expect a big run. If available at each way prices I would bet this horse of the two.
Note: Taneen clearly has ability and definitely improved for his debut. Looks a smart horse. Slightly irritated by Fatherly Friend who had no luck in running and stuck behind a wall of horses. That wasn't the true running of this horse by a long way. Will go well next start [if in a maiden] and could be a big price to make compensation.