Day 10 of The 30 Day Challenge.
An EBF Maiden Stakes over 1m 1y on Standard going. Nine colts take part, just over half with race experience. Always Welcome catches the eye. This American-bred son of Elusive Quality out of a Group 1 winning mare. George Strawbridge's chestnut colt ran well on debut if not a touch keen and short of room. The winner may have been a big price but looked a fair juvenile. John Gosden has been in outstanding form all season and this April foal will be primed to go well. The horse to beat but - in truth - very little meat on the bone.
12:30 Lingfield - Division II
Quite an interesting race. Similar to the earlier division with nine two-year-olds, four lightly raced. A couple of fancied debutantes head the betting so it may give hope of value for one horse. Firstly, Godolphin field Brave Hero. This son of Poet's Cove out of a winning mare, who was twice Listed placed. He was purchased by John Fergusson Bloodstock for 75,000gns at the yearling sales. A plum draw and priced about even money [Tuesday evening] suggest a big run is expected. Once again, we have our eye on John Gosden's second time out, Palmerston. This bay colt, a son of Oasis Dream, was relatively fancied on debut but didn't show a great deal in fourth place eclipsed by Sir Michael Stoute's seven-length winner Estidraak. Lady Rothchild's home-bred is likely to improve for this step up to one mile. The betting is important and if priced 13/2 & less has sound each way claims. If particularly weak in the betting best to take a watching brief.
4:15 Kempton - A Maiden Auction Stakes over 5f on Standard going. Just seven two-year-olds all with race experience bar one horse for Gay Kelleway. Fillies taking on the sole gelding. Fruit Salad was fancied by us last start and James Bethell's filly was a shade unlucky after finishing with gusto. These restricted race types don't make the strongest heats and this chestnut must have claims although I wonder if Fruit Salad might be slightly outpaced in the early stages and bigger odds in running but finish well.
Bit Of A Lad is worth noting for David Brown. This gelding, a son of Lilbourne Lad, was quite well backed on debut at Southwell and trailing in 9th place doesn't really do him any justice. It didn't look the strongest of maiden but on grade this is a drop in class. This 16,000gns yearling purchase may well be a touch lazy or tricky as he wore blinkers on debut. However, he travelled well and only tired in the closing stages after being competitive. Also, running the far rail at Southwell may have been a disadvantage. Bit Of A Lad has a hood on today. A good draw may tempt connections to lead. Not the easiest of horses to assess but a gelding against the fairer sex is not a bad angle. The betting is key. If priced 13/2 & less I'd give this juvenile fair win and place claims. If very weak in the market I'd take a watching brief.
5:45 Kempton - An EBF Maiden Stakes over 6f. Twelve two-year-olds take part: nine colts and three fillies. I'll keep this short and sweet. John Gosden could have a good day on the juvenile front and The Commendatore has strong claims. This son of Starbangledbanner cost 105,000gns at the yearling sales in the ownership of Michael Tabor and Rachel Hood. Inexperience cost this horse on debut and better should be seen on this second start. A good-looking type but probably priced to chance at even money.
12:30 Lingfield - Palmerston 9/2 3rd
4:15 Kempton - Bit Of A Lad No bet