A Maiden Fillies' Stakes (Plus 10) over 5f 216y on standard going. Unlucky for some, a field of thirteen, nine with race experience from a mix of trainers.
James Bethell is a talented dual-purpose trainer who may have a small string of two-year-olds but knows what it takes to find a winner. Fruit Salad (love those sweets, and black jacks) is a chestnut daughter of Monsieur Bond out of a twice-races mare [Miss Apricot] who ran in the silks of Mrs Bethell, trained by her husband. This May foal was bred by connection adorning the silks of Claredon Thoroughbred Racing. This outfit owned talents such as Penhill and Rich Again. Fruit Salad was sent through the sales ring for just £3,000 but bought in, often used by trainers to gain a beneficial weight when racing at auction class.
Considering Fruit Salad started her racing career at York when contesting a maiden race over five-and-a-half furlongs suggests she has more going for her than that paltry yearling sale's price.
The ground was soft on that first start. The prize money fair for a race which, although looking nothing special, has been franked to some extent. The winner wasn't disgraced when stepping up to Listed class, the second a perennial bridesmaid, while the third has won and others shown promise. Fruit Salad was a big price on debut although there was money for her and it caught the eye Bethell sent her to York. The stable has a couple of talented juveniles this season with Charinguita and Fast And Furious proving victorious, the former racing at Group class. The stable has a very poor strike rate on debut with their two-year-olds although they can go well when fancied in the betting [as seen with Charinguita] . However, they probably went to York with some hope. To be fair, this chestnut filly looked to hold every chance until fading in the final furlong but far from disgraced beaten three lengths in fifth.
With just over a month on the sidelines, connections will have had plenty of time get her fit and ready. Bethell has few horses run at this course and Joe Fanning a slightly unusual jockey booking, riding infrequently for the stable and not at all this year. That point could be taken as a positive or negative.
As with most two-year-olds, they are usually primed to run well on their second start, especially so if they are considered to merit a winning level of ability. That debut run showed promise and I would expect improvement. It wouldn't surprise me to see this filly backed and if starting at odds of 13/2 & less it would be an additional sign of confidence. Presently priced 11/1 with William Hill, I'd be tempted to have a small each-way bet and hope the money comes. Interesting.
Fruit Salad 11/1 (adv) 2nd