A Novices Auction Stakes over 5f on good to soft going. Not the most competitive of race types - which usually favour form horses. A field of eight two-year-olds, three with form, five debutantes.
This looks an ideal opportunity for Decadent Times, trained by Tom Dascombe, in the ownership of The Roaring Twenties. This bay colt tried to match strides with Sutter County on debut and paid the price in the closing stages when caught by the eventual second Stringybark Creek. He put up a bold display when battling with another fair juvenile in the shape of Stormy Clouds, who won with something in hand. To all purposes this is a drop in class and I'd expect Liam Jones to gain an easy lead and hope to hang on in the closing stages. This is a very good chance for this colt to taste victory for the first time.
The betting suggests Jollydee is the main danger. This bay filly, ran on in the closing stages of the Brocklesby Stakesto finish fourth. I would have slight concerns she was flattered, being huge odds that day, and many of the leaders tied up quite markedly, failing to finish the race with any verve.
Richard Fahey does well at this course and one of few trainers who makes it his business to win on debut. Melesina is a daughter of Dark Angel who cost 22,000gns at the yearling sales. may need the favourite to disappoint to be winning on this racecourse bow but a filly to respect in this class of race.
Tim Easterby doesn't have the best strike rate on debut although he can fire one up and they can show the way if fancied in the betting. Our Charlie Brown hails from the Ontoawinner syndicate and partners. This bay colt, a son of American Post is out of a once-race winning mare. She cost just £12,000 at the yearling sales, purchased by the trainer. Best watched unless backed to 13/2 & less sp.
Karl Burke's Lavender Sky showed little on debut but was unfancied that day. Looks to have a lot to do but would be a different proposition if seriously backed.
Brian Ellison is a canny trainer and a few of his two-year-olds have run well on debut at Beverley for noted owner Keith Brown. Orewa is a son of Helmet and cost 18,000eur at the yearling sales when purchased by his present owner. Interesting colt, mainly due to his appearance at this course.
The rest are best watched.
Conclusion: I'm not telling you much that Decadent Times has plenty of boxes ticked here. I can see a bold front-running show and that could well be enough to have most of these waving the white flag. Melesina is the most likely opponent simply because Fahey can ready a two-year-old debutante. However, this is a drop in grade for the favourite, which makes it difficult for the inexpensive juveniles to test. Most will struggle against a horse with experience and pace. Our Boy Charlie and Lavender Sky would be interesting if seriously backed, especially the latter. Orewa hails from a stable/owner combination who have done well at this course before. Favourite should win.