The first two-year-old Listed Stakes of the season. Eleven fillies take part over this 5f on good to firm going. Ten with race experience and solitary debutante who needs to have ample ability to win this race on her racecourse bow. With win prize money over £25,000, it is a hot race and a number of these juveniles will be looking towards Royal Ascot in June.
Boater is an interesting debut winner fro Mark Johnston. This daughter of Helmet won well although the opposition was either poor or needed the run. She was half a second slower than another Johnston filly Chapulla. Fair enough, that youngster is built like and colt probably has more ability than most colts. However, it does make me wonder if Boater is under priced at 2/1. Win or lose I couldn't take those odds because it seems a long way short of value and potentially a drifter in the market.
Michael Easterby fields debutante Carlton Frankie. This filly was well backed on another occasion but withdrawn. Priced at 11/1 this daughter of Equiano would have to be a lay bet. If she wins, she is bloody good.
Richard Hannon has a couple of has Stormy Clouds and Amlak. The former has the ability and taken advantage of a couple of so-so races. She has the ability and professional but I don't think she is top flight.
Amlak cost 150,000G and held in some regard. She needed the race on debut at Ascot and will progress with racing. I can she this daughter of Invincible Spirit running well.
Coolfitch and Twizzell both won a shade cosy on debut in what looked to be ordinary contests. Certainly, the former trainer by David O'Meara didn't beat a great deal although travelled very well for most. This faster ground may suit. Twizzell has pace and went clear at Beverley and difficult to assess. Has the potential to be decent but this race will test her mettle.
Perfect Madge hails from a trainer who does well at this course. Another who looked as though she could improve for that first race. The form of that Newmarket race has given mixed signals.
Vona is better than see. Richard Fahey's charge done little on debut and then unlucky at Chester's Lily Agnes Stakes when short of room. This is a step up in class and big odds but the type to run to the line.
Mightaswellsmile is a strange-looking filly, reminding me of those pictures of Stubbs, an old-fashioned kind of physique which is mainly due to being unfurnished, so she back looks long and rather angular from head to toe. James Given's horse looked to have no hope on debut after starting poorly and outpaced. However, she flew home and would have won in another fifty yards. That would have been a remarkable victory. The form of that race looks poor. Any semblance of a slow start over this 5f would make life difficult.
At huge odds of 50/1 Khelly's Edge may have each-ways claims. This filly is clearly held in some regard by connections and not badly bred at all. Scott Dixon is a canny trainer and she had no luck on debut. If it could go wrong, it did, and I would expect a better race this time with experience and her share of luck.
Love Oasis ran well enough on debut at big odds but disappointed next start and has something to prove.
Conclusion: Trying to assess a winning horse is very difficult, especially when they win well on debut. Boater may be class and put these in their place but I couldn't bet at 2/1. The time of that race and the opposition just didn't inspire me. Carlton Frankie would be a place lay bet. She will either win or be unplaced - I can't imagine the former but if she does it would be an outstanding performance. If Khelly's Edge drifts to huge odds on the exchanges I'd be tempted to have a small each-way bet but mainly in hope, she is backed to afford a no-lose gamble if laying at shorter odds. In truth, a race for the purists and a lovely race to watch than bet.