An EBF Maiden Stakes over 7f on good to soft going.
Thirteen two-year-old colts take part. Five juveniles with race experience. Plenty of renowned trainers taking an interest in this Plus 10 contest with win prize money a shade over £5,000.
A big old field but plenty of interest.
Roger Charlton fields *Zafferino. This son of Frankel is out of a once-raced mare. This home-bred is owned by Saleh Al Homaizi & Imad Al Sagar. He started 8/15f in a four-horse race but couldn't hold the late challenge of Seniority. Zafferino was a touch keen on his racecourse debut but held in high regard by connections. With that initial experience, this February foal should go well and has sound each-way claims.
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Sir Michael Stoute should always be respected in the latter part of the season and he has sent out a few nice two-year-olds over the last few weeks. Elucidation is a homebred racing in the familiar silks of the Niarchos Family. This son of Oasis Dream was the lesser fancied of two horses representing Stoute on debut at Newmarket. Perhaps that was the reason Elucidation was sent off at odds of 16/1. However, he showed ample promise, staying on in the closing stages to finish third. The winner, trained by James Tate, ran on with verve after being fancied to go well at Yarmouth behind the very smart Salsabeel. Law And Order [Tate] had exceptional win and place statistics that day and it was not surprising to me he was a powerhouse. I had my eye on the runner-up. Rummani, who is a talent, which boosts the likelihood of Elucidation. I would keep an eye open for Mandarin, who disappointed that day but was heavily backed and I know for a fact is held in high regard by Marco Botti. Elucidation looks the type to improve for that racecourse bow and has strong each-ways claims if priced 13/2 & less SP.
Adamant is similarly trained, owned by Highclere Thoroughbred Racing. This grey colt is a son of Dalakhani who was purchased as a breeze-up purchase by John Warren for 130,000E. The mare, Attima, won three times in her career racing in France and America, winning at Group 2. The best guide to this debutantes chance is the betting. The majority of Stoute's debutantes win when priced 13/2 & less SP. If outside this betting guide I would take a watching brief.
To add to the heat, *Naval Warfare comes here after finishing fourth and second, respectively. This bay colt, a son of Born To Sea, put up a bold front-running performance over seven and a half furlongs at Ffos Las to be worn down in the closing stages by Math's Prize. It was a fair effort to beat Prerogative, who has been a model of consistency. I can see this bay colt leading and should appreciate this softer going.
Luca Cumani doesn't have the biggest string of two-year-olds but a trainer who should always be respected on their second start. It is worth noting that Presence Process races in the second colours forSaleh Al Homaizi & Imad Al Sagar. This bay colt is a son of Dansili and half-brother to Justineo who race up to Group 1 class. Presence Process was relatively fancied on debut at 10/1 but a long way behind the first three, which included Law And Order. On a form line, he has to find a good few lengths to beat Elucidation. I would take a watching brief unless seriously backed.
Ed Dunlop has a couple of runners both making their racecourse bow. Alemaratalyoum is an Irish-bred son of Lope in the ownership of Mohammed Jaber. He has a couple of fair juveniles with the stable in Apex King & Al Nafoorah. He cost 85,000G. Dunlop's debutantes are best judged by their starting price. They have a fighting chance when priced 14/1 & less SP. If weak in the betting I'd take a watching brief.
The market should detail the chances of Nigh Or Never who is trained by Tom Dascombe. This January foal is a son of Excelebration out of a Galileo mare and cost 100,000E at the yearling sales. Dascombe's juvenile is presently priced at 20/1, which suggests he will be better for the race or the competition is strong enough to make this a test. The stable can win at bigger odds although their brightest prospects are priced 7/1 & less SP. If in that guide should be feared.
I always take a second look at John's juveniles owned by George Strawbridge. They often prove a fair combination. The stable have their share of debut winners, especially if fancied in the betting. Jupiter Light is a son of Lonhro out of a seriously good mare who won on debut and runner-up in the Fillies' Mile. An exceptional filly who achieved a highest OR 113. The betting suggests he will be better for the run but if backed to 13/2 & less SP have respectable each-way claims.
Charles Hill has a few fair juveniles in his string. *Farook hasn't been seen for over two months since finishing behind Apex King. This son of Raven's Pass was relatively fancied in te betting but disappointed. There may have been an issue that day. Hamdan Al Maktoum stuck his hand deep in his pocket to buy this roan colt at the yearling sales for 420,000G. It would be a surprise to see this colt backed. He doesn't hold any significant entries but one for the shortlist is the money comes.
Al Mansor hails from Richard Hannon's stable. I find this stable difficult to assess with their debutantes because they are difficult to call. In general, they are better for their debut. This son of Dark Angel cost 95,000E at the breeze-up sales so should come here with fitness and wisdom.
The stable field Sporting Times who is a home-bred. The betting suggests this youngster is best watched.
Time To See & Quinteo are best watched.
Conclusion: A tough race to be too dogmatic with a handful of horses which have shown promise if no undoubted ability. I was impressed by Elucidation on debut when starting at big odds. The form of that race is solid and any improvement would make this juvenile go very close. Zefferino will have his supporters with the Frankel tag, which probably means he will start little shorter odds than deserved. However, it is difficult to assess the form of that race but Charlton has very good win and place claims with horses fancied on their second start and if difting to each-way prices wouldn't be a bad bet at all. If Adamant is priced 13/2 & less SP it would be significant. Farook cost a lot of money and may have sustained an injury or problem on debut. He could be backed from big odds and may be worth an anticipatory gamble.