A Maiden Stakes over 5f 20y on standard going. Quite an intriguing race from this ten-strong field.
Gary Moore doesn't have the biggest string of two-year-olds but a talented trainer. Rapid Ranger has been relatively fancied in the betting on both starts. This son of Kyllachy has been beaten eleven lengths on debut at Windsor but put in his place by two talented juveniles, especially the winner. This bay colt raced keenly last time out at Kempton when second to Mr. Black. That was a fair effort. From a low draw, he could lead and take some pegging back. Always a slight concern this January foal will be too keen and tire in the closing stages.
Kings Academy is owned and trained by Paul Cole. This son of Mayson cost £32,000 when purchased at the yearling sales. Interesting to note this chestnut colt started his racing career in Chantilly, France. He was fancied in the betting priced 9/2. Leading until the closing furlong. Perhaps the 6f was a stride too far. The prize money was a touch shy of £10,000. Cole wouldn't have sent this colt across the channel for a day out. Christophe Soumillon was booked to ride. I would keep an eye on the betting with this juvenile and if fancied has very good win claims. Strangely, past juveniles fitting this profile, which I can't go into, have very similar win and place claims suggesting they either win or unplaced.
Phillip McBride's runner, Supreme Power, is another juvenile that makes interests. This son of Power was a relatively cheap foal but this stable does well with their two-year-olds. He finished behind Rapid Ranger last time. A reason why today this February foal will be odds of 14/1. However, I bet on this horse last time out and fancied him to run well. A slow start didn't fill me with glee and then hampered in the straight put pay to any hope of winning. A wide draw doesn't inspire confidence and if starting slowly it will be an uphill struggle. On the positive front, I'm pretty sure the stable expected a big run that day and with the favourite seemingly holding this youngster, the price may hold some value.
Mr. Pocket is another runner fielded by Paul Cole. This son of Acclamation has been a difficult horse to follow and must bring bad memories for a few punters who have kept the faith. Certainly, the loss at 1/4f would have seen them crestfallen. With an official rating of 80 this bay colt has ability although you may need deep pockets and faith to continue betting on this horse.
Jason Ward started the season with some hope when Mont Cinq finished third in the Brocklesby Stakes. This bonny colt is still trying to gain that elusive first win. This bay colt has plenty of pace and nearly won at big odds last time out at Newcastle with inspired tactics. However, an official rating of just 70 [has been as low as 62] and seven defeats suggests something will beat him.
Conclusion: An intriguing race. Four horses have some hope. Mr. pocket may have claims although he does have the knack of being beaten which makes me wonder if he relishes a battle. Kings Academy is definitely worth a glance in the betting. If strong in the market he could be the better of the Cole pair. If priced over 7/1 I would suggest Mr. Pocket is the more fancied. If betting, I would go for a straight win because I get a feeling Kings Academy will either win or be unplaced. Rapid Ranger looks to have a great chance based on his last run and beating Supreme Power most punters will scratch McBride's juvenile in the process. Moore's juvenile has a lot of pace, good draw and has a decent chance but I wouldn't be so quick to ignore Supreme Power. McBride's charge was expected to go well that day. A slow start, hampered, just meant it wasn't his day. Clearly, he needs to start well and it is a concern to have such a wide draw. It does put me off a little because you really don't want to run wide or fail to get to the lead if that is what connections choose. I'm not even sure if he has the pace to sit handy. Interesting, horse who may go well at a price. Funny old race in ways with afew live chances.