Thursday 2 April 2009

2:10 Bath (3rd April)

This maiden fillies' stakes over 5f doesn't look the easiest of races to assess. At least with three form horses making prompt reappearances we have an opportunity to test a few more form lines. Of those to have run Michaelmas Daisey and True Red look rather limited individuals and improvement is needed to feature here. More interesting is George Baker's Chicita Banana. She finished a creditable seventh in the Brocklesby on debut being the first filly home, although in receipt of a big weight advantage. She showed speed before dropping out, running on at one pace. This experience will favour Chicita Banana but she didn't display the most fluent of running actions. It may be the case that she will benefit greatly for this first outing although I fear she may struggle to finish her race. Her greatest hope is that her finishing position in the Brocklesby equates to a winning level of ability. However, it's questionable whether this filly by Danehill Dancer has the scope to win.

Country Princess, trained by R.M.Beckett, is an interesting debutant. Owner, R. Roberts, had a couple of decent juveniles last year with Olynard and Missile Dodger and this filly could figure here. Beckett has an acceptable place rate with all of his juveniles on debut and it is a plus to have Seb Sanders booked to ride. The downside is that a juvenile has a stiff task winning on debut which isn't helped by racing on a turning track from a wide draw.

Richard Hannon's juveniles always have to be feared and Crown wouldn't have to be the greatest filly to win this race on debut. Costing 50,000gns she is fairly expensive and will no doubt be fancied in the betting. It is worth noting that Richard Hughes often gives juveniles a considerate introduction which has to be respected as there is nothing worse than seeing a two-year-old given a hard race.

Mick Channon has started the season with a flourish and his two contenders should be respected although his win rate on debut is far from impressive. In addition, Kate Skate is worth watching although you can never quite tell what a Cole juvenile will attain on their racing bow.

This looks a tricky race.

A watching race.

Race review: 'Chicita Banana made the most of her experience and won this fillies' maiden by a length. Her performance adds credit to the Brocklesby. True Red ran much better on this second start. A well balanced runner and with a touch of speed she is going in the right direction. The two juveniles of most interest are the slow-starting Avon Valley, who ran on well, and Crown, a neat, compact filly who found herself behind a wall of horses and ran on towards the line under tender handling. It will be interesting to see how this form holds up. However, how fast Avon Valley finished this race you have to question whether this was anything other than an ordinary race.

2.55 Musselburgh

An interesting 5f maiden featuring a field of unraced juveniles. The betting suggests it is a three-horse race. Mr Smithson was entered to run in the Brocklesby stakes so that is a point of interest although B. Ellison isn't renowned as a trainer of two-year-olds.

A watching race.

Race review: 'Monalini ran out a decent winner. This bay colt has a bit of size and scope to improve from this effort and Smart is a very good trainer of two-year-olds. Mr Smithson ran well after struggling to go the pace. This gelding by Xaar looks a sturdy type and certainly capable of more. Again, an entrant for the Brocklesby stakes, ran a great race. Miss Smilla, one of three fillies in the race, looked quite small and disappointed on debut. It is never an easy task competing against colts and connections will be hoping she can justify why she was favourite here.'