Friday 1 April 2011

2:20 Musselburgh (1st April) - Result

An EBF maiden - so potentially a decent race.

Richard Fahey is such a powerhouse with an impressive two-year-old string that Devlin, a colt by Auction House, must be respected. Although a relatively cheap yearling purchase at £9,500 a 32% strike rate at the course in recent years bolsters his chances.

Pontius Pilate catches the eye. Bryan Smart's early-season juveniles should be noted and this colt has a number of positives: half-brother to the talented Cool Creek, owned by Andrew Tinkler & cost £50,000 as a yearling. Smart has a 40% win rate with his 2yo at Musselburgh over the last five years and targetted this race. A slight negative is that Smart doesn't feature the strongest win rate on debut - his juveniles are generally better on their second start. Also, it should be noted that Tom Eaves was booked to ride in the early declarations but has no mounts today. However, a major candidates, especially if starting favourite.

Mark Johnston makes an early start to the campaign with Idler. It is encouraging to note that this son of Exceed And Excel has been entered to run in the Brocklesby Conditions Stakes. Johnston isn't the easiest trainer to judge on debut and for that reason I would rather watch and learn today. If priced over 7/1 it would be a negative. In addition, his juveniles are generally suited by a greater trip.

Art Dzeko is another who is probably best watched. Tim Easterby has a fair strike rate at this course but features a poor strike rate with his debutantes.

Kevin Ryan's Hamza isn't without hope, although it would be a negative if easy in the market. His juveniles can win on debut but he is a difficult trainer to judge. Best watched.

Ex-flat jockey Keith Dalgleish saddles his first two-year-old  runner - Stonefield Flyer - after being granted his licence in February. Fallon booked to ride is a positive.

Devlin and Pontius Pilate are the most interesting.