Tuesday 31 May 2011

2:15 Leicester (31st May) - Result

An EBF fillies' maiden over 5f 2y on good ground.

A large number of non runners, probably worried by the changing ground conditions.

This looks an open contest with six relatively fancied in the betting.

Toffee Tart supporters will be pulling out their hair if she fails to deliver today. After losing at 2/13 at Bath, you would need to be made of steel not to have reservations about this daughter of Dutch Art. Seb Sanders is back in the saddle and a drop to the minimum distance is hoped to bring about that elusive victory. The form of her narrow loss at Ascot has been rather mixed but a number of juveniles have subsequently disappointed since. That was a fair run, which gives her a chance but she does look one of those types which makes everything look hard work. This drop to 5f may initially cause some problems because she is likely to be outpaced or at least struggling to go the pace. That isn't good news at Leicester because it often suits front runners. Sanders will be doing his utmost at the finish but I would have to look elsewhere.

Rod Millman is a capable trainer and the stable generally place their two year olds well. Moleneras didn't show too much on debut - but finished with a flourish. Like many of theirs, she ran a much improved race on her second start and although a 12/1 shot there was money about. That was a difficult race to assess. The favourite wandered across the course while at the back it was like a scene from a bucking bronco with an Evans debutante trying to unship Gannon. This daughter of Kyllachy was professional and looked to have stolen the race after gaining a couple of lengths lead over Mr Majeika, trained by Richard Hannon. It is difficult to assess what that form is worth. Hannon's youngster is a fair looker and was fancied on debut but didn't show a great deal. But the question to ask is whether Mr Majeika improved on that performance or not? I would imagine to some extent he did. James Millman - writing on his blog - said he thought she would progress with racing and in a race that is cutting up, experience and from a decent draw it would be no surprise to see them make a bold bid from the front. Certainly a leading candidate although you have to take a guess on the merit of that Ffos Las form, which isn't ideal.

Alabanda may have a glimmer of hope. She was slightly on the back foot at Leicester but that was a decent event. The winner has since run well at Beverley in the Brian Yeardly. Easterby has been in great form with his juveniles and this daughter of  Camacho - a sister of Camache Queen - wasn't pressed and there could be improvement on the cards.

Sir Robert Ogden paid 190,000euros for Midas Medusa who ran in a small race at Newmarket. She was relatively fancied at 4/1 but wasn't helped by a slowish start and hampered in running. In truth, Dobbs never really got competitive and it was a non event. The betting is the best guide to this youngster's chances and Hannon will surely be expecting more today. Whether Midas Medusa can win this race is a matter of debate.

Of the debutantes, Red Royal has been quite well backed. Beckett can send out a decent winner on debut and he has done just that with a number of Smith-owned juveniles. If continued to be backed, I can imagine a big run.

Conclusion: A race cut up by a large number of non runners. A tricky race. I couldn't back Toffee Tart although she has a chance. Her running style will make this look hard work and may finish with some vigour but could well be a bigger price in running. Moleneras is probably the most assured of a performance but there is a slight doubt about the level of form regarding that last run. On balance, I would think she will run into a place and fighting chance of a win. Alabanda could go well at a price, especially if progressing by a length or two. Midas Medusa could go well and best judged by the betting. Red Royal could be the one to note but debutantes are never the most straight forward.

HCE: ''No more than an average race but an exciting finish. Nagham continues a purple patch for Kevin Ryan but wasn't at all fancied in the betting for most of the day and still went off 12/1. She prevailed in a blanket finish which saw Meloneras caught in the last few strides, while Midas Medusa was always battling for glory. Toffee Tart was run off her feet and may be better over 6f but looks one to be careful with.''