Monday 30 May 2011

2:25 Redcar (30th May)

An auction maiden over 5f on good to firm ground.

This doesn't look the strongest race bar three or four juveniles.

Tip Top Gorgeous makes a quick appearance after running creditably in the Hilary Needler. This daughter of Red Clubs was a cheap buy at 4,000euros and has plenty of size and scope for improvement. She wasn't best away at Beverley, which is hardly surprising against many experience opposition but ran on well at the line to take fifth place. In ways being beaten a number of length can make any performance seem less impressive but it has to be remembered this was a Listed race in everything but name. With that debut behind her, O'Meara will be hoping for a big run today. Tip Top Gorgeous wasn't given a hard race and if not suffering any ill affects from that first start must go well. Redcar is a fast 5f and this may be a slight negative if this youngster struggles to go the early pace but may be a lot brighter with that initial experience and she should finish with some purpose. It speaks well that the trainer would go for the Hilary Needler on debut and this could be a talented juvenile.

Tim Easterby has been in good form with his juveniles and Blue Shoes is a capable filly, who went close to winning at Ripon. Both other starts have shown enough ability to go very well in a race of this nature, which is more her grade. On a form line with Chevanah, Tip Top Gorgeous would appear to have an edge on this daughter of Kodiac. This bay filly looks to have an outstanding place claims. A speedy, consistent juvenile, there is plenty to like, but whether that will be enough to beat a potentially progressive juvenile only time will tell.

Kohala - trained by David Barron - ran well on debut at Doncaster against a big odds on shot Amadeus Denton. In truth it was a three-horse race - a great battle to the line. The favourite managed to win but Barron's grey filly didn't go down without a fight. The form of that race is no more than average. Kohala wasn't best away at the start but was soon competitive and although a debutante, and outsider in the betting, she was ridden as though pretty fit. From assessing the form, this juvenile would seem to be held by Blue Shoes and Tip Top Gorgeous. It is possible she may improve and she may well progress but I would prefer the above mentioned.

Of the others First Fast Now may go well at a price as a number of horses have run well from the Beverley contest where this filly finished 4th.

Conclusion: An intriguing race. The most guaranteed performer is Blue Shoes who has strong place claims. Easterby's filly has enough pace to sit handy and runs to the line. On balance, she looks to hold every chance but whether she is potentially the class of an improving horse as Tip Top Gorgeous is a matter for debate. Kohala is a juvenile in a similar mould to Blue Shoes but may be a length or two behind unless further improvement is forthcoming.

HCE: ''An easy win for Kohala who never looked in any trouble. It would seem Barron's youngster improved a good deal from debut - or simply that Blue Shoes ran below her best. Tip Top Gorgeous ran quite well but needs a stiffer test as this happened all too quickly. I can see her improving quite a lot for a step up to 6f. Disappointing to see Blue Shoes run no race and may have regressed.''