Tuesday 17 May 2011

2:30 Nottingham (17th May) - Result

An E B F maiden for colts & geldings over 6f15y.

A sizeable field with twelve runners, three with form.

Caledonian Spring - a breeze-up buy costing £50,000 - ran well on debut at Ascot. An attractive colt by Amadeus Wolf he was very well backed on the exchanges and showed promise, running on after being short of room in the final furlong. The winner North Star Boy and third Bayleyf have set a fair level of ability. The Ascot race was for very good prize money, which adds to the merit of the form. D'Arcy clearly holds this youngster in some regard and has been quoted as saying Caledonian Spring will improve for that initial experience and for the step up in distance. The stable do not feature the best win and place statistics with their fancied juveniles on their second start but this bay colt looks one who could buck the trend. Fallon riding is a positive and a leading win and place chance, especially interesting if an each way price although that may be unlikely.

Eve Johnson Houghton is a capable trainer and it was interesting that Seb Sanders switched mounts (from early declarations) to take the ride on Bling King in favour of Sabusa who was actually shorter in the betting when racing at Pontefract. In itself that looked a positive sign and this colt by Haafh - a stocky type - showed promise. On balance, the form is no more than average and connections will be hoping this extra furlong brings further improvement. Johnson Houghton has respectable win and place statistics with her fancied juveniles on their second start and with experience on side should be competitive today.

Of the debutantes, Mamood Al Zarooni's Universal hails from a stable which can unearth supreme talents. Just under half of all their debutantes were priced 13/2 & less last season with 13% winning. Considering many would have been priced much shorter odds that isn't the greatest win rate, suggesting that many of their juvenile improve for the run. Almost all of the Godolphin juveniles are bred in the purple but they can be rather hit and miss on their first start. I would rather watch this son of Dubawi and learn a little more.

Ed Dunlop is represented by Burwaaz. It is encouraging to note that this Hamdan Al Maktoum juvenile has been entered to run in a stakes race. A well bred type - a half-brother to the talented Sadafiya, the dam a Listed class winner at two all bring hope of a talented individual.  Burwaaz has been quite well backed on the exchanges. The betting is the best indicator to his chances today - the shorter the better - although Ed Dunlop quite often seems to get the lesser lights of Maktoum's string, which is a negative. In addition, the stable do not have the greatest win rate on debut. This bay colt by Exceed And Excel has potential - and more than likely fit and ready - but at restrictive odds is better judged after today's performance.

Conclusion: Caledonian Spring sets the standard on form and has the potential to improve for that initial experience and step up in distance. D'Arcy will be disappointed if this colt doesn't run a big race and has sound win and place claims. Bling King is a sturdy colt but needs to improve from his debut. The key may be stepping up to six furlongs. Johnson Houghton has fair win and place claims with her fancied juveniles on their second start and with Seb Sanders in the saddle could go well. Burwaaz has good breeding, a stakes race entry suggesting he has been showing up well at home but price to chance may be best watched.

HCE: ''Three horses fought out an exciting finish with a nose & short head splitting Eureka, Burwaaz & Caledonian Spring respectively. The winner trained by Richard Hannon travelled well just off the pace but was timed to perfection by Hughes. Strangely, this youngster went off unbacked at 16/1 in the betting. Hughes - commenting on RUK - seemed surprised at the starting price but Hannon's rarely miss a trick and you have to consider they were slightly surprised or the competitive nature of the race let this colt slip under the radar.  The second ran a very encouraging race, especially after being quite keen in the early stages. Ed Dunlop has done well with his youngsters this season and this half-brother to Sadafiya is a winner waiting to happen. Paul D'Arcy will be pleased but a shade disappointed with Caledonian Spring running. Eddie Freemantle - talking on RUK - said he had spoken to D'Arcy before racing who commented that a big run was on the cards and hope of Royal Ascot in the near future. ''