Monday 16 May 2011

6:40 Leicester (16th May) - Result

An E B F maiden for colts & fillies over 5f2y.

Fair prize money has attracted a selection of form horses.

A couple of these have a high cruising speed namely Always Ends Well and Sea Odyssey.

The former trainer by Mark Johnston showed little ability at Beverley but transformed at Pontefract when leading for most only to be caught close home. This filly by Tiger Hill went off favourite on her next start at Brighton. That was probably a fair race as the winner Red Hearts ran well at York in Listed class. Always Ends Well has a fair cruising speed and is likely to travel well. The negative is that she slightly struggles to finish her race which makes her vulnerable. It is a major weakness for any horse not to run to the line, especially when competing against talented juveniles. The form of the Brighton race isn't the easiest to assess. Her claims may be improved if this was run at a snail's pace. But that would seem unlikely.

Sea Odyssey has been fancied to run a big race on both starts. This son of Dark Angel is another who will travel with consummate ease. He sauntered to the furlong pole at Windsor but was found wanting at the line. Hills' youngster didn't have much luck at Chester - a favourite racecourse for his trainer - with a wide draw which didn't help his cause. Beyond the winner, that didn't look a very competitive race. Once again Sea Odyssey finished the race tamely, which many people may put down to the effects of a wide draw. It is possible that was the case. However, I have fears he isn't the strongest finisher which could prove his downfall today. The type of horse which is likely to touch short prices in running.

Stan Moore often goes well with his two-year-olds on their second start and Crowning Star is one of the main contenders today. This son of Royal Applause is a hulk of a juvenile and Moore has most likely been waiting for this better ground. He ran a great race in the Brocklesby. A slow start made his introduction to racing all the more difficult but he showed a wiling attitude to finish with promise. There is likely to be a good deal of improvement from that initial start. With experience on side Crowning Star should be more professional from the stalls and potentially a nice colt. He has sound win and place claims but cannot afford to be tardy from the stalls.

Of the others, Shere Khan is a difficult horse to assess after disappointing when odds on favourite at Brighton. That didn't look the strongest of races but it may be foolish to write off this colt because he clearly didn't handle the idiosyncratic nature of the course. Hannon's fancied juveniles often go on to win and although unfancied on the exchanges it will be interesting to see whether there is any money at some stage. A difficult juvenile to assess but one to respect.

John Gallagher is a talented trainer and Pius Parker ran a fine race when beating Always Ends Well on debut at Brighton. This son of Antonius Pius is an attractive two-year-old - quite chunky with a strong neck - and showed promise that day. At a price, it isn't beyond the realms this colt could go well. Being a competitive heat and a less fashionable trainer Pius Parker may slip under the radar and has place claims.

Mick Channon has been in good form with his juveniles and his debutante Arnold Lane has been well backed on the exchanges. A 60,000euro buy and son of Footstepsinthesand are positives. However, it would be a talented juvenile to win this on his first start and one I would rather watch than bet.

Conclusion: Quiet a competitive race and those at the head of the betting are most likely priced to chance. If I had to go for one it would be Crowning Star but ideally at each way odds. However, even then this could be a tricky affair. Sea Odyssey will be many people's idea of the winner and like Always Ends Well is sure to travel with purpose. The key to both of these youngsters is whether they have the strongest finish. I feel both are susceptible to something with a late charge. Pius Parker may go well at a price but slightly difficult to assess but interesting in his own way. Shere Khan is best judged by the betting but capable of better. Arnold Lane has a stiff task winning on debut.

HCE: ''A funny old race. But time may tell this was a decent contest  For any juvenile to win on debut, especially against experienced horses - a few with fair form - speaks well for Arnold Lane. Channon's youngster was backed for most of the day but drifted markedly in the betting just before the off. His backers need not have worried because he ran on with real purpose to beat Red Aggressor in tidy fashion. Brittain's second was a different horse after showing nothing on debut. Shere Khan ran well to take third, pipping Crowning Star.''