Saturday 4 June 2011

2:10 Epsom (4th June) - Result

The Investec Woodcote Stakes (Listed Race) worth £14,193 to the winner.

Quite an open event with many juveniles showing potential but needing to improve.

Caspar Netscher won well on debut at Beverley, beating Fulbright, and held in fair regard by McCabe. Connections hinted at going to Royal Ascot if they won at Pontefract and although this colt by Dutch Art ran with much credit they must have been a little disappointed to realise this juvenile's limitations. A capable two year old and probably the most proven in the field, he has decent each way claims.

It will be interesting to see if Fulbright can reverse the Beverley form with Caspar Netscher. This extra furlong is likely to bring further improvement and his win at Musselburgh seemed to indicate progression. Johnston isn't the type of trainer to go for a listed race unless he fancied his chances.

Norse Gold could be a horse going places because Elsworth has very few juveniles win on debut and it is usually the sign of a talented individual. The race at Kempton was a moderate affair and substantial improvement is needed but this son of Norse Dancer won in a style suggesting a horse of some potential.

He's So Cool may have each way claims at a speculative price. He has enough speed to sit handy - which is very important at this course - and a battling attitude to plug on at the finish. A winner of the Brocklesby, then a recent success at Newcastle. The form has been franked by the second winning since. It is possible the likes of Norse Dancer could have the class to beat Bill Turner's youngster, but the opposition have to prove their point, which is easier said than done. In what doesn't look a vintage Woodcote, He's So Cool has a fighting chance.

Kevin Ryan has been in sparkling form with his two year olds this year. On The Dark Side won a moderate race at Catterick and needs to progress but should be respected. The trainer has plenty of talents to choose from and that suggests this daughter of Kheleyf has potential to improve over this 6f. She is a fair looker for a filly with size and scope. However, it will not be easy opposing colts.

Princess Banu is likely to show her natural pace and try to sneak a lead but it will be a surprise if this tiny filly can cause an upset.

Evervescent is likely to struggle to go the early pace and although may run on at the finish has a tough task.

Miss Muga will be out classed and her only hope is if the leaders stop and she plugs on in a different race.

Conclusion: An open race. Caspar Netscher sets the standard - is likely to run a good race - but may find one or two too good. Fulbright is difficult to assess. However, Johnston doesn't attempt this grade of race unless he fancies his chances so should be respected. Norse Gold and On The Dark Side have potential (especially the former) but they need to raise their games and that is never easy at this level. He's So Cool could go well at a price and his experience should count for a lot around this difficult course.

HCE: ''A race where it paid to be up with the pace. Never the easiest of courses, and this factor alone made it hard work for some. Fulbright ran out a nice winner and is going in the right direction. Evervescent managed to sit handy and looked very well in his coat. Moore's juvenile done little wrong and has progressed since his last win. On The Dark Side was up with the pace tiring in the final furlong but ran well to take third. Caspar Netscher was unlucky being short of room in the early stages and then Murtagh dropped him out the back, which didn't work at all. He would have gone close with a little more luck. He's So Cool didn't act on the course and is best on a straight track. He had similar problems at Kempton and find it difficult on a turn.''