Saturday 30 July 2011

1:55 Thirsk (30th July) - Result

An EBF Maiden Stakes over 5f on good ground.

This has the look of a competitive heat.

As is often the case, a high draw can be an advantage but natural pace can be just as important over this flying 5f.

Tahnee Mara has the luxury of a high draw and showed good speed at Chester last time when narrowly defeated by Excelette. On balance, that effort would seem to give fair win and place claims. However, it is worth noting that this daughter of Sleeping Indian had every advantage that day but still couldn't managed to win. Ryan's filly beat Blodwen Abbey by just over two length but that was hard work and beyond the winner it looked quite a moderate race. She has a fighting chance but at the price - against a number of speedy types - I would look elsewhere.

Bang Tidy is another with a high draw. Brian Ellison's colt by Moss Vale has plenty of size and scope. He will make most of these look pretty small and showed good speed at York when racing over 6f. He was just about in the lead at the furlong pole with Tip Top Gorgeous so it is understandable that people would be encouraged by this drop back to 5f. He may well appreciate the minimum trip although there is a big difference between running over five and six furlongs. Whether this bay colt will have the speed to sit handy against some proven sprint performers in a matter of debate. A good-looking juvenile but still something to prove at the price.

Kune Kune showed promise on her debut at Newbury over 6f. Marco Botti's representative didn't have much luck in the closing stages of that race when hampered on two occasions by eventual second Lady Gibraltar. That was a fair race, probably more auction level that maiden class, but she would have been no more than a length or so from winning without those traffic problems. This daughter of Sir Percy was strongly fancied on her next start at Newmarket in what turned out to be a competitive race. It is difficult to appreciate such a lacklustre performance, although she was a touch keen in the early stages and short of room at a crucial point of the race which left her a good few lengths behind the winner and struggling to remain competitive. However, even with those problems it was still a poor effort in ways and she needs to revert back to the ability shown on her debut. A good-looking filly - quite compact - it may be to her benefit dropping to 5f although there is a slight concern this will happen all too fast. One for the short list but a question mark or two.

Although a number of the more exposed juveniles do not have the best of draws it could be the case they call the shots. Certainly a few are fancy prices on the exchanges and they may have slipped under the radar.

Rougini is no world beater but she has speed to burn and likely to be battling away at the furlong pole. Burke's horses have been in flying form and I can see this chestnut filly going well. Her weakness is that she is something of a short runner and may falter in the last 100y. However, this quick 5f may help her last to the line.

Dream Whisperer is another at a speculative price who could be worth a punt. She was made to look much worse than she is when running at Warwick last time. There was definitely a track bias against those running near the far rail, which hindered her chance. Ffrench Davis' filly showed bags of speed at Sandown before tiring in the final strides and is a decent looker, too. It would be no surprise to see her price shorten in-running and could be a surprise package.

Blue Shoes is another with similar claims. Easterby's juvenile came back to form last time and isn't short of pace. Not the biggest, she has her limitations but could have win and place claims if one or two of the favourites do not live up to their billing.

Conclusion: Quite an intriguing race in its own way. All of the major fancies in the betting have potential but also something to prove. Tahnee Mara may well need to improve on that last run at Chester. Bang Tidy needs to show he has the pace to step back in distance, while Kune Kune is probably the horse to beat, she has to prove this trip is to her liking and answers the questions of why she disappointed last time. Blue Shoes, Dream Whisperer and Rougini may have their limitations but at speculative prices they have fair win and place claims. Most are likely to be much shorter prices in-running.

HCE: ''This turned out to be an open race where the favourites to some extent struggled. Full Support looked to be outpaced at the two furlong pole but finished with some vigour and won by just over a length. I'll Be Good ran a cracking race at huge odds while Kune Kune could do no more than finish 3rd.''