Friday 29 July 2011

6:20 Newmarket (29th July) - Result

An EBF Maiden Stakes for colts & one filly over 6f on good to firm ground.

Justineo was fancied to run a big race on debut but inexperience, insufficient trip and lack of fitness meant this well bred son of Oasis Dream could finish only third. Clearly much more was expected on his second start at Yarmouth when priced 4/9f. That race concluded with a battle to the line with Saigon, trained by James Toller. Since that victory, Saigon has gone on to take a Listed event at Newbury, which gives strong claims to William Haggis' bay colt today. One thing you can be sure, the connections of this two-year-old have great aspirations if a string of Group entries are any indication to ability. It will take a talented juvenile to lower his colours. Potentially a pattern-class horse.

Mahmood Al Zarooni has done Godolphin proud with the success of their two-year-olds this season. Grizzle had a stiff task on debut at Newmarket when opposing form choice Diamondhead. This son of Shamardal was well backed and certainly didn't lack for fitness or pressure from Ajtebi in the saddle. That was a superb first effort. Grizzle has a determined attitude, putting his head down and battling to the line. With that experience on side, Dettori taking the mount, he has the look of a fair juvenile as noted by his recent Mill Reef (Group 2) entry. This race looks a match between Justineo and Grizzle. 

Roger Varian has had a small number of juveniles race this season but has impressed. Very much in the mould of his superb teacher Michael Jarvis, Go Dutch should be respected. The stable's two-year-olds generally improve with racing but often have the class to make a winning debut. However, it would be a very talented juvenile to beat the likes of Justineo and Grizzle at the first time of asking. It is by no means impossible but unlikely and for that reason a watching brief.

Of the others, each will need to be above and beyond the norm. Sandbetweenourtoes showed ability on debut but ran below par on his next start at Doncaster. The form of that first start at Newmarket has give rather mixed reading. Meehan has his juveniles in good form and this bay colt may have claims if back to his best. However, this looks a stiff task and others make more appeal.

Conclusion: There will be no hiding place and this isn't a run of the mill maiden. Make no mistake the winner will be a talented juvenile with loftier plans for the future. Justineo ran a storming race last time against a horse that has since won at Listed class. Haggis isn't coming here for second place. With a string of Group entries, this is a stepping stone to competing at pattern class and I would be surprised if Justineo didn't win in style.

HCE: ''A good win from Justineo who pleased connections. He will be racing in Group class sooner rather than later.''