Wednesday 17 August 2011

1:50 Nottingham (17th August) - Result

An EBF Maiden Stakes over 5f 13y on good to firm ground.

A funny old race.

Supporters of Blanc De Chine will be hoping to put last times effort at Sandown behind them after a truly disappointing showing from the favourite. This daughter of Dark Angel travelled well, made what looked to be a winning challenge, but within strides faded tamely. This filly doesn't lack for natural speed - as seen in the Super Sprint- and it just might be the case she resented being held up off the pace and a little too keen. Once again, Makin's representative is a short price, which must - to some extent - detail plenty of ability but that disappointing effort will bring an equal measure of uncertainty for many punters. In what looks to be a weak race her chances must be respected. However, I would have to take a watching brief at such restricted odds.

The Rising - trained by Ed McMahon - is an interesting juvenile. He is well bred being out of the Cherry Hinton (Group 2) winner Jewel In The Sand. He showed promise on debut over 5f, but then was disappointing at Windsor. That may simply have been a lacklustre performance although I can't help but think he was simply outpaced and reason why a bigger effort was noted at Redcar over the extra furlong. McMahon does well with his juveniles at Nottingham, it is one of his favourite courses, and this race will not take the world of winning. Perhaps the visor sharpened him up last time so a drop back to 5f will not be a problem? However, Blance De Chine is likely to make more use of her natural speed today and Beau Mistral has enough pace over four furlongs to have many two-year-olds in trouble. Probably of the three fancied runners, The Rising is the most certain to run to the line. But it is a concern that he will be outpaced, perhaps to such an extent that it is a difficult task to claw back the ground even if those in front begin to tire. If he can sit in a handy position he has strong win and place claims?

Beau Mistral is a lovely little filly who has shown promise on a number of occasions. Her problem - and it will always be a major problem - is that she struggles to last the trip and to all purposes is a short runner. However fast a runner over 4f, that final furlong always has a tendency to be a stride too far. It was interesting  last time at Haydock, in the nursery, that she was held up off the pace. Perhaps this will be the key to her winning a race. To her credit, she settles well and Cathy Gannon often brings out the best with her rides. If Gannon employs front running tactics, then Beau Mistral will have to hope to steal a good few lengths to hold the certain late charge of someone in opposition. 

Conclusion: A tricky race. Each of the three major fancies have something to prove, which isn't the best starting point for any bet. Blanc De Chine is most probably the class horse but seems rather tricky. Her best chance is to bowl along in front because the hold-up tactics at Sandown didn't work. However, she showed exceptional pace in the Super Sprint over 4f but then dropped back in leg-weary fashion. Whether win or lose, I couldn't wager and it would have to be a watching brief. The Rising has claims and could well be running on with some purpose at the line but it would be a concern if he is outpaced. If Blanc De Chine and Beau Mistral show their natural pace I am sure he will struggle to keep tabs and for that reason is likely to touch much bigger odds in running. Even with this concern, McMahon's juvenile would be my idea of a fair each way selection but it might feel like hard work watching. Beau Mistral is a difficult juvenile to win with. If she does her normal front-running tactics, all will probably look rosy and she could well touch short odds in-running, but that final furlong always seems a touch too far. Gannon could well decide to sit off the pace and see if she can last to the line. A watching brief but an intriguing race.

HCE: ''Beau Mistral made the most of her lead and the opposition simply didn't have the ability to catch her. Nice to see Green have a winner. Blanc De Chine looks a tricky customer. The Rising is better over 6f but still one to oppose by the look of today's performance.''