Friday 19 August 2011

4:15 York (19th August) - Result

The Convivial Maiden Stakes over 7f on good ground.

A hefty prize of £16,173 up for grabs.

A competitive race with a mixture of respectable form horses and well bred debutantes.

Storming Bernard ran as his name suggested at Newmarket. Alan Bailey's two-year-old had shown ability on debut but displayed a sparkling effort on his second start. A good-looking juvenile with size and scope, he seemed to make the most of his experience that day and to some degree may have stolen a lead, if not favoured by the far rail. In the later stages, he was outpointed by Entifaadha - trained by William Haggis - who has since won the Acomb Stakes (Group 3). The third, Fencing, has won at Listed class, which gives the form strength. On balance, there is much to like about this 32,000gns breeze-up buy. The main problem could be an issue with his temperament, as he wasn't on his best behaviour at Chester when a beaten favourite. In fairness, Chester can be a rather indifferent course and it may have been the case that he simply wasn't suited by its idiosyncractic nature. An interesting juvenile although I can't help but feel he was slightly flattered at Newmarket but one to respect especially if allowed to bowl along in front.

Burano finished fourth at Newmarket. He was sent off favourite after a superb debut effort when narrowly beaten by Rockninante, who has since gone on to win a Listed race in Deauville. Brian Meehan's representative is clearly a talented juvenile and he may have claims for reversing the form with Storming Bernard. It surprised me that very few people noticed that Burano was - compared with the leaders at Newmarket - slow from the stalls. It was a disadvantage and somewhere along the way he lost a shoe, which didn't help his cause. Even with such difficulties, this son of Dalakhani made spirited headway in the final furlong. Although not the biggest of two-year-olds, if starting on level terms he has respectable each way claims.

Of the other form horses, Firestarter will appreciate this straight 7f after being errant at Kempton last time. He could go well at a price and certainly finished that race with real purpose after losing ground when hanging to his left. 

Llanarmon Lad was a surprise package when foiled by Moustache on debut at Goodwood, when the stable's second string. This step up in distance will be to his advantage although more may be needed.

For one of Harry Dunlop's juveniles, Mitch Rapp was strongly fancied on debut at Salisbury. This America bred by Yankee Gentleman has been given a number of Group entries of late and with Jamie Spencer booked to ride better should be expected at speculative odds.

Many of the debutantes will come here with a reputation. 

The most interesting are Barberton - a multiple Group-entered juvenile costing 100,000gns as a yearling and trained by Jeremy Noseda.

Crying Wolf a $800,000 yearling, son of Street Cry, trained by Mahmood Al Zarooni.

Thomas Chippendale a 375,000gns yearling owned by Sir Robert Ogden and trained Sir Henry Cecil. This bay colt has been given a number of flashy Group entries and very much a talking horse.

The debutantes should be respected as many will go on to better things but each and every one, however exciting, has to prove themselves against talented, proven form horses - fit and ready to run big races. It would take a gifted horse to lower their colours today.

Conclusion: The debutantes will need to be primed, talented and the exception to the rule to beat the more experienced opposition. For that reason alone, I would have to stick with the proven form horses because they are the true measure of ability rather than hopes and dreams. Storming Bernard may come out and re-affirm he has the beating of Burano, as seen at Newmarket. However, to some extent he stole a lead that day. Burano was slow away, lost a shoe, but still ran a creditable race. If starting on level terms he has fair win and place claims. Firestarter could go well for David Elsworth, as this straight 7f will suit.Mitch Rapp may be a surprise package at speculative odds. 

HCE: ''Rugged Cross ran a great race and could well progress to a higher level. A good-looking colt with a professional attitude - a deserving success. Storming Bernard proved his running at Newmarket was the real deal and he looks a certainty to win this season. He is much better suited by a galloping course. Llanorman Lad made the frame. Burano ran a very similar race to Newmarket. Perhaps stepping up to mile would help because he struggles to hold his position and even though he finishes with some purpose may play second fiddle by giving away such distance in the first thalf of the race.''