Sunday, 4 September 2011

2:25 York (4th September) - Result

An EBF Maiden Stakes for colts & fillies over 5f89y on good ground.

Rio Grand makes a long-awaited return after being off course for many months. He is a good-looking colt, who was sent off favourite at Newmarket over 6f. A combination of a wide draw and pulling hard for two furlongs didn't help Noseda's juvenile and in ways that was a fair performance considering his antics.Money is a good sign for this yard and even though a long absence is not ideal, this drop to five furlongs should help him settle and a solid chance.

Richard Fahey fields two horses: Personal Touch & Lisiere.

The former ran well on debut at Hamilton, a race that may turn out to be a decent contest. This chestnut colt by Pivotal was fancied that day and ridden as though fit and ready. This juvenile is a sturdy type, well balanced, and straightforward. He had a gutsy attitude, sticking his head down, and beaten by one of Bryan Smart's two-year-olds who is held in high regard. It is interesting to consider whether Topliss retaining the ride is a negative, as Hanagan may have the pick. However, there was much to like about that debut and if Hanagan is riding the better of the two horses, it would be a talent.

Lisiere - a daughter of Excellent Art - should be respected and if strongly fancied in the betting could well be the more fancied of the Fahey duo. The stable have a respectable win rate with their debutantes although it would take a capable juvenile to win this race at the first time of asking and for that reason it would be a watching brief.

Pea Shooter is an interesting horse. He was held in some regard by Ryan in the early part of the season but must have suffered an injury with a long spell on the sideline, returning at Haydock over 6f. Perhaps, on the face of it, finishing fifth of ten seemed disappointing. However, that was a pretty strong race and he may strip fitter today. This son of Piccolo didn't have any problems with the minimum trip on debut and may be a shade forgotten. Pea Shooter is quite weak in the betting on the exchanges but may be backed as the market settles. One with a fighting chance if not a little difficult to assess.

I'll Be Good has shown a glimmer of ability with a few place efforts although looks the type to be outpaced in the early stages of this quick 5f. He may run on at the finish if they go crazy up front although I would have concerns he will be too far adrift.

A similar comment goes for First Phase. That was a difficult race to judge, on testing ground conditions, and she and the eventual winner may have been flattered by running in a different race to the leaders of that contest who looked to go much too fast and tired in the closing stages.

Conclusion: Not the easiest race to assess. Rio Grand is a good-looking colt and fancied to run a big race. He would get my vote but at the odds there seems little value. The Fahey pair are interesting. I was taken by the determined attitude of Personal Touch. Pea Shooter may be capable of better and today will be a truer test of his ability. A watching brief.

HCE: 'A commanding performance from Pea Shooter, who is a juvenile with plenty of scope and good stride. Ryan must feel satisfied with a convincing victory.' 

Full result (click)

Other races:
1:50 York