Friday 2 September 2011

6:50 Kempton (2nd September) - Result

An EBF Maiden Stakes for colts & one filly over one mile.

A selection of talented juveniles on show.

Pulverize is a good-looking son of Pulpit. A big, strong chestnut colt who is sure to win races this season. A $300,000 purchase, this American bred should enjoy this surface, making the most of a promising debut effort when beaten by Top Offer, one of Roger Charlton's two-year-olds who held in high regard. Richard Hills didn't ask this strapping colt any questions on that initial start, clearly interested in the future rather than the day, but still beating Blank Czech with ease, who has since gone close to winning at Epsom. There are a few talented juveniles in opposition. However, Sir Michael Stoute's representative is the horse to beat.

Kieren Fallon is fighting for every winner in hope of taking the jockeys' title and Validus ran well on debut at Newmarket. The winner has since scraped home in a conditions stakes race and the 5th, Travelling, has won at auction level. This son of Zamindar  is a fluent runner and should appreciate this step up in distance. A slight negative is that Cumani doesn't feature the best win rate with his fancied juvenile on their second start although they have fair place claims. This juvenile will need to improve to challenge Pulverize, but has respectable place claims and fighting chance of a win.

Strictly Silver is an attractive grey colt, who is clearly held in some regard by Alan Bailey. After showing little ability in the Convivial at York, he was well backed to make amends at Warwick. A better effort was seen although he had little answer to the front-running tactics of Pickled Pelican. It could well be the case that the winner, trained by William Haggis, is a fair juvenile, after a couple of seemingly disappointing efforts. In that light, the Warwick race may have been a decent contest and beating Spoke To Carlo & Everlong a mark of a fair/talented juvenile. This step up in distance may benefit and a low draw should be a positive. At speculative odds, this flashy grey may have each way claims although improvement is needed to trouble the favourite. 

Of the debutantes, Almaas should be respected. This American-bred colt by Hard Spun cost $160,000 as a yearling and hails from a stable that can do little wrong at this course. From a large sample, Saeed Bin Suroor has a 42% strike rate, which is about as good a percentage as you are likely to find. However, this doesn't look be your average maiden, where inexperience can be ignored. This juvenile will need to be primed to have any chance of beating the likes of Pulverize, Validus or Strictly Silver. In fact, it would need to be a sparkling performance full stop. Godolphin have a class of horse which makes anything just about possible but I would have to take a watching brief.

Conclusion: Pulverize should take the beating but the odds leave little room for disappointment. However good a juvenile, they always have to prove their worth on the racecourse, which often isn't as straightforward as it may seem. A leading light. Validus showed promise on debut and could well progress with racing and appreciate this step up in distance. A fair each way bet if odds allow, although will have to go some to beat the favourite. Strictly Silver could sneak into a place and makes some appeal at fancy odds. On balance, he needs to improve, although time may tell that Warwick race was a decent contest. From a low draw, he should be in a handy position and run a fair race. Almaas is interesting but would need to be a very talented juvenile to win this race on debut.   

HCE: 'A supreme performance from Validus who powered clear. He must have improved a good deal for his debut and could go on to better things. Pulverize ran on to take second from Almaas, while Strictly Silver deserves respect for setting the pace.'