Tuesday 8 May 2012

1:35 Chester (9th May) Free Horse Racing Tips

Manor House Stables Lily Agnes Stakes over 5f 16y on soft ground.

A field of eleven juveniles, six winners & one debutante. 

In recent years the Lily Agnes has featured a handful of runners, so it is quite a surprise to see such a healthy line-up. It is interesting to note that many of those competing look limited rather than budding stars.

Time will tell if a talent can be found.

This race is sponsored by Tom Dascombe's stable and if the first entry stage was anything to go by they mean business. Amazingly, they had ten juveniles declared for this contest and three making the grade. 

Of their representatives, Brazilian Clown has the best draw, but after showing limited form at Thirsk, this seems a tall order. The stable have two more juveniles, both debutantes, which in itself is a problem. Although drawn low, which is a positive, this course takes few prisoners and a slow start would be a disaster. In addition, having enough ability to outclass experienced winning two-year-olds would take a pretty talented horse. 

Richard Kingscote takes the ride on Pippy, which suggests he is first string. This bay colt by Exceed And Excel was purchased just over one month ago at the Goffs' breeze-up sales for £60,000. Owned by Mr & Mrs Wayne Rooney, you can feel the price being eroded by the second with every column inch in the press. The stable are certainly capable of winning on debut and it seems logical from the great number of entrants that their leading light will be primed. However, even if this isn't a vintage year, it would take a true talent to prove victorious on his racecourse bow. The only hope is that this race is weak but I would have to look elsewhere. 

The stable's other debutante Deauville Prince is another breeze-up purchase bought the same day at Pippy. The betting suggests others are favoured.

We have a mixed bag of winning juveniles.

Baddilini is trained by Chester specialist Alan Bailey. This son of Bertolini was fit and well for his debut at Windsor and backed to win. He took that maiden in good style but was put in his place at Kempton in a Novice Stakes contest behind the talented Lyric Ace. In the context of this race it was a fair effort. A low draw is always a bonus at this track but with a couple of debutantes inside his eight draw gives a fair chance this bay colt will sit handy and finish with purpose. He's no world beater, but he has fair win and place claims.

But what are we to make of the others?

Just Past Andover is one of two representatives for Bill Turner. The stable have been in supreme form this early season and both look the type to enjoy this turning course.  This bay colt by Amadeus Wolf ran in the Brocklesby. Although far from disgraced, his form has been rather indifferent. The effortless victory at Yarmouth - even though visually impressive - may prove over rated. That was a poor race and on testing ground conditions it may pay to tread careful. Although well drawn, and likely to show good speed, I  don't think this horse will win.

Turner's other starter is the diminutive *Coconut Kisses. A wide draw is a major worry, although it should be noted this filly is very speedy. It wouldn't be beyond the realms that Mulrennan tries to get to the front. That would be a sight to savour but she would have to leave the stalls like a greyhound to achieve that goal. This little chestnut filly ran a stormer on debut at kempton, before tiring in the final furlong. The form of that race has been franked a number of times. In hindsight, she was always going to be a tough nut to crack at Wolverhampton, where this April foal made that initial experience count and had things her own way. I must admit I don't like this filly from a physical point because she reselmbles a plater. In many ways she is a short runner and although I can see her storming from the stalls, those early exertions are likely to take their toll in the closing stages. I can see her tiring in the final furlong. Chester can be a very specialist course, which might be her only hope, Some juveniles love this course and to some extent she is that type. However, I can see a bold show faltering at the death.

David Evans has been relatively quiet with his juveniles this season. In fact he has been quoted as saying that *Dreamy Ciara is the best two-year-old in his stable. This daughter of Multiplex has been kept busy and winning on her second and third start shows a determined nature. She made the most of her experience in those contests to take narrow victories and then simply outclassed behind Bailey's Jubilee at Newmarket. That was hardly surprising as Mark Johnston's filly is very fast and most likely favourite at Royal Ascot. Dreamy Ciara paid the price for trying to win that race and tired dramatically. This filly is a good-looking juvenile with size and scope but you have to fear she is regressing. The most recent contest was severely weakened with odds-on shot Tassel finishing lame, but still she couldn't make an impact. It may be in her favour to sit in behind and try to finish her race rather than try and win from the front. If employing more patient tactics Evans' charge could hit the frame but she could well be on the decline.

Mark Johnston is represented by *Heavy Metal who disappointed in the Brocklesby. The betting suggested a big run was expected at Brighton on his second start and he was always in control. A sturdy colt by Exceed And Excel, he is bred to be a talent and could well progress with racing. A wide draw is a huge disadvantage and Fanning will have to sit in behind and try and make ground in the latter stages. At relatively short odds, you may attain much bigger prices in-running and need a touch of luck. He is one of few horses in this field who could race at a higher level but this draw is rather off-putting.

With enviable draws, All Fur Coat and Tharawal Lady are fancied in the betting. The former was well backed at Redcar. That was a pretty restricted race which often leads to limitation. However, she ran on with purpose after struggling to go the pace, losing by half a length to Lothian Countess. That was no more than a moderate contest. This daughter of Multiplex put that initial experience to good use when finishing runner-up at Newmarket. On balance, that looked to be an improved performance. By class of race, it was a step up in standard, which speaks well. However, I just wander what that race amounted to. The winner has been touted as a Royal Ascot horse but it could be the case that All Fur Coat simply made the most of her experience and fitness. Some of the juveniles in behind looked leggy and didn't catch the eye and this may hold the form down. Hughes is a canny trainer and this filly may be a surprise package but she has something to prove.

The most likely favourite is Tharawal Lady. This good-looking bay filly by Moss Vale was a relatively cheap purchase at £11,000. She was bought by the trainer's son, Sean, and part of the Highfield Racing Syndicate. A filly with plenty of size and scope, she was given quite a hard race on debut at Beverley giving the impression that the stable had high hopes of a winning start. In fact, the stable remain unbeaten with their two-year-olds this season. There was much to like about that win. However, the major concern is that it was a poor race. The fourth has since franked the form, although the third was well and truly eclipsed at Pontefract. A difficult horses to assess but one of few with potential to progress.

Conclusion: A tricky race. A sizeable field, testing conditions, many an unproven/limited horse and draw bias make this a difficult race to call. An extreme wide draw is a major handicap and reason why Heavy Metal will need not only to be talented but lucky to win today. Similarly, Coconut Kisses will need to start like a greyhound. Both are best watched. The former has potential to be a fair juvenile while the later is small, unattractive - and although nippy - a short runner. Bill Turner's other runner, Just Past Andover, is well drawn but most likely flattered by his easy Yarmouth win. At the price I would favour others. Pippy could be forward and primed to run a big race after being purchased at the breeze-up sales. However, there is no substitute for experience and it would be a supreme effort to win on debut. It's not beyond the realms but I would be surprised even with a trainer such as Dascombe. It is worth remembering that he had ten juveniles entered for this race which suggests they mean business. I couldn't back this horse. Dreamy Ciara may sneak a place at speculative odds but would need to be held up off the pace.  In addition, I have slight concerns she is regressing, which would give little hope if true. Baddilini looked a hot prospect after his first win but was brushed aside a little too easy last time against Lyric Ace. Alan Bailey is a master around this track and I can see this colt hitting the frame. All Fur Coat is another who could go well although a difficult filly to assess at this time. Jo Hughes has her juvenile string in good form and this little filly has claims although I would have to take a watching brief. Tharawal Lady has size and scope to progress with racing and looked a fair juvenile winning at Beverley. The major negative is that race may be poor and at the odds I would tread careful. In many ways this looks a substandard Lily Agnes where the majority of the field have limitation, a few progressive sorts have something to prove, while wide draw negate a couple more. A watching brief.