Tuesday 14 May 2013

4:25 York (15th May) Free Horse Racing Tips

An EBF Novices Stakes over 5f on Good to Firm ground. Eight juveniles take part: all colts/geldings bar one filly. Six winners search for their second victory with prize money of almost £10,000. By all account this is a hot little race. The winner will be heading for Royal Ascot.

Steventon Star was entered to run in the Lily Agnes but a wide draw made connections curtail such plans, which was most likely a wise decision. This son of Pastoral Pursuits ran well at Newbury on debut although second best - but clear of the third - behind Justice Day who went down fighting at Ascot. Richard Hughes commented that they were surprised Steventon Star was beaten on his first start. However, the money was put down in style when backed to 1/10f taking an average Windsor maiden without fuss. This youngster travels well and he is a worthy favourite on latest form. This could be a tough race with exciting opponents.

With five unbeaten juveniles in the line-up it is difficult to assess many of these horses beyond stating they have the potential to be smart. 

One Boy is a good-looking son of Captain Gerrard. This Irish bred gelding is the most forward of Micheal Dods' two-year-olds.  The form of that race has been franked with the third winning a moderate race, while others have been placed. By race type, that was a limited event and he has to prove more than most. Improvement should be seen but I wouldn't want to back this horse unless speculative priced. 

Richard Fahey's juveniles have been in form this last couple of weeks and Peniaphobia really caught the eye when winning at Pontefract. This Irish bred son of Dandy Man is a handsome colt, physically one of the  better horses I have seen this season. He looks a tremendous purchase at £20,000. There was good late money for this horse after opening at relatively big odds. The second and third placed horses have run well since but what appealed so much is the way Peniaphobia clawed up the Pontefract hill. With more experience he would have left the opposition floundering by double-figure lengths. It is worth remembering that Steventon Star beat the third placed, Meritocracy, by a number of lengths. Whether this sharp 5f will be a little too fast is a matter of opinion. However, that initial experience should see a professional display and he will run to the line.

Olly Steven may have just started his training career but he could be a name to be remembered by the end of the season. He has taken over Peter Winkworth's old stable, who still works behind the scenes, and they have a number of high-profile owners. Extortionist was fancied to go well at Nottingham and traveled like the winner halfway. It is still a little difficult to assess the merit of that form but it could be good. The sixth won next start [must have disappointed on debut] while the third is well regarded [Bounty Hunter]. I would take this horse seriously.

Two other winners made sparkling debuts. 

Innocently was a cheap yearling purchase at 11,000gns but probably added a zero to that figure with a superb display at Redcar. In fairness, that wasn't the strongest race as the favourite may have disappointed. However, this chestnut colt is a good looker and well backed.  The David O'Meara-trained youngster was keen in the early stages to a point I thought he would struggle to finish the race. Those fears were soon forgotten when Tudhope [jockey] took a swift look between his legs before pressing on for a comfortable win. The second horse has ability although the form is no more than average. Compared to Steventon Star & Peniaphobia, he has something to prove. Potential brings great hope but those have to be substantiated. Time will tell.

Another horse fitting this bill is Haikbidiac trained by William Haggas. The sire Kodiac has seen a number of talented juveniles this season and this bay colt traveled with ease leaving his opposition standing in comfortable style. I always take note of Haggas' winning debutantes as it is often an encouraging sign for this stable. A leading chance but needs to progress a good few lengths.

Lady Frances  won a small race on debut and then nearly fell when contesting a stakes race. The only filly in the field, she has something to prove. 

*Two Tykes has been set a daunting challenge and will need to be something special to figure here. Unlikely.

Conclusion: A fascinating race which looks a much higher standard than last year. The winner of this will be looking towards Royal Ascot and an impressive victory may highlight one of the favourites. Steventon Star sets the standard. It will take a decent horse to beat him. Peniaphobia caught my eye at Pontefract. This strong colt clawed up the Pontefract hill and sure to improve for that initial start. There is a slight concern this 5f will be just too quick because this is likely to be run at a pace. However, I like this colt and if pressed would be my selection. Extortionist, Haikbidiac & Innocently have to raise their game to test the favourite but potentially they could be class horses. It is difficult to assess comfortable winners. One of the most exciting races of the two-year-old season so far.