Tuesday 29 April 2014


An EBF Median Auction Maiden Stakes over 5f 59y on good to soft ground. Four colts, three fillies, including two debutantes. By all accounts an average-looking race with one or two juveniles of interest.

Not much form to pick between the lines. Just Marion shaped well on debut behind a very exciting prospect in Richard Hannon's Tiggy Wiggy. The field were strung out and in many respects the winner made the opposition look moderate. However, at times, what may look a poor contest can often prove deceiving.  David Evans fielded five two-year-olds at Kempton, among these the second, third & fourth. Today's runner, finished a creditable third. With the second and fourth both proving fair juveniles it gives this daughter of Bushranger claims and certainly sets the standard for others to achieve. This Irish-bred filly, out of an unraced mare, cost 10,000euros at the yearling sales. The horse to beat.

Another horse to have raced twice is Chester Deal. This Jo Hughes' trained son of Multiplex is part owned and bred by Chester Racing Club Ltd. He is half-brother to Marilyn Marquessa who was a speedy sort but limited. The mare didn't manage to win but this bay colt is a good-looking type for this grade. This March foal has been speculative odds on both starts but shown promise. To be fair he has been in a couple of fair maidens. The Leicester race has yielded winners in Flyball & Burtonwood, while others have run well to prove the form has substance. Chester Deal ran well on his second start when done no favours by a wide draw. The winner and runner-up have potential, and finishing 5th was no disgrace. The most significant pointer about this colt is the way he has finished his races after being comprehensively outpaced in the early stages. Inexperience proves costly at times but this youngster would be more suited by six furlongs. This extended five on more testing ground is likely to help and I would expect Chester Deal to finish with purpose. It's a shame this race is only two places as I would be confident of him making the frame at each way odds. Could go well.

Jet Mate cost 35,000gns, purchased and trained by William Muir. He is half-brother to Sorella Bella, who attained Listed & Group 1 placed status with Mich Channon. This January foal was well backed on debut at Lingfield (7/1SP) but a terribly slow start proved costly and no chance thereafter. Muir tries blinkers for the first time, which could well bring about a more professional run. That debut is best ignored and the betting is the best guide. If fancied it would bring more hope but a horse best watched unless seriously backed. 

Majenski was well backed when competing in the same maiden as Chester Deal. This bay colt, a son of Camacho out of a poor Irish-raced mare, was supported from odds of 25/1 - 8/1. This juvenile is a fine-looking horse, with size and strength. A slow start put pay to any chance. In truth, the jockey didn't press any buttons but neither did the horse improve its position. The betting is the best guide. If seriously backed and priced 13/2 & less I would expected a big run.

Nimble was a cheap yearling purchase, unfancied on debut, and showed little ability. Best watched. 

Loretta Martin is a owned, bred & trained by Mick Channon. This grey daughter of Sixties Icon is out of an unraced mare. The betting is the best guide. The stable can win when their debutantes are fancied in the betting. However, being a fashionable stable in a small field there could be a chance this youngster is forced to be fancied in the betting. If particularly weak in the market I would take a watching brief. 

Milton Bradley is represented by Chetan a 4,000gns yearling purchase out of a winning mare. This Irish bred comes from a stable which have very few two-year-olds and most progress with racing. Best watched. 

Conclusion: By all accounts this looks a weak race on paper. Just Marion, Chester Deal & Loretta Martin are the most likely types. The two former noted look to hold fair claims with Just Marion best on form. Chester Deal would be my idea of a fair each way bet if three places had been available at an each way price. The softer the ground the better for this juvenile as he needs a test of stamina over this extended five furlong trip. Difficult to know what to think about Loretta Martin. If weak in the betting best watched. Majenski looks poor but if 13/2 & less sp could show marked improvement. Jet Mate is another who could be better than seen. If seriously backed would have a hope. A difficult race to asses until the betting tells its story. With two places I would take a watching brief but keep an eye on Majenski if seriously backed.