Sunday 29 May 2016


Novices Median Auction Stakes over 5f on good to firm going. Eight two-year-olds, four with race experience in quite a restricted race type. Just a quick review. Roger Varian is a talented trainer and Pretty Vacant will go off a hot favourite after a decent debut  when runner-up at Haydock. This grey son of Elzaam cost just 10,000G as a foal. He has a slightly awkward running action, flicking out his near fore leg but it certainly doesn't stop him running fast. He wasn't fancied on his racecourse bow, drifting quite alarmingly in the betting from 9-2 - 8/1. All were debutantes which make assessing the form difficult but at this grade, you would have to feel this juvenile will take all the beating. 

Cosmic Beau looks poor after his last race at Bath. That was run at a ridiculous pace and he literally had no chance to finishing the race. The complexion of that race changed markedly in the final furlong with leaders hitting the wall and those outpaced seemingly running on with spirit. Dascombe's son of Dandy Man was relatively fancied that day and a huge price here. It wouldn't be a surprise to see this colt backed. 

Richard Fahey two-year-olds have been running well and his connection with Cheveley Park Stud often a winning recipe. Rosebride is a daughter of Mayson out of a twice-winning mare who was placed at Listed class. This outfit should be respected and this bay filly hails from a stable who can go very well on debut and especially so with these connections. 

Richard Hannon has a huge string of juveniles and while their early-season successes have been dented by Mark Johnston they have plenty of talented colts and fillies. I often find this stable difficult to call with their debutantes. Mum's The Word runs in the familiar silks of Andrew Tinkler and this son of Mayson was purchased at the yearling sales for 52,000G. The mare was unraced.  

Richard Hughes has taken his time to find his feet with his two-year-olds but a few have shown promise. Goodwood Crusader is unsurprisingly owned by the Goodwood Owners Group. This bay colt is an Irish-bred son of Sir Prancealot who cost 44.000G at the yearling sales. Difficult to assess Hughe's debutantes although relatively fancied in the betting.

The Daley Express hails from Ed McMahon's stable. He is a talented trainer who suffers from a lack of patronage but knows a good horse, very much like his father. This bay colt is a son of Elzaam who was purchased by the trainer at the yearling sales for £30,000. He is bred from a mare trained by McMahon, Seraphina, who actually won the Brocklesby Stakes on debut in 1999. She was a capable sprinter who may never have tasted victory again although narrow loser of the Lowther Stakes Group 2 when a 66/1 shot & fourth in the Chevelely Park Stakes Group 1. She concluded her career at three when placed at Listed class. Ed McMahon can win with his debutantes although most of this two-year-olds are better on their second start [similar to most trainers]. An interesting juvenile. 

Brian Meehan has been quiet with the two-year-olds he has sent out this term. Jet Setter started his career in a hot debut at Windsor behind Legendary Lunch and Copper Knight, who are no slouches and the winner holding some impressive engagements if not heading to Royal Ascot. This son of Fast Company cost £57,000 at the yearling sales out of a poor mare. He was a big price that day and showed pace before dropping away in the closing stages. With over one month off course, it could be the case this chestnut needed the run that day and a different horse will be seen today. He is pretty friendless in the market but if backed it would bring more confidence. If priced 13/2 & less SP I would expect a bold show. If weak in the betting, best watched.   

Mister Moo is best watched. 

Conclusion: An intriguing race. Pretty Vacant has an awkward running action but physically a decent-looking juvenile. He ran well on debut and although the form is difficult to assess it looked a respectable performance. This colt looks professional and the newcomers will need to be pretty straight and experienced to press this youngster. Rosebride is worthy of note on debut from a stable who can send out a winner, especially for these connections. Mum's The Word hails from a strong stable although difficult to predict. Another one who is difficult to assess is Goodwood Crusader simply with a lack of data for Hughes in his formative year as a trainer. The Daley Express is well bred and if taking after his mother a horse who could spring a surprise when unfancied in the betting. On balance, I'd take a watching brief but at big odds, it wouldn't be a surprise to see a fair effort. The betting will detail the hope of Jet Setter. If fancied in the market he may have a fighting chance. Cosmic Beau ran much too fast last start and looks a lot worse for that crazy test. It wouldn't be a surprise to see this colt backed from big odds. Pretty Vacant sets the standard although a skinny price. I'd be tempted to back Cosmic Beau on the exchanges at huge odds and hope to lay at shorter odds for a no lose bet. However, this is just an aside. Generally speaking, a watching brief.